On July 6, 2016, several dozen Iranian Canadians staged a demonstration at Mel Lastman Square in North York to call attention to Mohammad-Ali Taheri, an Iranian spiritual master who was sentenced to five years and 74 lashes for “blasphemy” and for practicing alternative medicine. Taheri’s mother, who sought asylum in Canada after being persecuted by the Iranian authorities, also attended the rally.
Mohammad-Ali Taheri, a spiritual master and founder of two approaches to “alternative medicine”, was arrested in 2010 on charges of “acting against national security”. He was released after being held in solitary confinement for 67 days. On May 4, 2011, he was re-arrested again and sentenced by the Tehran Public and Revolutionary Court to five years in prison and 74 lashes for touching the wrists of female patients. Taheri has been imprisoned and under interrogation in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison since May 2011. In August 2015 Taheri was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary on charges of “corruption on earth” and establishing a “diversionary cult”.
Taheri is an internationally celebrated founder of two medical therapeutic approaches. He has been awarded six honorary doctorate degrees from different international institutes including University of Traditional Medicine of Armenia, International Ecoenergy Academy of Azerbaijan and International Medical Forum of Russia Federation for the foundation of Complementary and Alternative Medicines of Faradarmani and Psymentology and innovative teachings in medicine. He is a recipient of gold medals and special awards by different innovation exhibitions and was honored as an “Officer” at Merits of Invention at Brussels Innova European Innovation award.
Taheri’s persecution at the hands of the Islamic Republic regime is well documented. He has been accused, arrested, and jailed on numerous but baseless counts, without the right to a lawyer, unable to access a fair trial, defend himself publicly or contact his family.
The demonstrators told CIJnews the reason for the rally is to raise awareness of the human rights abuses in Iran, and to keep Taheri’s name in the spotlight.