Evangelical pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who was condemned to death in Iran for “apostasy from the islamic faith” and “propagation of non-islamic doctrine,” appears to stand directly before execution. According to information from the “International Society for Human Rights,” the central prison of Rasht has been instructed to execute Nadarkhani in the coming days.
On their Internet site, the organization reports:
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was condemned to die for changing faiths is supposed to be executed in the next days, according to the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM). The Rasht central prison where Nadarkhani is currently serving a sentence has been instructed by the judicial authorities to prepare for the soon execution of the command. Nadarkhani was sentenced to death by hanging on September 22, 2010, for “propagation of non-islamic doctrine” and “apostasy from islamic faith.” The court was still instructed on December 20, 2011, to work exclusively for at least a year on bringing Nadarkhani back to Islam.
Iran appears not to allow itself to be influenced by the international wave of outrage. They are also coldly leaving the agreement that was ratified by them and is binding by international law: reputable sources report of the pastor’s imminent execution. If the death sentence should be carried out, this would “be not only the first execution with the official justification of ‘apostasy from Islam,’ but also a step back into the Middle Ages,” according to Martin Lessenthin, speaker for the IGFM board. Until now people were constantly executed in Iran, even without the command for execution and without the family being notified. Such notice was not conveyed to Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s family either.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (born 1977) was first arrested in December 2006. The IGFM stresses that, with his conversion to Christianity and his service as a pastor, he was simply exercising his right to freedom of religion. Iran has also bindingly recognized this right in an international agreement. On October 12, 2009, Nadarkhani was arrested again. Since then, the pastor has been incarcerated in a secret service detention center in the city of Lakan.
» Pârse & Pârse: “Das Todesurteil des Pastors Yousef Nadarkhani” (German).
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Posted on PI / Translation: Anders Denken