On January 28, 2019, Mehdi Akbari was arrested alongside three other fellow Christian converts, during coordinated raids on their homes by intelligence agents in the Aryashahr area of Tehran. Mehdi was transferred to Evin Prison where he was placed in solitary confinement and interrogated for 30 days before being released on bail on 18 March 2019.
On 16 June 2020, Mehdi was charged with “acting against national security by forming a house church” by the 28th Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. In July 2019 Mehdi was sentenced by the same branch to 10 years imprisonment. The judge spoke obscenely during the sentencing and refused to listen to his defense. Mehdi was then transferred to Evin Prison and his sentence was communicated to him there on 17 October 2020.
He has appealed his sentence.
On 28 December 2021 Mehdi was informed that his 18-year-old son, Amin Ali, who had underlying health issues, had passed away in the care facility where he had been living since his father’s imprisonment. He was given five days leave, later extended to 10 days, from 1 January, but by that time his son’s funeral had already taken place.
Islamic Republic of Iran
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