According to the report of the Aryan Jamia news agency, Maherkh Ghanbari, a Christian convert living in Karaj, has been summoned to the Revolutionary Court once again and is facing a new charge of “propaganda against the regime”.
Mrs. Ghanbari was sentenced to one year of imprisonment for the same charge in 2018 and in October of the same year, he was sent to Kechui prison in Karaj.
According to the relatives of Ms. Ghanbari, this Christian convert has not been active after being released from prison.
Behnam Irani, an old friend of the family, said in this regard: “The 71-year-old wife of Mrs. Ghanbari is seriously ill and needs Maherkh’s help and nursing. In the past, the arrest of this Christian citizen had created a difficult situation for Mrs. Ghanbari’s wife. …”
She further added, “Mahrukh was forced to participate in religious justification sessions and the opportunity to return to Islam, which was run by a Muslim cleric.”
Despite the prohibition of inquisitions in the constitution of the Islamic Republic, many times Christians have been pressured and interrogated about their faith during interrogation, court and even after their release.
Arrest and prison history
Maherkh (Rukhsara) Ghanbari was one of the five converts who were arrested before Christmas 2017 when the security agents raided his house in Karaj. The names of the other four women have not been released. Before his temporary release, he was interrogated for ten days from morning to evening with a bail of 30 million tomans.
In July 2018, Maherkh was sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime” in the Karaj Revolutionary Court.
The Christian organization “MAC” wrote in a report about this court session that during the trial, the judge was “very rude” and after disagreeing with Mahrekh, “tried to humiliate her.”
In October 2018, this Christian citizen appeared to serve his prison sentence in “Shahid Kechoui” prison in Karaj. In March of the same year, he was among the prisoners who were released early to prevent the spread of Corona virus in prison.
Before going to prison, this Christian citizen announced in a recorded short video message that he was arrested by the agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for “the crime of believing in Jesus Christ”. He added: “I hope to glorify the name of Jesus Christ with the persecution I am suffering.”
Her case received international attention when Mike Pence, the then US Vice President, mentioned Ms. Ghanbari in several tweets about Iran’s failure to provide religious freedom to its citizens.
Mr. Pence said she was “appalled that Mahrekh was jailed for exercising her right to freedom of worship.”