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Tehran prison.JPG
Reuters
Tehran prison.JPG
Reuters
World News

Iranian pastor unexpectedly freed from prison after eight killed in fire

by Sophie Drew

An Iranian pastor has been released from prison after being pardoned by the Supreme Leader. 

Arrested alongside three Azerbaijani Christians in 2016, Naser Navard Goltapeh was due to serve ten years in Evin Prison in Tehran for "acting against national security through forming and establishing illegal house churches". 

The jail is known for its questionable approach to human rights. Some campaigners claim the prison uses threats of torture to enforce discipline, and that medical care is often not granted. 

Less than a year after his sentencing, Goltapeh attempted to appeal but was unsuccessful. 

On 17th October, Goltapeh was pardoned by Ali Khamanei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, under unexpected circumstances. 

As protests continue in Iran, the fate of prisoners in Evin has caused international concern. 

Hundreds of people partaking in the anti-government protests have been sent to the notorious jail. After a fire broke out on Saturday night, eight inmates have been killed and dozens injured, according to Iran's judiciary. 

Authorities claim the fire began in a prison workshop after a fight amongst inmates. Some Iranian news stations suggest the blaze came the devastating side effect of a foiled escape plan. 

However, some eyewitnesses have told international news outlets that the fire was not caused by the prisoners.

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