Three Azerbaijani Christians have been arrested in Iran and are being detained without charge.

On Friday 24th June Iranian security agents raided an engagement party in Tehran attended by Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov from Baku, Azerbaijan. Initially about ten people were arrested, but most were soon released. However Eldar, Yusif, Bahram and an Iranian Christian were taken to an unknown destination for interrogation.

After their arrest the Azerbaijani detainees were able to contact their families once or twice. They were kept in solitary confinement and consular officials from the Azerbaijan Embassy in Tehran were not allowed to see them. They had no access to legal assistance.

The families of the Azerbaijanis detained have issued this appeal for help and the safe return of their husbands and fathers:

“On 22nd June 2016 our husbands and fathers – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – travelled to Tehran in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They were invited as guests in Iran to participate in an engagement ceremony and meet with their Iranian friends. As we discovered later, they were arrested on 24th June by security agents during an engagement ceremony and they have not been charged with any crime. Eldar (48), Yusif (51) and Bahram (37) are all married and have children. Yusif has a young son with Down’s Syndrome under his care. They have not been charged with any crime and their future is unknown to all of us. We ask all who are concerned to help our husbands and fathers to return safely to their homes!”

Friends and family of the three Azerbaijani men detained ask for prayer for their welfare and release. They also request that petitions be sent to Iranian Embassies or to the Iranian authorities directly.

PHOTOS OF: BAHRAM AND CAMILLA NASIBOV; ELDAR AND AIDA GURBANOV; YUSIF AND LALA FARHADOV

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