Iran: Appeal hearing cancelled again

An appeal hearing to review the cases of Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh, and three other Christian converts was cancelled yesterday (June 1). 

Pastor Victor and Shamiram went to Branch 36 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran along with their lawyers and legal representatives for the Christian converts. After a long wait, they were informed that the hearing was cancelled. No reason was given, and the lawyers were not allowed to approach the judge. 

This was to be a combined appeal hearing for three long-standing cases. In February 2019, the presiding judge had announced June 1st as the next hearing date. 

The first case involves Pastor Victor of the Assyrian Assemblies of God, and two Persian Christian converts, Amin Nader Afshari and Kavian Fallah Mohammadi, who were all arrested at a December 2014 Christmas celebration.  

The second case to be a part of this combined ruling also involves Amin Nader Afshari, re-arrested in August 2016 along with another convert, Hadi Asgari.  

The third involves Shamiram, Pastor Victor’s wife, summoned by authorities in June 2017. Between them, they are facing a total of 55 years in prison on national security charges. 

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the delays and postponements are adding stress for the defendants and their families. 

Iran has seen a record number of COVID-19 cases, and the government has pardoned and set free many prisoners. May these believers also find favour with the authorities, and their cases dismissed without much waiting.

Thank you for supporting Pastor Victor, his wife Shamiram, and others in prayer and for sending them letters and notes of encouragement. Please do continue to intercede for them. 

Iranian Christians request prayer:

• For these cases to be reviewed correctly, and that the heavy and unjust prison sentences will be overturned
• The lawyers representing the defendants will have the wisdom to present their case well
• The Lord will encourage Pastor Victor, Shamiram, Amin, Kavian and Hadi through the continuing injustice

(Source: Middle East Concern)

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