“In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani.”
But suddenly, Youcef Nadarkhani is not just an apostate, but a “Zionist” and “traitor.” Now he’s also accused of rape and extortion. Nadarkhani’s lawyer said the deputy governor’s comments were the first mention in all this time of “security”-related crimes, as Iran tries to make its case against mounting international pressure and disgust at this case.
“Iranian pastor faces death for rape, not apostasy – report,” from CNN, September 30:
Washington (CNN) — Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will be put to death for several charges of rape and extortion, charges that differ greatly from his original sentence of apostasy, Iran’s semi-official Fars News agency reported Friday.
Gholomali Rezvani, the deputy governor of Gilan province, where Nadarkhani was tried and convicted, accused Western media of twisting the real story, referring to him as a “rapist.” A previous report from the news agency claimed he had committed several violent crimes, including repeated rape and extortion.
“His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity,” Rezvani told Fars. “He is guilty of security-related crimes.”
In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani.
“Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32-years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19,” reads the brief.
The brief was obtained by CNN from the American Center for Law and Justice and was translated from its original Farsi by the Confederation of Iranian Students in Washington.
It goes on to say that during the court proceeding, Nadarkhani denied the prophecy of Mohammad and the authority of Islam.
“He (Nadarkhani) has stated that he is a Christian and no longer Muslim,” states the brief. “During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging according to article 8 of Tahrir — olvasileh.”
Rezvani, the official from Gilan province, confirmed that his execution is “not imminent” nor is it final….
That claim is well worth taking with a grain of salt.