Iran Human RightsIran’s intelligence agents arrest daughter of murdered priest

Iran’s intelligence agents arrest daughter of murdered priest

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Iran Focus: London, Sep. 30 – Agents of Iran’s dreaded Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have arrested the daughter of a Christian priest whose high-profile murder 12 years ago was met with international condemnation, a Christian news agency reported on Friday. Iran Focus

London, Sep. 30 – Agents of Iran’s dreaded Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have arrested the daughter of a Christian priest whose high-profile murder 12 years ago was met with international condemnation, a Christian news agency reported on Friday.

Fereshteh Dibaj, 28-year-old daughter of Reverend Mehdi Dibaj, was arrested on Tuesday with her husband Reza Montazami, 35, in their home in the north-eastern city of Mashad, the news agency Compass Direct News reported.

The report said that secret agents raided their apartment at 7 am and transferred the couple to a local intelligence branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Their six-year-old daughter was reportedly in the apartment at the time.

The couple lead an independent house church in Mashad, where the government executed a convert Christian pastor in 1990, it said.

In July 1994, Mehdi Dibaj, a minister of the Assemblies of God who had converted from Islam, was murdered in a gruesome manner along with two Christian bishops. Prior to his murder, Rev. Dibaj had spent more than nine years in prison, on the charge of “apostasy”.

Tehran initially blamed the 1994 murders on the opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK) and brought several former members of the group on television to testify that they were responsible for the killings.

But in the aftermath of the 1997 “serial murders” of dissidents and intellectuals in Iran, which for the first time lifted the lid on numerous killings by the Intelligence Ministry, journalist Akbar Ganji shed light on the murders, revealing that it had been an “inside-job” sanctioned on the orders of Deputy Intelligence Minister Saeed Emami and carried out by a team under the command of Mahmoud Saeedi.

Officials in the Khatami administration later acknowledged that the murders of Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr, Bishop Tateos Michaelian, and Reverend Mehdi Dibaj were politically-motivated killings by the MOIS to tarnish the image of the Iranian opposition group.

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