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article imageIran: Lecturer faces death penalty for 'enmity towards God'

By Alessio Fratticcioli     Mar 11, 2012 in World
Teheran - Professor Abdolreza Ghanbari, a lecturer at Payame Nour University in Teheran, Islamic Republic of Iran, was charged with Moharebeh (enmity towards God) and he is waiting to be executed.
The 44-year-old academic was arrested on 4 January 2010.
According to Labour Start, the man's confession was not genuine for the fact that the accused "has been interrogated for 25 days in a row and forced to confess under duress to unproven charges."
Mr Abdolreza Ghanbari's lawyer was himself condemned to a six year sentence for "propaganda against the regime" and "acting against national security".
The professor has been waiting on death row since his sentence was confirmed by Tehran’s Appeal Court in April 2010.
The professor had asked for a pardon, but the request was rejected on 28 February by the Commission of Justice in Tehran, which gave the green light to the authorities to proceed with the execution.
According to IranHumanRights.org, the professor's "only “crime” has been to participate in the public protests of Ashura and chanting slogans against Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader."
The international federation of teacher unions, Education International, issued the appeal to revoke the death sentence.
A day before, the UN had published a report by its special rapporteur on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which called for a “moratorium on the death penalty for all crimes until such time as effective enforcement of due process rights may be meaningfully demonstrated”.
According to the report, the number of executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran has risen nearly sevenfold from fewer than 100 cases in 2003 to about 670 in 2011.
More about Iran, God, Death penalty, Islam, academic freedom
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