Both he and Sara have been told to expect a summons “any day” to begin their prison sentences.
Article 18 reports that the couple was arrested in 2019 while on vacation in Amol with several other Christian families. While the other Christians were also questioned, only Homayoun and Sara were detained. What happened next is an example of how political prisoners are dealt with in Iran. They were held first in Sari, near Amol, and then taken to the notorious Evin Prison in their home city of Tehran. Political prisoners are often held in what has become known as “Iran’s torture factory.”
Homayoun was released from Evin Prison a month later, but Sara was held for a total of 67 days. Thirty three of those days were in soltary confinement—792 hours of darkness and isolation. During that time, Sara reportedly endured extreme psychological torture.
The couple’s story is not rare. In Iran, where leaving Islam is illegal, Christians are spied on, their homes raided, and quickly charged and arrested for participating in and leading underground house churches. To avoid prison and likely their deaths, Christians are often forced to flee the country, leaving everything they own, to be refugees in a foreign land. Read Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife Shamiram Issavi’s story below.