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IRANIAN BLOGGER SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR INSULTING PROPHET MOHAMMAD ON FACEBOOK

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By Maria Khan, International Business Times

Iranian blogger, Soheil Arabi, has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of insultingProphet Mohammad on Facebook.

Undisclosed sources told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, that Arabi, 30, had eight active Facebook accounts, which he had used to post the derogatory material on Prophet Mohammad.

Judge Khorasani announced the verdict in branch 75 of Tehran’s Criminal Court on 30 August.

Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states that if a personinsults the Prophet of Islam, his punishment is death. But in Article 264, it explicitly says that if a suspect merely claimsin court that he said the insulting words in anger, inquoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes.
– Undisclosed source, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

An undisclosed source is quoted by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran as saying:

“Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states that if a personinsults the Prophet of Islam, his punishment is death. But in Article 264, it explicitly says that if a suspect merely claimsin court that he said the insulting words in anger, in quotingsomeone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes. I would like to emphasize that if only the suspect claims this, he will not be eligible for death, and there is no need to even prove his claim.”

According to the undisclosed source, the judges issued the death sentence without paying any heed to Arabi’s statements in the court where he insisted that he had posted the comments online under poor [psychological] conditions and is remorseful.

Arabi and his wife were arrested in November 2013 by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, also known as the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Founded after the Iranian revolution on 5 May 1979, the Revolutionary Guards is a branch of Iran’s military, that was formed to guard the country’s Islamic system.

While Arabi’s wife was released after a few hours of detainment, he “was kept in solitary confinement for two months inside IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison, before he was transferred to Evin’s GeneralWard 350.remained in solitary confinement for two months,” confirmed the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

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