Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh

Released Oct 17, 2022

Held 1,731 days  Arrested January 2018 in Iran

Update October 31, 2022

Naser had requested leave and early release on numerous occasions, always to be denied. His sudden release came as a complete surprise. He was pardoned, along with several other prisoners, by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamanei. On October 15th, only two days before his release, there had been increased concern about his safety, and that of others in the prison, after a fire, gunshots, and explosions were reported in the prison. At least eight people were killed and some 60 injured in the fire event according to state media.

Update September 12, 2022

Naser's health is deteriorating in prison. According to front-line workers, Naser suffers from several ailments, but hearing problems in his left ear cause him to lose balance when walking. Those front-line workers report that Naser was recently taken to Taleqani Hospital near Evin Prison for an MRI examination and is awaiting the results.

Update June 23, 2020

Christian convert Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh has been informed that his retrial – to challenge his 10-year sentence – will not take place. Nasser began serving his sentence in January 2018.

Update February 14, 2020

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh sent out a letter from prison on Jan. 31, 2020. He wrote, “I am confident in all hardships and I believe I will become free by Him who I have hope to (my Lord) because the Lord our God does not forget his children ... so let me be bold and say, ‘The Lord is my helper.’

“Remember me in your prayers always – you know that your prayers are a sweet smelling offering to God and a sacrifice which is accepted and pleasing to him.”

He also requested prayer that his family would come to follow Jesus and for the spread of the gospel in Iran.

Prisoner Details

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was arrested on June 24, 2016 when 30 intelligence agents raided an engagement party at a house in the Andisheh township of Karaj, near Tehran. Everyone present was detained, including three visiting Azeri Christians from Baku, Azerbaijan.

Most of the Christians were released after questioning, but Naser and the Azeris were transferred to Evin prison - some sources suggest that Naser was not released because he was older than the other Christians present and was perceived as the leader.

The four Christians were held in solitary confinement for two months and subjected to intense interrogation. During this time, they were denied consular assistance and legal counsel. They were all charged with "illegal gathering, collusion and evangelism".

In September 2016, they were transferred to shared cells in Evin's Ward 350, and the next month they were temporarily released on bail. The three Azeris - Bahram Nasibov, Yusif Farhadov and Eldar Gurbanov - were allowed to leave Iran in November 2016, forfeiting their bail.

At Naser's trial in May 2017, Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, head of the 26th branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, charged him with "acting against national security through the formation and establishment of an illegal church organization in his home". The court convicted Naser, basing its decision on a Ministry of Intelligence report that allegedly provided evidence that he attempted to undermine national security by establishing an "illegal house church network". The court refused to present the report to Naser's lawyer Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, who was not allowed access to any document in his case file.

On May 23, Judge Ahmadzadeh sentenced Naser to ten years in prison, and the three Azeris were also sentenced, in absentia, to ten years each in prison. The judgments were not communicated to the four Christians until June 12. Naser appealed his sentence, but on Nov. 12, 2017, he lost his appeal at a hearing in the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The three Azeris also appealed and lost, but they are unlikely to be forced to return to Iran to serve their sentences.

Lawyer Hossein Ahmadi Niaz commented, "My client has not broken any of the criminal code and is not guilty of his charges. All other Christians arrested with him also confirmed all of their meetings were strictly focused on their faith and worship and nothing else."

On Jan. 20, 2018, Naser was admitted to section 8, hall 10 of Evin Prison to serve his ten year sentence. He was denied medical treatment for a severe gum infection and was in great pain. His family feared he could lose all his teeth if the authorities continued to deny him treatment. In January 2019, Naser was well and reportedly in good spirits, though he is still in prison.

Petition Officials

  • Ebrahim Raisi


    Mailing Address

    President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Palestine Avenue, Pasteur St., Pasteur Sq.

    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

    Other Contact Information

    Telephone: +98(21)64451

    Fax: 98 21 649 5880


  • Saeed Iravani

    Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

    Email Address

    Mailing Address

    622 Third Avenue

    34th Floor

    New York, NY


    Other Contact Information

    Telephone: 212-687-2020

    Fax: 212-867-7086

  • Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei

    Leader of the Islamic Republic

    Email Address

    Mailing Address

    The Office of the Supreme Leader

    Soahada Street

    Qom, Iran

    Other Contact Information

    Fax: + 98 251 7 774 2228