Bahai News - IRAN REJECTS REPORTS OF RELIGIOUS PROSECUTIONS
BBC MONITORING INTERNATIONAL REPORTS:
IRAN REJECTS REPORTS OF RELIGIOUS PROSECUTIONS
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom, Feb 14, 2000, 201 words
An Iranian judicial official on Monday denied reports that three members
of the Bahai faith had been sentenced to death because of their religious
beliefs, Iranian TV reported.
Judicial Authority spokesman Nur Mohammad Sabeqi was quoted as saying
that the "three individuals are charged with taking action against the
country's security, and there is no question what-so-ever of prosecuting
them for their belief".
"In accordance with our Shari'ah and legal regulations, we believe that
no-one should be punished purely for his belief, let alone condemning
someone to such a heavy punishment as death," he said.
Sabeqi also reiterated Iranian denials that the three had been given the
"A death sentence was issued at first, but the State Supreme Court of
Justice overruled the verdict and returned the file to the court. The
court again criticized the file and passed it to another branch of the
same legal status. But this branch refused to investigate the file. At any
rate, no new verdict has been issued over the past few months," he said.
Another judicial official said on Sunday, after US President Bill Clinton
had urged Tehran not to execute the three men, that they had not been
sentenced to death and "expressed surprise" at the US president's concern.
Source: Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1, Tehran, in
Persian 14 Feb 00
©Copyright 2000, BBC/Monitoring
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