10/06/2006, 00.00
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Christian husband and wife converts from Islam released

Fereshteh and Amir were arrested on september 26 and released yesterday on bail. They were well treated in jail, but so far no charges have been laid against them. The authorities have indicated that their arrest was related to their Christian faith.

Mashad (AsiaNews/ANS) – Iranian Christian couple Fereshteh Dibaj and her husband Amir Montazemi were released yesterday after spending ten days in jail following their September 26 arrest, according to a family source.

Fereshteh Dibai, 28, daughter of an Evangelical clergyman assassinated in 1994, and her husband Amir Montazami, 35, are leaders of a house church in Mashad, a holy city in Iran's Shia Islam in the north-eastern corner of the country.

On september 26, 2006, agents from Iran's secret police raided their home and removed their computer and Christian books. Before they were taken away, Amir was able to call his parents to come and get their 6-year-old daugher Christine. Until yesterday's release, there were no news about their fate.

"God has heard our prayers and he has been good to us," said Fereshteh's brother when he broke the news and thanked all those who prayed and acted on his family's behalf.

The couple said they were not mistreated whilst in custody. Amir was allowed to make a brief call home three days after their arrest, but had no inkling as to his wife's whereabouts.

According to Middle East Concern (MEC), Fereshteh and Amir were released on bail, even though no charges have yet been laid against them.

A MEC press officer said the "authorities indicated that their arrest was connected with their Christian beliefs and activities."

This afternoon the two will be able to reunite with their daughter Christine.

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