Urgent appeal after asylum seeker dies

 The body of an Iranian Christian man, who died suddenly last week, lies in a London hospital morgue, because his family can't afford to pay for his funeral. The man, who was just 45, fled with his wife and two children to England after they were imprisoned and tortured in Iran for converting to Christianity from Islam. During one of the torture sessions, he had a heart attack after his captors staged a mock execution, pulling the trigger of a gun pointed at his head. After he came out of hospital, the family managed to get to this country. But sadly on 5 November the man suffered another heart attack and died. The family's status as asylum seekers means they are not allowed to work and they have no income or entitlement to benefits. The authorities will not pay for a funeral service and the man's remains will be put in a shared, unmarked grave. "This is a desperate situation: a spokeswoman told ICN. "The family are absolutely distraught and anxious to give their Dad a decent funeral and burial." It is understood that a priest has now offered to conduct the funeral free of charge. The charity is hoping to raise enough funds to buy a grave and gravestone. If you can offer this family any assistance please contact Kirsty Bennett on 020 7738 7511 kirsty@prisonersofconscience.org. She will be in the office on Monday and Tuesday. For more information about the charity see: www.prisonersofconscience.org

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