- Religious Freedom
One Iranian and three Azerbaijani Christians have been found guilty of “missionary activities” and “actions against national security” in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
World Watch Monitor understands that the three Azerbaijanis – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – are unlikely to serve their sentences because they were allowed to leave Iran in November last year and will not be forced to return. However, the Iranian – Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, a convert from a Muslim background – remains in Iran and will have to serve his sentence unless successful with his appeal.
“The Azeris will only serve their sentences if they return to Iran,” a local source explained. “They will not be imprisoned in Azerbaijan for an alleged crime committed in another country. Most likely they will forfeit their bail amount and never travel to Iran again.”