An Iranian pastor and his wife have fled the country after their appeals of yearslong prison sentences related to their involvement in a house church and evangelism were denied.
The Iranian human rights monitoring watchdog organization Article 18 reported Wednesday that Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife, Shamiram Isavi, fled the Islamic Republic instead of turning themselves in to face a combined 15 years in prison.
The couple’s daughter, Dabrina, who met with President Donald Trump last year to advocate for her family members, confirmed that her parents have departed Iran. While she could not disclose their location, she assured Article 18 that they are “safe and well.”
Dabrina Bet Tamraz, who left Iran in the early 2010s, said her parents, who are in their mid-60s, plan to continue fighting their legal battle against Iranian authorities. The couple is determined to return to their home country should the Iranian court overturn their sentences.
“We continue to pray and hope for their sentences to be dropped,” the daughter said. “We pray for justice both for my parents and for all the believers suffering in prisons.”
Last month, Pastor Tamraz was informed that the appeal of his 10-year sentence for acting against national security by conducting house church meetings was denied and that he could no longer appeal the sentence he was given in 2017.
It is believed that Isavi also lost her appeal as she was ordered earlier this month to report to Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, where the regime is known to detain prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.
Isavi was sentenced to five years in prison in 2018 on charges of “membership of a group with the purpose of disrupting national security” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security.” Continue Reading on CP