Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Free Again

Youcef

The American Center for Law and Justice  (ACLJ.org) is reporting that they have confirmed through a member of Pastor Youcef’s church, that  Iranian authorities released Pastor Youcef from prison shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Rasht, Iran.

He had been re-arrested on Christmas Day in Iran, the first Christmas he would have been able to spend with his wife and two young sons after his nearly three-year imprisonment for his Christian faith.

After initially spending 1,062 days behind bars under a death sentence for apostasy (becoming a Christian), he has now been forced to spend an additional 14 days in prison because of his faith even after his apostasy conviction was absolved.

English: Locator map of Iran

The ACLJ welcomes his release from this unjust and illegal imprisonment.  Iran must not be allowed to persecute individuals because of their faith.

Pastor Youcef has become the face of persecution around the world, and his re-arrest on Christmas Day shows Iran’s intent to make an example of Pastor Youcef to intimidate people of minority faiths.

While Pastor Youcef is now once again free, American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned for his faith in one of Iran’s most notoriously brutal and abusive prisons.

ACLJ is circulating a petition that asks for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini. You can sign it here- sign petition demanding the U.S. government take action on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.

Read more here- http://aclj.org/iran/pastor-youcef-nadarkhani-again-free

But the joy of Pastor Nadarkhani’s release is tempered with the fact that his lawyer remains imprisonsed, as the CHristian Post reports:  http://global.christianpost.com photo below from http://humanrights.gov

Although Nadarkhani’s family and supporters worldwide who have called and prayed for his release will look at the development as good news, pressing concerns remain for the Iranian pastor’s lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who was jailed for 10 years and disbarred back in September allegedly for „actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime.”

„The imprisonment of Mr. Dadkhah is part of an ongoing campaign of repression of human rights activists journalists and defenders,” Kankhwende told CP. „Mr. Dadkhah is not the only one; his fellow founders of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which the authorities forced to close in 2008, are all detained and suffering similarly. He is being persecuted in his own right because of his profession and lifelong professional commitment in defending the rights of political activists and others.”

CSW’s chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, has called for the immediate release of Dadkhah, amid concerns that he is being pressured to do a televised confession admitting his supposed actions against the Islamic regime.

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com

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