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July 11, 2009
Two Iranian women face execution for converting to ChristianityTopics: Iran, Political News and commentaries
The two women, Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, and Maryam Rustampoor, 27, have been held for over four months in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, and are facing execution for converting from Islam to Christianity. The Iranian Parliament approved the bill in September 08 that would punish apostasy with the death penalty.
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)-- As the world focuses on the political turmoil in Iran, two detained Christian women are "in danger of being forgotten" amid concerns they may face execution, Iranian Christians said Tuesday, July 7. Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, and Maryam Rustampoor, 27, have been held for over four months in Tehran's notorious Evin prison apparently for converting to Christianity from Islam.Continue reading ...
Iranian Christians and rights investigators said the two young women, who were arrested March 5, suffered sleep deprivation as part of police interrogations and were held in solitary confinement for three weeks in May and early June.
Later, they were put together in one small cell for about two weeks before being moved to a larger area to make place for other inmates, including many protesters who were detained following last month's disputed presidential elections, said Christians with close knowledge about the situation.
About 600 women were reportedly brought to Evin prison during the protests.
There was still no clarity regarding the case of the two Christian women, Tuesday, July 7, with one judge reportedly telling them they were both to be executed as 'apostates'. "Maryam and Marzieh have responded with courage, however, telling the judge to 'expedite his sentence'," said Pray for Iran, an Internet initiative of Iranian churches.
After international pressure, the Iranian Government's Parliamentary Committee reportedly removed articles stipulating the death penalty for apostasy from the Islamic Penal Code Bill, but the changes have to be approved by legislators.
"Until the Islamic Penal Code Bill is finalized by the Iranian Parliament and Guardian Council, there is still a danger that the judicial committee's revisions may not be taken into account," explained Alexa Papadouris, Advocacy Director of Britain-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious rights group.
Apostasy along with murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran, and last week Iranian media reported that at least six people were hanged for murder in the same prison where the two Christian women are held.
Posted by Richard at July 11, 2009 8:21 AM
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