Iran wants death for apostates

Iran wants death for apostates February 10, 2008

THE murderous Iranian regime is contemplating a mandatory death sentence for people who leave Islam, according to the human rights group, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP).
For the first time in Iranian history, a proposed penal code demands the death penalty for apostates, according to a February 5 statement by the IRPP.
Said IRPP President Joseph Grieboski:

Apostasy was always illegal, and courts could hand down a jail term, hard labour or the death penalty. Now apostasy [would only] get the death penalty.

Iran has used the apostasy law to target Muslim converts to Christianity, liberal thinkers and members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority.
An Iranian pastor told Compass Direct News:

This is not something new, but now they just want to be more harsh towards those who are leaving Islam.

Though sections of the draft appear to indicate that both men and women can be executed for apostasy, others limit execution to males who leave Islam. The proposed law stipulates that ‘hardship’ will be exercised on a female apostates, who will be immediately released if they recant.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC, the head of Iran’s judiciary has issued an order that no executions be carried out in public without his permission.
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi also banned the publication of photographs or films of executions. Human rights groups say Iran executed nearly 300 people in 2007 as it tries to improve security and reduce what it calls immoral behaviour.
Most executions take place inside prisons but some criminals have been hanged from cranes in public.
Correspondents say it appears Ayatollah Shahrudi wants to lower the profile of executions as Iran has been widely criticised by Western countries and international organisations.
Iran has executed at least 28 convicts so far this year, according to media reports.
Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, serious drug trafficking, apostasy, adultery and male homosexuality.

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