Name: Naser Navard Gol Tapeh
Area of Origin: Islamic Republic of Iran
Age: 57 at time of arrest
Background: Naser Tapeh is an Iranian Christian convert who was arrested for his involvement in a Christian party and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Reason for Arrest:
Tapeh was arrested on June 24, 2016 while he was attending a Christian engagement gathering. All of the attendees were arrested, and most were Christian. The majority of the arrested Christians were released after preliminary interrogation and information gathering, but Tapeh and another family retained in custody. There is speculation that he remained detained because his older age made police officials believe he was the leader of the congregation.
Tapeh has not received a lawyer and has been routinely denied his right to due process. After a few months of questioning by government officials, he was convicted in May 2017 for “acting against national security through the formation and establishment of an illegal church organization in his home,” for which he received a 10 year prison sentence and is serving at the notorious Evin Prison as of January 2018, where Iranian Pastory Youcef Nadarkhani remains.
Tapeh appealed his detainment and conviction, but it was ultimately rejected. Tapeh does currently have a lawyer, Hossein Ahmadi Niaz.
Current Status, as of November 2019:
Reports have revealed that Tapeh remains physically and mentally healthy and stable and is encouraged by the fact that he is able to communicate with other Christian prisoners in his ward.