Iran: Death sentence upheld for ‘insulting the Prophet’

Soheil Arabi - sentenced to death in Iran for Blasphemy
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By Lisa Daftari

Only a day after an extension was announced on the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Tehran, news broke that Iranian courts confirmed the death sentence for the Internet activist who was imprisoned for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad.

Soheil Arabi, 30, a photographer, came under regime scrutiny in November 2013 for his various Facebook posts. He was allegedly active under multiple accounts.

Arabi was arrested together with his wife, Nastaran Naeimi, who was released after a few hours.

The couple has a five-year-old daughter.

According to Arabi’s wife, the only evidence the government has against her husband are printouts of his alleged Facebook pages. She maintains he did not write many of the posts personally.

Arabi was found guilty in a Tehran Criminal Court in August of 2014 for offending the Prophet.

In Islamic Law, those who insult the Prophet are punishable by death. However, if the individual was quoting someone or speaking in error or in anger, the sentence can be reduced to lashes.

Arabi had a chance to appeal his death sentence, which was then denied and the sentence upheld, just as world powers met with the Iranian regime in Vienna, giving them an extension of six months to come to an agreement on the country’s contested nuclear arms program.

Human rights groups around the world have pointed to Iran’s egregious violation of rights against its citizens.

Critics of the Iran deal here in the U.S., including bi-partisan lawmakers, also point to Iran’s frequent use of capital punishment and excessive imprisonment.

Two American citizens, Pastor Saeed Abedini and Marine Amir Hekmati still remain in Iranian prisons. Their release has not been negotiated as a part of the ongoing nuclear talks.

2 Comments on Iran: Death sentence upheld for ‘insulting the Prophet’

  1. As I am not in an Islamic State, I can say freely what I have to say. The problem is Islamic Law. It was written in another age for a different people. It was brutel and cruel even back then though. Was it meant to be so brutal and adhered to? Adhereents of it are carryign out brutality. They are not excused. Islamic Law was not written by god. Religious books were not written by god. At best they were transcribed by fallible prophets. At worst they were written to create a new order / a new empire. Prophets were not and are not right about every thing. When we in England back 500 years ago had literal adherents of The Bible in power then we had burnings and drownings of so called witches (which did not exist by the way) and we had the imprisonment and lashing of heretics (people who did not agree with the regime). That was a cruel and barbaric time in England. Literalist adherents of religions believed they were doing right then just as adherents of Islamic Law believe they are doing right now. This man, Soheil Arabi, and others like him, expose the insanity and cruelty of Islamic Law. Take what is bad out of your Islamic Law. If you can’t accept someone speaking out in even the articulate manner which Soheil has done, and if you believe that he deserves imprisonment and lashes for having done so, then you are cruel and barbaric – whether you know it or accept it or not. Yes, of course your literalist Islamic Mullars will tell you otherwise. Your leaders are more stuck in their ways than you are.

  2. Those who insulting prophet Mohammad (saw) I will burn them alive

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