Iran: fear for the lives of church leaders: Rev. Mehdi Dibaj, Rev. Tatavous Michaelian

There is grave concern for the safety of church leaders following the deaths of Reverend Mehdi Dibaj and Reverend Tatavous Michaelian. Rev. Tatavous Michaelian, an Armenian Christian and Chairman of the Council of Protestant Ministers, had reportedly not been seen since leaving his home on 29 June. Reports indicate that on 2 July his son was called by the authorities to identify his body. Rev. Mehdi Dibaj had reportedly not been seen since 24 June. He had been arrested on 21 December 1993 and sentenced to death on charges of apostasy. He had been released on 16 January 1994, although the charges against him were not dropped. On 20 January another church leader, Rev. Haik Hovsepian Mehr, was found dead. He had been outspoken in his defence of Mehdi Dibaj and had campaigned against his death sentence.

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