Displaying items by tag: false charges
On 24 June a court in Kano State acquitted Professor Solomon Tarfa on charges of ‘running an illegal orphanage’ and ‘criminal conspiracy and abduction of minors’. He has faced a series of false charges, including child abduction and forgery, and appears to have been targeted simply for running a Christian orphanage. On Christmas Day 2019, over 60 plain-clothes policemen raided his orphanage and arrested him. Later, 27 children were removed from the orphanage and placed in a government-run home, where they have been harassed, prevented from attending church, and reportedly assaulted. Five of the youngest children were forcibly relocated to an orphanage in a remote area. A source said that three of these children looked ‘ill and emaciated’ and had had their names changed to Muslim ones. The ordeal is not over. Sixteen children are still waiting to be returned home, and Professor Tarfa will appear in court again on 27 July to defend the forgery charge.
Armenian-Lebanese Vicken Euljekjian, a civilian prisoner of war captured when Azerbaijan invaded Nagorno-Karabakh and seized new territory, has been indicted on three counts: participation as a mercenary in a military conflict, committing terrorism, and illegally crossing into Azerbaijan. These charges are falsely leveled against Euljekjian. They are part of the joint attempt by Azerbaijan and Turkey to justify their genocidal actions in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan invaded Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2020, with the support of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries. The brutality of the invasion demonstrated an intent of ethnic-religious cleansing towards Karabakh’s Armenian Christian community, whose presence in the region predates the Islamic Turkish presence.
Slaughtering Nigerian Christians continues unabated. An average of ten Christians are killed daily. A recent episode was at the hands of the government, which executed six Christian soldiers in Abuja on false charges. A Muslim colonel stole weapons from an armoury, but six Christian soldiers on duty got blamed for the theft. Their lawyer claimed they died ‘purely because they were Igbo and Christian. The government of today detests Christianity and detests the Igbo tribe.’ He had petitioned the government to provide a defence, but his attempt was denied and they were executed in secret. Nigeria’s constitution gives the military no authority to execute people, and prisoners should be able to appeal to a higher court. They didn’t get their rights. The military now claims that they were never executed, but they have not been seen by their families or in public.
Ebrahim’s ordeal began in 2013 when he was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of internal exile in the remote town of Sarbaz for ‘propaganda against the regime by establishing and organising Christian gatherings’ and ‘having contacts with anti-revolutionary networks outside Iran’. He expected to be released in 2015, but instead he was retried and sentenced to an additional five years in prison for ‘acting against national security’. On 27 September, he had to answer a further charge of ‘propaganda against the state’, carrying a prison sentence of three to twelve months. Thankfully, the next day the case closed for lack of evidence. Iranian Christians are thankful that the prosecutor did not press charges, but request prayer that Ebrahim will know the Lord’s peace during this time of increased pressure from the authorities, even while continuing to serve the internal exile sentence.
Three women, charged with 'inciting prostitution' for not wearing veils, have been sentenced to 42 years in prison between them. Now, with Covid-19 cases confirmed in prisons across Iran, they are in more danger than ever. Monireh, Yasaman and Mojgan have done nothing wrong; thousands are calling on the head of the judiciary to release them immediately. As an act of peaceful protest, the unveiled women handed out flowers to female passengers on a Tehran metro train. They were filmed sharing their hopes for Iranian women on International Women’s Day. Days after the video went viral on social media, they were charged with sham offences including ‘inciting prostitution’ for promoting unveiling. Prisoners in Iran are at particular risk because they are unable to take the same social distancing and hygiene measures as those outside prison to protect themselves.
Pastor David Lynn leads a Toronto church and has preached on the streets for 22 years without conviction. He also heads up Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries, which has 40,000 supporters and a YouTube channel with 8.8 million views. When he preached outside Barking tube station on 20 March, he was arrested and kept in custody for over 20 hours. David began preaching at 1 pm, and at 3.30 pm a group of supporters joined him. He preached about people searching for love in the wrong places; only through a right relationship with Christ can this deep need be satisfied. A large crowd formed, and David handed the microphone to onlookers to allow them to respond to his preaching. Fortunately his preaching was videoed, so that when a lady accused him of calling her ‘perverse’ and ‘sinful’ the footage of the event did not substantiate her complaint.