For those who are keeping score at home, in the past two weeks, Joseph Nadarkhani has gone from being a Christian pastor charged with apostasy from Islam to a traitor and a Zionist, a rapist, and now the proprietor of a brothel. Never mind that “in a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani.”
Iran may find it too much of a liability to make the apostasy charge stick and carry out Sharia’s punishment of execution for it. But Iranian authorities are nonetheless experienced in psychological warfare, sending the message to Nadarkhani’s family, congregation, and supporters that they cannot stop them from charging him with whatever they please and keeping him behind bars for the rest of his life, just because they can.
“Iran denies death penalty for convert,” from Iran’s own PressTV, October 5:
An Iranian judiciary official has denied reports that Youssef Nadar-Khani, an Iranian citizen, has been sentenced to death for converting to Christianity Press TV reports.
“Youssef Nadar-Khani has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him,” Gilan Province Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Javad Heshmati said on Wednesday.
“There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case,” he added.
The official noted that further information will be released to the public “after the investigations and the court sessions are over.”
On Saturday, Deputy Governor of Gilan Province Ali Rezvani said Nadar-Khani is guilty of security charges and running a brothel but his verdict has not been finalized.
“This individual is guilty and his crime is not attempting to convert others to Christianity, rather his crimes are of a security nature,” he stated.
Western media have manipulated the case of Nadar-Khani, a convicted rapist and extortionist in Gilan Province, to wage an anti-Iran publicity campaign by falsely claiming that his criminal conviction his conversion to Christianity and acting as a ‘priest.’
Iran has firmly refuted Western allegations of violating human rights, insisting that Nadar-Khani has a history of committing violent crimes and that he has never received a death penalty for his religious preference.
Also from the 2010 court document quoted above: “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.”
And never mind the repeated trips to court where Nadarkhani has been given the opportunity to “repent” of his conversion to avoid death, which he has refused to do four times. He was sentenced to hang by the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court in the province of Gilan.