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Four jailed Iranian Christians denied release, amid coronavirus spread

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The Islamic Republic Judiciary has refused to release four jailed Iranian Christians on bail, despite the deadly outbreak of the novel coronavirus a website advocating Iranian Christian rights, Article 18 reports.

The Christian converts, Yousef Nadarkhani, 42, Mohammad Reza (Yohan) Omidi, 46, and Zaman (Saheb) Fadaei, 36, have made several requests for release on bail since their appeal for a retrial was accepted in October. Their families are worried about them in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and its related deadly disease, Covid-19, Article 18 said.

According to Islamic law it is a crime for a Muslim to convert to another religion. The four are currently serving ten-year sentences in Tehran's infamous Evin prison.

Meanwhile, Fadaei is suffering from health complications and was recently denied treatment in prison despite having fever and hallucination.

The Judiciary in clergy-dominated Iran has boasted of releasing more than 80,000 prisoners in an attempt to contain the novel coronavirus from spreading in prisons. There were about seven imprisoned Christians among the inmates temporarily freed on bail.