Iranian-Armenian pastor, Joseph Shahbazian, has been “fully pardoned” and released after just over one year in prison.
On 7 June, 2022, Joseph was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of ‘Acting against national security by promoting Zionist Christianity’. He was also sentenced to two-years exile following his release, as well as a two-year travel ban and a two-year ban on membership of any church group. On August 30, 2022 Joseph surrendered to state custody and began serving his sentence at Evin Prison. On 24 May, 2023, Joseph’s 10-year prison sentence was reduced to two years by a Court of Appeal in Tehran after the court found “no sufficient reason for choosing the maximum punishment”.
Joseph has now returned to be with his family, which includes his first grandchild, born during his imprisonment.