[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Wed Feb 22 09:03:51 CST 2012
Nadarkhani execution fears, death sentence may take place at any time
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been informed that Pastor Nadarkhani’s
lawyer is trying to confirm reports that the Iranian authorities have decided
to execute the pastor. There are grave concerns that the death sentence could
be carried out at any time without prior notification and that the authorities
will merely announce it later, a practice that is not uncommon in Iran.
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is facing a death sentence for apostasy, and has been
awaiting a final decision on the verdict for several months. On at least 4
occasions he has been offered freedom in exchange for renouncing his faith, but
has consistently refused to do so.
CSW has also received reports that the long-awaited trial of Farshid Fathi
Malayeri, an evangelical church leader who has been held in prison since
December 2010, took place on 5 February in a Revolutionary Court based in Evin
Prison. The court is expected to deliver its verdict in 3 months time. Mohabat
News reports that the trial had been postponed several times.
The father-of-2 was arrested by the authorities on 26 December 2010 during
raids which targeted a large number of Christian citizens and house church
members, many of whom were later released after exorbitant bail payments.
Farshid Fathi Malayeri was kept in solitary confinement for a large part of his
incarceration, and interrogated by agents working for the Ministry of
Intelligence about his church activities and contacts abroad. The equivalent of
£120,000 was demanded as bail for his release, but when his family eventually
managed to raise the money, the authorities refused to release him.
Fathi is now reportedly being held in the general ward of the prison. He is
believed to be in good health and his family has been allowed to visit him.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “CSW is deeply concerned at the very
real possibility that Pastor Nadarkhani’s death sentence could be carried out
at any time, despite the fact that there is no legal basis for this sentence.
We urge the international community to press the Iranian government to release
Pastor Nadarkhani, Farshid Fathi Malayeri and others who are unjustly
imprisoned or facing execution following flawed judicial processes. It is
unacceptable that Farshid Fathi Malayeri had to endure over a year of
incarceration while awaiting his trial date, including a lengthy time in
solitary confinement. CSW also remains deeply concerned at the ongoing
harassment and imprisonment of Christians, Baha’is and other minorities,
actions which contravene international covenants to which Iran is signatory,
including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),
which guarantees freedom of religion. We urge the Iranian authorities to follow
due process, and ensure respect for the right to freedom of religion.”
(source: Christian Today)
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