Iranian Pastor has been abused while in prisonThe mistreatment of a pastor in Iran awaiting a decision on his death sentence for refusing to recant his faith amounts to physical and psychological torture, a source close to the pastor’s family said.
Yousef Nadarkhani, sentenced to death a year ago after a court of appeals in Rasht, Iran, found him guilty of leaving Islam in September 2010, is in deteriorating health, according to a member of Nadarkhani’s denomination, the Church of Iran, who requested anonymity.
The church member said that communication with Nadarkhani is limited, but that sources close to the imprisoned Christian indicated that he has undergone physical and psychological torture.
“Certainly he was hit, but his [telephone] conversations are heard [by authorities],” the source said.
“We know that he has been in extreme situations, and we consider that torture. When you have spent time in a solitary cell unable to talk to others for a long time, or you are told you will be killed, this is also torture.”
Compass says authorities have also continued to pressure Nadarkhani to recant his faith while in prison. The court in Rasht was expected to pronounce a verdict on Nadarkhani’s appeal last month, but instead sent the Christian’s case to the nation’s Islamic authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, to make a ruling.
Some sources indicate a ruling could come the second half of December.
Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries told ANS: “This is accurate in regards to the past. We have never received direct word from Youcef about being tortured or beaten, though visitors have seen evidence of this at one point. And of course in the past he was in solitary confinement and as has been stated elsewhere long periods of this can cause mental trauma, although we have not seen any evidence in Youcef of being in a bad mental state.”
DeMars added: “He has been strong mentally and strong in faith. And of course he has been told multiple times over the course of his incarceration that he would be executed if he does not recant.”