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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777
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British Woman May Face Execution in Iran for Insulting Islam

The Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize dual citizenships and considers all those who were born in Iran or to Iranian parents as Iranian citizens subject to its deadly Islamic penal code.

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Iran imposes the death penalty for 131 offenses.

Iran imposes the death penalty for 131 offenses.
Photo Credit: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

Roya Nobakht, 47, presently being detained as a political prisoner in Iran, may face execution for insulting Islam. She has lived in Stockport, England with her husband for the last six years and holds dual British-Iranian citizenship.

Her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, has stated that his wife was arrested while visiting a friend at Iran’s Shiraz airport last October for comments she had made on a Facebook group calling the government of Iran “too Islamic.” According to a copy of her charge sheet seen by the UK’s Independent; she was transferred to Tehran and charged with “gathering and participation with intent to commit crimes against national security and insulting Islamic sanctities”– crimes punishable by death.

In an interview, Mr. Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News that “his wife is not well at all…she has lost three stones [42 lbs]… and is scared that the government will kill her.” He also said that a confession had been extracted from his wife “under duress.” As is well documented, torture is systematically used by Iranian authorities to obtain confessions from political dissidents and even from some common prisoners.

Ms. Nobakht’s fears are not unfounded. Iran’s persecution of expatriates is nothing new. The first known case was that of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who died under torture in 2003 while in custody. Ms. Zahara Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian, was hanged in 2011. Three Canadian-Iranians; Saeed Malekpour, Hossein Derakhshan and Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, along with American Amir Hekmati, were all arbitrarily arrested while visiting relatives in Iran on vague anti-government charges. With the exception of Mr. Ghassemi-Shall, who was recently released, each one presently languishes inside Iran as political prisoners under dire conditions.

Ms Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who had left Iran in 1974, returned in 2003 to cover a story about Iran. She was soon arrested and detained in Evin prison on charges of espionage. As Iran does not recognize dual citizenships, Ms. Kazemi was not allowed representation by Canadian authorities. She later died in custody.

The Iranian officials claimed she had died as a result of a stroke but refused to return her body to Canada. In 2005, however, Dr. Shahram Azam, a doctor with the Iranian security forces who had examined Ms. Kazemi’s half-dead body, fled Iran. He testified that the victim’s body showed extensive signs of torture administered over a few days. The notes from his medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing finger nails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet, extensive damage to the genitals and peculiar deep scratches on her neck.

She was 52 years old and the first victim of the Islamic regime’s war of terror on Iranians holding dual citizenship. Her body has never been returned to her son in Canada. After her murder, especially under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, diplomatic relations between Iran and Canada deteriorated significantly.

Ms Zahra Bahrami, 45, who held dual Dutch-Iranian citizenship, had traveled to Iran to visit her ailing daughter. She was arrested in 2009 for participating in anti-regime protests and taken to the dreaded Evin prison. According to eyewitnesses, Ms Bahrami was tortured so severely she could not sit or stand easily and was denied medical care for serious lung complications. On Jan 29, 2011, she was suddenly hanged at 5:00 a.m. without anyone’s knowledge. She was then hastily buried by the authorities in the absence of her children. Dutch authorities expressed shock and sadness over her execution and cut off diplomatic relations with Iran for approximately 20 days.

Mr. Amir Hekmati 31, an American born in Arizona to Iranian parents and who was visiting Iran for the first time, was arrested in 2011 and charged with “spying for the CIA.” He was tortured until he finally gave a televised confession. As a result he was sentenced to death but thanks to heavy international pressure, in 2014 his sentence was finally changed to 10 years in prison. Three Canadians — Mr. Saeed Malekpour, 39; Mr. Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, 45; and Mr. Hossein Derakhshan, 38 — were arrested while visiting relatives in Iran in 2008, on various charges.

Shadi Paveh

About the Author: Shadi Paveh is a human rights activist for Iran who works with many international human rights organizations. She is also known for co-translating a key interview which exposed Iran's regime dubious activities in Canada, as well as for translating and relaying many documents and letters from prisoners of conscience to the EU Parliament.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Heidi Vainio says:

    And we want to import that here??? Even the pope is snuggling with them…hmmmm…

  2. Jim Jennings says:

    When will the people and nations of the world wake up and see that Islam is a curse on humanity? Mere words are not sufficient to change the present problem.

  3. God said that they are a wild ass of a man. They will never reform

  4. Dumest religion eva.

  5. Religion of peace hehehehehehe :p

  6. Who is their right mind would want to visit the place…or any Islamist country for that matter. I accept that some go back to visit kin….at frightening risk. They are nothing more than pre-neanderthal savages…in the truest sense of the words.

  7. And how many in America? America is as bad if not worse when it comes to putting people to death. I am not pro Islam by any means I am pro Israel I am just against the death penalty all together.

  8. Jo Torres says:

    America is not as bad. We don’t kill people over insulting a religion. Muslims get murderous over cartoons that insult the supposed dignity of their religion. Our legal system may be flawed but it is about providing a punishment for people who murder. Wrong, perhaps but it is not comparable to Islamic reasons to take a human life in any way.

  9. Islam is pagan colt worshipping religion straight from Satan. When there is just a few of them. They come across all peaceful. but once they take over there true colors come out . mohamid worshipped the moon god allah. Muslims worship mohamid thinking that he was something special but he was nothing but a murdering false prophet. Muslims think they will have peace only when they have murdered anyone who doesn’t believe in there false god. Jesus christ is the only way to GOD. Jesus was all about love and respect for your brother. islam is all about hate and death .

  10. They are disgusting Muslim pigs

  11. Adrian you need medical help

  12. Lize Bartsch says:

    If Islam does not use force no one would convert to it. But I will NEVER submit to such a cruel god, not because I’m a feminist, I gladly submit my all to the Lord Yashua Hamasiach and stand with the Jews Gd’s people

  13. Lize Bartsch says:

    If Islam does not use force no one would convert to it. But I will NEVER submit to such a cruel god, not because I’m a feminist, I gladly submit my all to the Lord Yashua Hamasiach and stand with the Jews Gd’s people

  14. And people in England are accused of being “hateful” because they criticize Islam and expose the Islamic crimes

  15. open season coming soon

  16. Islam is the devils doing! They are not peacful but violent and full of hate! Mohammed the prophet is a beast who couldnt read or write lololol ive insulted islam so hang me lololol s

  17. What’s to insult

  18. Helen Moyle says:

    We need to be in prayer for this lady and others who’ve gone through this.

  19. Reny Rad says:

    Woe. what Koran are they reading there!!!!!


  21. Why are they there?? to begin with…the 42% that still think that this REGIME is doing a great job, Libs, gays, and anti American would be a good start

  22. These Islamic people must have escaped from hell

  23. These Islamic people must have escaped from hell

  24. Allah is the moon god so it doesn’t surprise me that some of his followers are filled with darkness.

  25. Andy Brown says:

    Islam……Satan’s cult for getting 1.2 billion people into hell for Allah is actually Satan. Now shove your rope your murdering scum! Jesus is alive and judgement await the wicked and lost.

  26. John Doer says:

    shari law is here in the usa mi

  27. Hold on a minute achminajad the ex clown I mean president said we don’t have gays in Iran how can this be true

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