[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Death Sentence for Apostasy
Various Iranian news agencies have reported that the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran has confirmed the death sentence for Zabihollah Mahrami and Mousa Talebi, Baha’i prisoners. The reason for this sentence is apostasy. To issue such an order on the eve of the 21st century only demonstrates the sharpness of decline and degree of backwardness of the ruling regime in Iran. The idea of apostasy as a “crime”, and beyond that, a sentence to execution, is not consistent with any legal or civil laws of modern society; rather, it emerges from the darkness of the middle ages.
While condemning such recessive ruling, the Association for the Defence of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran calls for the unconditional release of the aforenamed defendants and invites all liberal Iranians to show their objection to this new move of the regime of the Islamic Republic.
A new wave of intimidation and assassination against the intellectuals and dissidents has started in Iran. Let us join hands and not let the silence of European governments in relation to the events in Iran lead to disregarding public opinion in these countries. It is the duty of all those who live outside the evil borders of the Islamic Republic.
Association for the Defence of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran - Paris
1 February 1997
[English writings on the top and bottom of the letter]