IRAN: Malihe Nazari released on bail

Malihe NazariNews has emerged that Christian convert Malihe Nazari, who was arrested three months ago, was released on bail on 5 September.

Malihe (46) was one of at least 35 Christians arrested in coordinated raids on Christian homes and house churches in Tehran, Karaj and Malayer on 30 June and 1 July. Most were released in the days following the raids and all within a few weeks except for Malihe and house-church leader Joseph Shahbazian, who each had bail set at 3 billion tomans  (approximately €128,000), an exorbitant amount that was twice the previous highest bail demand for a Christian prisoner of conscience in Iran.

Neither family could raise the full amount, but Joseph was released on a reduced bail of 2 billion tomans on 22 August, and Malihe’s bail was eventually reduced also, though it is unclear exactly how much her family had to pay – an Article 18 source suggests a figure of around 1 billion tomans.

Background

Malihe is married with sons aged 22 and 15, the elder of whom has suffered from cancer for the past two years. She is a member of the One-Hearted Women Church in Tehran and was arrested on 30 June in a raid on her home by Revolutionary Guards who confiscated her computer, mobile phone and books and took Malihe away, telling her family she would be taken to Evin Prison.

On 22 July she was transferred to the notorious Qarchak women’s prison, located in Varamin in the desert southeast of Tehran. Qarchak is inaccessible for family visits and houses prisoners in terrible conditions.

(Article 18)