Rev. Vruir Avanessian who was subjected to on-going interrogations while in custody inside the infamous Evin Prison was temporarily freed on Thursday Jan 10, 2013.
According to news received Re. Vruir was granted bail by posting personal real property valued at 150 million toomans (Approximately $60,000 USD). Furthermore, he was ordered to wait for the court summons in relation to his file.
So far there have been no charges or reasons given for the arrest and detention of this Christian pastor, but it is likely that his arrest was due to his alleged contacts with Christian converts inside Iran.
Rev. Vruir Avanessian is an Armenian Iranian Christian along with several other Christian converts who had gathered at a home in the Northern part of Tehran to celebrate Christmas and to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ prayers and fellowship were arrested by the secret police of the Ministry of Information.
Other participants that have been estimated to be approximately 50 men and women were detained at the location for several hours and were given questionnaires to complete. These form contained questions about the full name, address, and other personal information such as face book and email account ID and passwords and cell phone numbers. After the completion of these questionnaires all participants were give permission to leave.
- Search and seizure of several homes of believers connected with the case of Rev. Vruir
It has also been reported that the security forces raided and searched the homes of several families suspected of having connections with Rev. Vruir. Some of the secret police officers who entered the homes of these suspected Christians had masks over the face to prevent them from being identified. These security officers, despite their polite and considerate mannerism, entered the homes in question and after their search seized several laptops, hard drives, flash memory stick, books, and other Christian literature and took them away.
- The Reaction of the Armenian Community's Islamic parliament members
Other received reports indicate that some of the Armenian members of the Islamic Parliament had initiated efforts to seek the freedom of this Armenian pastor and ensure his well-being and health during his time in custody. This report has not been independently verified by Mohabat News.
The arrest and detention of Rev. Avanessian who is 60 years old happens at a time that due his serious illnesses such as diabetes and kidney failure requires serious medical attention. During his 15 days detention at the Evin prison and his critical need for dialysis three times a week, he was transported by the prison officers to the dialysis clinic of Shahid Hashemi-Nejad hospital and returned back to the prison.
Rev. Vruir Avanessian was the senior pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Narmank, a suburb of Tehran, and due to his serious heart disease and several operations retired from active church ministry several years ago.