Iranian Supreme Court returns Pastor Nadarkhani’s case to lower court

By Reuters Staff
October 11, 2011

(Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, lawyer of Yousef Nadarkhani who was sentenced to death for apostasy, is interviewed by Reuters in his office in Tehran October 3, 2011S/Raheb Homavandi )

Iran’s Supreme court sent back the case of a Christian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy to the lower court that tried him, saying there had been insufficient investigation before the original trial, students news agency ISNA said on Tuesday.

Yousof Nadarkhani, 33, was arrested and sentenced to death in the northern city of Rasht in 2009. An appeals court upheld his sentence last year after he refused to reconvert to Islam, his lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told Reuters last week.

“The Supreme Court has returned the case of Nadarkhani to the lower court that originally issued the death sentence … The decision was made due to insufficient investigations,” ISNA quoted a statement issued by the judiciary.

“The court will issue a new verdict … if Nadarkhani appeals the verdict then the case will be sent again to the Supreme Court,” the statement said.

Iran’s judiciary officials were not available to comment.

The United States and Britain’s Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Church, have called on Iran to spare Nadarkhani’s life. Iranian leaders reject claims by Western human rights groups that the Islamic Republic pressures religious minorities.

Read the full story by Parisa Hafezi here.

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One comment

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Iran, once again, a Muslim country demonstrating intolerance towards minorities. These middle eastern countries always complain about Israel discriminating against Palestinians , yet they are far worse in that they kill minorities without due process.

The Western countries need to step up and denounce Iran and all countries which discriminate, sentence to death, or other medieval punishment, without due process, any minority group or individual.

The West also needs to discriminate against Muslims within their own countries until countries like Iran, Pakistan and SaudiArabia transforms themselves into real democracies, protecting all their citizens by applying equal and fair laws, with due process, to all.

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