IRAN: Christian mother threatened and placed under house arrest

Iran Map A Christian mother from the northern city of Mashhad was arrested by police on 16 December and held in prison over the Christmas season.

She has now been sentenced to three months house-arrest and threatened that her 10 year-old daughter, Hodi, will be taken away from her if she does not deny her faith.

Hamideh Najafi’s ordeal began when security police with an arrest warrant from the Mashhad Revolutionary Court entered her family home on 16 December. After searching her home and confiscating personal belongings, including books and compact discs, police took her to an undisclosed location.

Hamideh was subjected to ongoing interrogation and questioning by interrogators for the next 13 days. She was told that she should cooperate and turn back from her faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam. Whenever the security officers faced resistance, they summoned her husband to the prison, blindfolded him and threatened to beat him up and injure him in front of his wife. This was done to force Hamideh to sign a confession that she was mentally and psychologically unfit and disturbed.

A court hearing was quickly arranged on 30 December after she was coerced into signing this confession. There were no formal charges against Hamideh, but she stands accused of contacting a foreign Christian television network, which court officials labeled as a ‚Äúpolitical‚Äù crime. Sources believe authorities forced Hamideh’s sister to file a complaint against her on these grounds.

The Revolutionary Court initially ordered that Hamideh’s daughter, Hodi, be taken from her. Hodi suffers from a severe kidney and bladder condition so the court allowed her to stay with her parents. Hamideh and her husband have been threatened that if they insist on their Christian beliefs and speak publicly about their faith, the custody of their child will be revoked and Hodi will be transferred to the care of the welfare office immediately. (Compass Direct, FCNN)