February 21, 2012
Iran Set to Execute Christian for Apostacy
We are hearing reports from our contacts in Iran that the execution orders for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani may have been issued.Our prayers go with Pastor Youcef and his family.
Pastor Youcef’s situation – an innocent man convicted and sentenced to death for becoming a Christian – has not been this dire since we first brought his case to your attention last year.
It is unclear whether Pastor Youcef would have a right of appeal from the execution order. We know that the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, must approve publicly held executions, but only a small percentage of executions are held public—most executions in Iran are conducted in secret.
There has also been a disturbing increase in the number of executions conducted by the Iranian regime in the last month.
Iran is actively violating its human rights obligations by sentencing and detaining Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. We call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Youcef immediately.
We are continuing to work to help spare the life of Pastor Youcef, and will provide additional updates on his situation as we are able.