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Published on 09 July, 2012

New charges may be coming in apostasy case

Iran
(CSW/MNN) — Sunday July 8 marked 1,000 days since Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was
imprisoned in Iran for apostasy.

According
to a report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Iranian Pastor Youcef
Nadarkhani may face fresh charges in September.

The
report makes note of new charges that may concern crimes against national security
and possibly blasphemy in order to make his death sentence appear more
acceptable. September 8, 2012 appears
to be the new date for trial, according to CSW sources.

Nadarkhani
faces the death penalty. Without the intervention of Supreme Leader or the Head
of the Iranian Judiciary, authorities will carry out the Supreme Court ruling,
which upheld the conviction.

It
means Nadarkhani could be executed if he refuses to recant. Voice of the Martyrs says he has been pressured
consistently–offered freedom in exchange for renouncing his faith on at least
four occasions–but refuses to do so.

In
a public statement, CSW's Advocacy
Director Andrew Johnston said, "CSW is deeply concerned at reports that
Pastor Nadarkhani may face fresh charges in September. The Iranian government
is increasingly bringing charges against Christians on political grounds to
mask the fact that like Pastor Nadarkhani and Pastor Fathi Malayeri, they have been
arrested and imprisoned solely on account of their faith.

"We
are also concerned by the lack of due process in these cases and continue to
call for the immediate and unconditional release of Pastor Nadarkhani, Pastor
Fathi Malayeri, and others who are unjustly imprisoned or facing execution
following flawed judicial processes. CSW urges the Iranian authorities to ensure
respect for the right to freedom of religion, which is guaranteed in the
international covenants to which Iran is a signatory, including the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)."

Please
continue to pray for wisdom and strength for Pastor Nadarkhani and for those trying
to help him. Ask God to change hearts, and pray for open doors.

CSW is a Christian organization working for
religious freedom through advocacy and human rights in the pursuit of justice.

 

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  • Primary Language: Persian, Iranian
  • Primary Religion: Islam
  • Evangelical: 0.2%
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