A Christian pastor who has been held in Iran's notorious Evin prison since 2010 will be released two years early in an apparent goodwill gesture by Tehran.
"Farshid Fathi has been told by prison officials that he will be released on December 10, 2015," instead of December 2017, Iranian Elam Christian Ministries said on its website
Farshid is currently serving a six-year sentence for what the government claimed was violations of national security. His family says he was only "being a Christian and freely exercising his faith."
Farshid was arrested at his home in Tehran by agents of the Intelligence Ministry in December 2010 and imprisoned. Supporters say he was held in solitary confinement and brutally interrogated.
The Revolutionary Court in Tehran later convicted Farshid for "action against the national security" because he cooperated with foreign evangelical organizations.
The Russian Orthodox Church claimed to play a role in Farshid's early release. It said Moscow's Patriarch Kirill in April sent a letter to Tehran asking authorities to show mercy to imprisoned Christians.