Hanged for being a Christian in Iranwww.thesun.uk.com
Eighteen years ago, Rashin Soodmand’s father was hanged in Iran for converting
to Christianity. Now her brother is in a Mashad jail, and expects to be executed
under new religious laws brought in this summer. Alasdair Palmer reports.
Last Updated: 8:55PM BST 11 Oct 2008
A month ago, the Iranian parliament voted in favour of a draft bill, entitled
“Islamic Penal Code”, which would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian
who leaves his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. The majority in
favour of the new law was overwhelming: 196 votes for, with just seven against.
Imposing the death penalty for changing religion blatantly violates one of the
most fundamental of all human rights. The right to freedom of religion is
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in the European Convention of Human
Rights. It is even enshrined as Article 23 of Iran’s own constitution, which
states that no one may be molested simply for his beliefs.
And yet few politicians or clerics in Iran see any contradiction between a law
mandating the death penalty for changing religion and Iran’s constitution. There
has been ……………………………