Iran hangs ‘heretic’

Iran hangs ‘heretic’

Mohsen Amir-Aslani, arrested nine years ago, was found guilty of ‘heresy’ and insulting the prophet Jonah.

Amir-Aslani was arrested for allegedly providing his own interpretations of the Koran, according to his family, and he was hanged last week for making “innovations in the religion” and “spreading corruption on earth” by, among other things, suggesting that the Jonah story in Koran was “symbolic”.

Iran’s judiciary, which was responsible for the handling of his case, has since denied that Amir-Aslani’s execution was linked to his religious beliefs.

Instead, the authorities allege that he had illicit sexual relationships with a number of people who participated in his psychotherapy sessions, and the type of activities he was involved in did not follow an official interpretation of Islam. It was not clear if Amir-Aslani had official permission to conduct his sessions.

An unnamed source told the New York-based group, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI):

Mohsen held sessions in his own house dedicated to reciting the Koran and interpreting it. He had his own understandings [of the religion] and had published his views in the form of a booklet and made it available to his fans.

According to the source, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence was behind Amir-Aslani’s arrest.

He was initially held for making innovations in Islam and providing his own interpretations of the Koran but later he was accused of insulting prophet Jonah and also faced accusations of having sex outside marriage. They alleged that he had sexual relationships with a group of the people who participated in his classes.

Amir-Aslani’s wife, Leila, told the opposition website Roozonline that she was hoping a high court would strike down his conviction but his sentence was eventually upheld. She told Roozonline that his conviction stemmed from his religious views and no evidence was presented to back up the charges related to his alleged sexual activities.

Meanwhile, we learn that the Iranian authorities have postponed the execution of a woman accused of killing a man who raped her.


Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, above, admitted to stabbing Abdolali Sarbandi once in the back, but had insisted that there was someone else in the house who actually killed him.

Her claim is believed never to have been properly investigated.

Officials said on Monday that Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, had been transferred to a prison west of Tehran to be hanged. But activists claimed on Tuesday that an online campaign had persuaded the state to give her a 10-day reprieve.

The human rights group Amnesty International said she was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation.

Ms Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.
She was placed in solitary confinement for two months, where she reportedly did not have access to a lawyer or her family, and was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake, BarrieJohn and M A Chohan (Amir Aslani report).

16 responses to “Iran hangs ‘heretic’”

  1. Paul Cook says:

    2014 let’s kill someone for their thoughts.

    Barbarians and Animals.
    ( with no dis-respect intended to animals)

  2. barriejohn says:

    Yes – in a civilized country you only IMPRISON people whose ideas you dislike:–banning-ideas-we-dont-like-is-to-suggest-that-we-are-frightened-of-them-9767738.html

    (C)an we imagine the international response from Putin’s Russia when the EDL are marched into court just for organising a debate? We stood by Pussy Riot when they were characterised as extremists, now can we ignore our government when it wants to ban people from the public sphere who offend religions?

  3. AgentCormac says:

    I don’t know who is more ignorant, the people responsible for this murder or the woman I drove behind earlier who had a graphic on the back of her car which read ‘Protected by angels’, beside which was a silhouette image of a biblical heavenly messenger. I do, however, know who is more cruel, intolerant and inhuman.

    (Just a thought, but do you reckon I’d get a good discount on my car insurance premium if I claimed it’s safeguarded by divine beings?)

  4. Newspaniard says:

    My whole problem with the Home Secretary’s proposals is: Who is to say what an “extremist” is and whether that can be defined in law. For example, the Conservative party in their panic state might say that Nigel Farage is an extremist and the (loony) left wing too might bay for his silence. Because I have certain opinions which clash with those of @barrijohn, might I be arrested for being an extremist? At what point does it start and stop? If she had said islamist extremest then that could cover anyone wearing a hijab and goodness knows what to think about those wrapped in bin bags. As I think that all muslims are potential extremists, given the right circumstances, maybe she should arrest them all and then I’d sleep better at night. Hang on, there’s loud knocking on my door and when I look through the window, I see those dressed in the uniform of the Extremist Police. You may not hear from me again. This comment will probably be used at my trial.

  5. Broga says:

    Theresa May is pressing all the right buttons for the Tories listening to her. She seems less keen on setting up the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry. Could that be because so many Tories would be in the firing line for that.

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    She also seems to be trying to get the far right on her side, especially as UKIP defections could be a big problem for dopey David.

    There is also the point that she cannot really set up too many child abuse inquiries as that would be encouraging people to use hate speech against the Tories beloved faith-heads and god-pushers as, apart from the BBC, they are among main perpetrators of child sex crime.

  7. L.Long says:

    With all the delusional/stupid/ignorant/bigoted/hateful people that are religion,
    no one practices EVIL like the muslins.

  8. barriejohn says:

    There was never a chance of any other verdict. These judges are cast in the mould of Roland Freisler; they are just there to announce the reason for the sentence being handed down. Evidence, or lack of it, is immaterial.

  9. Paul Cook says:

    but on topic of destroying free speech. Moron councillors at Clacton on Sea have destroyed a Banksy image of some pigeons holding up ‘go back to Africa’ and anti immigration signs to a swallow. It was destroyed as it was racist. Very clever art work in my view and the philistine councillors too dumb to get the point. They have an election there soon. How dumb these people are!
    And the BBC report on it too stupid to see a swallow (as the African) albeit painted blue, they called it ‘exotic’. Is there any hope left?

  10. Norman Paterson says:

    Paul Cook – It’s like the Tom and Jerry nonsense. These are the people who bowdlerised Huckleberry Finn because it contains the word “nigger.” I wonder if they just spend their time looking for trigger words to howl about, without actually reading anything and – god forbid – thinking about it.

  11. Paul Cook says:


    I agree with you.
    It seems thinking is a matter undertaken by very few. The protection of some invisible person being ‘victimised’ is the only aim.

    I thought the art work very clever. Thoughtful and thought provoking.

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    Good to know that he didn’t *really* get hanged for disagreeing with the bosses about the nature of an invisible magic imaginary friend, no, that would be just too ridiculous.

    Instead he got hanged for having sexual contact with people that the bosses didn’t think he ought to have done.

    So that’s all right then.

  13. Matt Westwood says:

    “The law will no longer apply just to those who promote terrorism (a legal term already so broad it criminalises mainstream political speech) – but will catch those who “spread or incite hatred” on the grounds of gender, race or religion.”

    It doesn’t catch those who spread or incite hatred on the grounds of politics, though. Stupid fucking Tory shithead pricks.

  14. Trevor Blake says:

    “You knew what was happening – why didn’t you do anything?” The question that will cause Muslim apologists to burn with shame in years ahead. Atheism leads the criticism against Islam. Not through jailing or kidnappings or rapes or executions or war or terrorism. Those are the tools of religion. But with reason and scorn.

  15. A Confused Atheist says:

    So, whilst the Iranian authorities suspend the case of a woman who commits murder (to a man who raped her, but still, it was murder), the very same authorities go out of the way to murder a man for not agreeing with their religion.

    How very democratic and righteous, indeed.

    When will these despots realise that they are being led a false tale?!

  16. barriejohn says:

    No need to worry about human rights in Cameron’s Britain:

    Front page news on the Daily Mail – best prime minister since Thatcher!!!