By Kristin Wright, Director of Advocacy at Open Doors USA
We are happy to report that the three Azerbaijani men arrested in Tehran last June have just been released on bail. They were able to return to Azerbaijan and were reunited with their families on Monday, November 6.
Thank you for raising your voice through signing our petition on this case and also for praying for these men and their families during this difficult time.
Eldar Gurbanov (48), Yusif Farhadov (51) and Bahram Nasibov (37) from Baku in Azerbaijan originally came as tourists to Iran, with the intention of celebrating their friend’s wedding. On Friday, June 24, security agents raided the wedding party and arrested ten people. Most were quickly released, but Eldar, Yusif, Bahram and Naser (an Iranian Christian convert) were taken to Evin Prison for interrogation.
Each of the men are married and have children. Yusif has a young son with Down’s Syndrome. During their confinement, their families faced great uncertainty as they were unable to find out the whereabouts of the men.
They were kept in solitary confinement for two months, during which time they faced interrogation. During this initial detention the men were not allowed access to consular assistance or legal counsel.
In September, the men were moved out of solitary confinement and into Ward 350 in Evin Prison.
Moving forward, we are hopeful they will be acquitted of the charges they face, which include engaging in missionary activity and propaganda against the regime. Please continue to keep this in prayer.
Thank you for remembering these men and their families and making your voice heard on their behalf – and thank you for being a voice for our persecuted brothers and sisters all around the world.