Arrested in September 2009, Yousef Naderkhani was sentenced to death for being an apostate to Islam on November 13th, 2010. His appeal against his sentence was then rejected on June 27th, 2011. As news of this spread on the internet, Mohabat News then reported that the death sentence had been suspended. But Yousef Naderkhani had also been told to ‘repent’ from his apostasy. There are no reports of what will happen if he does not oblige, which is unlikely. So nothing is certain for Yousef Naderkhani, his wife Fatemeh Pasandideh, and their two children.
A severe sentence has also been meted out to Yousef Naderkhani’s lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah: nine years in prison and a ten year ban on practising law for ‘actions and propaganda against the Islamic Regime’. Mr Dadkhah has lodged an appeal against the sentence.
At least seven other Christians remain in prison solely for their faith in the doctrines of the church of Jesus Christ. They are: Vahik Abrahamian; Farshid Fathi; Abrahim Firouzi; Masoud Delijani; and Noorollah Ghabitzadeh.
• Clear annulment of death sentence for Yousef Naderkhani
• Acquittal and release of all Christians held in prison
• Hostility of government towards Christians to end