Alireza Seyyedian

Released Aug 1, 2015

Held 1,235 days  Arrested March 2012 in Iran

Update August 11, 2015

Alireza Seyyedian, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, was officially released from prison in Iran on Aug. 1 after completing his sentence. He began serving a six-year prison term in March 2012 on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “acting against national security.” His sentence was later reduced to three and a half years. Just before the announcement was made, officials had granted furlough and allowed Alireza to leave the prison on July 27.

Update April 4, 2014

Harsh conditions inside Tehran’s Evin prison are taking a heavy toll on the health and well-being of Alireza Seyyedian.

Alireza’s family was shocked by his condition when he was allowed home for a short period of parole recently. He was described as having “a blank stare, trembling hands and symptoms of psychosis”; he also started vomiting and having seizures.

Alireza, who is serving a six-year sentence for converting to Christianity, told BBC Persia that he was addicted to drugs to counter insomnia, stress and depression, all prescribed by prison doctors.

He has now returned to Evin.


Prisoner Details

Alireza Seyyedian is a 37-year-old former Muslim who has been a Christian since 2006. Last year, security forces confiscated his computer during a raid on his apartment. Authorities then discovered video of Alireza’s baptism in Turkey on the computer. In December 2011 he was sentenced to six years in prison, for crimes against national security and propaganda against the regime.

The judge stated that since Alireza was baptized in Turkey, he was trying to express the lack of freedom in Iran and was therefore was propagating against the regime. He was also accused of holding regular meetings with former Muslims and distributing Bibles among youth. They also said he had communication with Zionist satellite TV channels such as Mohabat TV and Radio Mojde and shared worship hymns he had written with them. The verdict also falsely accused him of being a member of the Jesus Only cult.

On March 14, 2012, Alireza was caught seeking to flee Iran for Turkey. He was arrested and transported back to Tehran where he was imprisoned in Evin prison. He was put in Section 350 of the prison, which is where political prisoners are held. That part of the prison is run by VEVAK, the intelligence service that reports to Ayatollah Khameini and is beyond the control of Iran’s prison authorities. According to one report, the conditions of this section of the prison are unsanitary, and each cell is overcrowded with around 30 political prisoners.

Alireza has never been married.

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