A 65 year old Iranian-Assyrian Christian, Shamiram Issavi her 66 year old husband, Victor Bet-Tamraz have fled their homeland of Iran hours before reporting to their prison sentence.
The couple was charged for participating in an "unlawful and unauthorized gathering" and acting "against national security by organizing and conducting house churches," when they were in fact holding a Christmas celebration at home with three other church members.
Victor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his participation in "house-churches." Shamiran was sentenced to 5 years in prison for "participating in foreign seminars" and "acting against Iranian national security. Victor and Shamiram's son, Ramiel, was charged with "acting against national security" and "organizing and creating house churches."
Victor's appeal was rejected and 3 week later, Shamiram's appeal also got rejected and was summoned to Evin Prison also known as "Iran's torture factory" to start their sentences.
Shamiram and Victor's daughter, Dabrina, who currently resides in Switzerland shared with Article18 that her parents are currently "safe and well."
The couple have a combined sum of 15 years of prison sentence and Dabrina worries for her senior parents' health and safety as her father, Victor, is turning 66 next month and her mother Shamiram turns 65 in December.
"We continue to pray and hope for their sentences to be dropped." Dabrina shared. "We pray for justice both for my parents and for all the believers suffering in prisons."
Such invasive and brutal persecution towards Christians is what drove the couple to make a difficult decision of fleeing their homeland. Christians are not allowed to freely gather and worship and to flee to another country to worship is not easy for Iranian refugees because they are often ostracized for their unstable resident status. The senior couples are planning to overturn the unjust prison sentences abroad.