Iran: release of Christian prisoner on medical furlough

Family and friends of Maryam (Naseem) Naghash Zargaran are delighted to say that Maryam has been allowed out of prison to receive medical treatment.

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Maryam (Naseem) Naghash Zargaran

Maryam, a believer from a Muslim background, has been held for nearly three years in Evin Prison in Tehran and has been suffering from a variety of ailments, most recently nausea, severe headaches and pain in her ears. Previously the prosecutor’s office had refused to grant permission for Maryam to be treated outside the prison, even though the medical authorities in the prison recognised the severity of her condition and advised that she needs hospital care.

On Thursday 26th May Maryam started a hunger strike as a protest against the lack of medical care for her. On 30th May Maryam was taken briefly to hospital, but was returned to prison the same day without receiving the necessary treatment. According to sources close to the family, Maryam’s physical condition was becoming increasingly serious and she was close to becoming comatose. The anxieties suffered by Maryam’s family and friends were compounded by the refusal of prison authorities to provide information on Maryam and her condition.

It is reported that permission was granted for Maryam to leave prison on medical furlough on 5th June, but due to problems in bureaucratic procedure her release on bond was delayed until today (6th June).

Maryam was arrested in January 2013 in connection with her work on an orphanage with former Christian prisoner Saeed Abedini. She was charged with “acting against national security” and was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, which she started serving on 15th July 2013 in the women’s ward of Evin Prison. A request for a re-trial was refused.

Family and friends are thankful that Maryam has been released, but please continue to pray that:
a. Maryam will receive proper treatment, and will be restored to good health
b. the Lord will bless Maryam and her family during this time they will have together
c. Maryam will be fully released from prison soon
d. God will move the Iranian authorities and officials to love mercy and act justly

Source: “Middle East Concern”