US Department Of State Press Statement On Death Sentence Of Mohammad Ali Taheri

Taheri’s Name In U.S. Commission On International Religious Freedom 2016 Report

All News, Death Sentence, International Reports

Source: United States Institute of Peace

U.S. Commission On International Religious Freedom 2016 Report says:

‘Religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate in Iran in 2015 and 2016, according to a new report by theU.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. President Hassan Rouhani has fallen short on his campaign promises to improve the status religious minorities. The commission found that government actions “continued to result in physical attacks, harassment, detention, arrests, and imprisonment.”

The commission also recommended Iran’s re-designation as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC. The State Department first designated Iran as a CPC on religious freedom in 1999. The United States has imposed restrictions on imports and exports to Iran under the International Religious Freedom Act since 2011. The following are excerpts from the report, followed by a link to the full text.’

Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, and Others

Iranian authorities regularly detain and harass journalists, bloggers, and human rights defenders who say or write anything critical of the Islamic revolution or the Iranian government. Over the past couple of years, a number of human rights lawyers who defended Baha’is and Christians in court were imprisoned or fled the country. In addition, in August 2015, a revolutionary court sentenced to death Mohammad Ali Taheri, a university professor and founder of a spiritual movement (Erfan Halgheh or Spiritual Circle), for the capital crime of “corruption on earth.” In October 2011, Taheri had been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison and 74 lashes for “insulting religious sanctities” for publishing several books on spirituality; reportedly, he has been held in solitary confinement since his conviction. Some of Taheri’s followers also have been convicted on similar charges and sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to five years. In December, the Iranian Supreme Court overturned Taheri’s death sentence. At the end of the reporting period, he and some of his followers remained in prison.

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