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Iranian Judicial Authorities Order the Release of Ramtin Soodmand

According to news received by FCNN, the judicial authorities have ordered the release of our brother Ramtin Soodmand.

In this report received, Ramtin’s lawyer, who had been in telephone contact with the judicial court of Mashhad and the office of Mr. Mottaghi, the local prosecutor, announced that subsequent to negotiations conducted between the Ministry of Information central offices in Tehran and the Christian representative of Iranian Christian community, Mr. Forootan who is the assistant to the judge, ordered the release of Ramtin Soodmand subject to the posting of a bail and other legal restrictions. He was to be released on Thursday October 16, 2008, but due to the weekend holidays the date has been postponed.

It is important to remember that Ramtin Soodmand, who is the official minister of the Evangelical Church of Iran in Mashhad, was arrested and detained by the officers of the ministry of information on August 21, 2008.

His lawyer, in filing papers with the court regarding the illegality of his client’s arrest and the violation of his rights, under the current law, to be formally charged and bail hearing to be conducted within 10 days of his arrest, strongly protested that actions of the government.

Finally, Ramtin was formally charged with the crime of anti-government activities, a charge which his lawyer strongly denied and demanded the release of his client. So far, there has been no date set for Ramtin’s trail by the judge.

FCNN reiterates that these charges are unfounded and false. The real reason for his arrest is the fact that he is a Muslim convert who is involved in Christian ministry. Also, it must be mentioned that another Christian minister, Shroder Ashur, an Assyrian minister, who was also charged with the crime of propagation of Christianity, was recently released in the city of Urumieh on October 5, 2008.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper recently carried a moving article about Ramtin Soodmand, a 35-year-old Iranian Christian who was arrested on the 20th August and is presently in prison awaiting charges. Amnesty International have identified Ramtin as a prisoner of conscience. They state, “He is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and is being held in an unknown location. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately as he has been detained solely for his religious beliefs.”

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