An Iranian Christian convert has had his 10-year prison sentence upheld after losing his appeal.

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was sentenced in May alongside three Azerbaijanis. All four men were given 10-year sentences for “missionary activities” and “actions against national security” in Iran.

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh with his 3 Azerbaijanis friends – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov

However, the three Azerbaijanis – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – were allowed to leave Iran in November 2016 and are unlikely to be forced to return, despite their representatives also failing to overturn their verdicts during the 12 November hearing, World Watch Monitor says.

The four men were arrested in June 2016 after security agents raided a wedding party in Tehran. They spent four months in prison, but were then released on bail, after which the Azerbaijanis travelled home.

The charges against the men were described as “unwarranted and unjustifiable” by Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

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