According to Moahabat News, Rev. Vruir Avanessian, an Armenian Iranian pastor, was taken to a local hospital from his cell at Evin detention center to receive much needed kidney dialysis treatment and then was transferred back to the prison.
The 60 year old pastor was taken to Shahid Hashemi-Nejad hospital's dialysis wing located in the Vanak area of Tehran, accompanied by several prison guards. The local weather was extremely cold and he was escorted wearing only a thin prison uniform, without any proper outer clothing. He was subsequently returned to the prison after the completion of the much needed medical procedure.
He was allowed a brief visit with his wife, Rima Avanessian, at the hospital.
Eye-witnesses reported that the Christian pastor, who has served the Christian community for more than 17 years and is in critical health, was taken to the hospital to receive treatment, wearing a uniform that is used only for convicted/formally charged criminals.
This occurred while the presiding chairman of the Social Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran's parliament declared in a recent report that Iranian prisons are like hotels and contrary to other countries, the Islamic Republic treats even the convicted criminals with dignity and respect!
Rev. Avanessian was being treated as a convict, although he has not been charged with any crimes and has not even been informed of the reasons for his arrest. Also, he was transported to the hospital in a prison uniform that reserved for convicted criminals.
Sources indicate that the health of this 60 year old pastor is fragile and the ongoing detention, given the current condition of detention centers and prisons in Iran, could pose a grave danger to the frail Christian leader.
Rev. Avanessian is currently suffering from heart disease and several operations that resulted in his premature retirement from ministry. Also, due to his diabetes and kidney dysfunction, he requires regular dialysis on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays each week at the dialysis clinic of Hashemi-Nejad Hospital.
It must be remembered that Rev. Vruir Avanessian along with 50 other newly converted Christians, who had gathered at a residence in the Northern suburbs of Tehran to celebrate and worship God on the arrival of the festive season of Christmas, were interrupted by security officers and detained for several hours. He, unlike others, was taken to an unknown location for further interrogation and detention.
Mohabat News has learned that after the arrest of this Christian musician, and his transfer to an unknown location, on Friday, December 28, Pastor Avanessian was given permission to contact his family by phone for one minute to inform them of his health and well-being. He was apparently unable to give much explanation about the state of his health or his location.
On Saturday, December 29, one of the prison staff contacted home of Pastor Avanessian and asked his wife to bring his medication to the prison. While delivering the necessary medications to the prison authorities, Mrs. Rima Avanessian warned them that prison and security authorities would be responsible for any mishaps that could endanger the health and life of her husband.
Although no one has yet formally explained the reasons behind Pastor Avanessian's arrest and detention, it seems unimaginable to forbid a Christian minister from attending a special celebration and gathering commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christian communities and churches around the world are requested to pray for Rev. Vruir Avanessian, for the quick resolution of any misunderstanding about his case and for freedom of this Christian musician and minister.