UK Christians Call on Policitians for Female Converts in Iran Jail
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Sat, Aug. 22, 2009 Posted: 10:12 AM EDT
Joining the protest against the imprisonment of two Iranian female converts, UK Christians from Bolton are calling for the release of two women being detained in Iran, they especially plea to Bolton West MP Ruth Kelly to help their cause.
Now the MP has urged the Government to keep pressing Iran over the treatment of two Christian women being detained in the country, the Bolton News reported Friday. “More than 30 constituents have contacted Ms Kelly regarding the plight of Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh, who have been detained in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, in Tehran,” it stated.
The two Iranian women - Maryam Rustampoor, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were arrested on 5 March for leaving Islam; and there put in the notorious Evin deprived of medical attention and often blindfolded for interrogations for several hours. They were tried after five months on 9 August, they were told to recant their faith which they said they will not do so. They were sent back to the prison where they face charge of apostasy which is death in Iran.
Elam Ministries, a ministry that specializes in serving the growing church in Iran alleged that the women have been imprisoned solely on the basis of their religious belief.
The source said, UK ministers have responded to Ms Kelly’s requests for action by assuring her that Government officials have raised concerns about the prisoners on several occasions, both independently and collectively with other countries.
Ms Kelly said: “I am pleased that ministers are continuing to put pressure on the Iranian government and have been instrumental in highlighting this issue at the United Nations.
“I have asked Ministers to keep me updated regarding developments and I hope that pressure from the British government will lead to a change of heart by the Iranian authorities.”
Earlier, Bishop Michael Nazir-Alie of Rochester also applealed for the duo. “Maryam and Marzieh are being held simply because they have changed their belief. The UN Declaration on Human Rights says people everywhere should be free to do this and the Iranian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion,” he told The Times Online.
“I appeal to the Iranian President to have mercy and to release these two young women forthwith so that they can receive the medical treatment which they so desperately need,” said Dr. Nazir-Ali.
The Elam report said, the chief interrogator had recommended a verdict of apostasy, however no verdict was pronounced when they appeared in Teheran court on 9 August; rather they were questioned if they were Christians which they said they were. And they were told to renounce their faith verbally and in writing which the two women said they will not do, because they “love Jesus.”
The prosecutor told them to think about the options they were given and come back to him when they are ready to comply though they women said they had already made up their mind not to recant their faith in Christ.
Apostasy in Iran under Islamic ‘Shariah’ Law is death.
CP Europe Correspondent