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New arbitrary sentence for Facebook user who escaped death penalty

first_img March 18, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that Soheil Arabi, a Facebook user whose death sentence was quashed by the supreme court, has been given a new sentence of seven and a half years in prison starting with two years under observation, during which he must prove he has repented to avoid reimposition of the death sentence. News Detained since December 2013, Soheil Arabi received the new sentence on 6 September when he was retried by a Tehran assizes court.During the next two years, Arabi is required to seek answers to his religious doubts by reading 13 books on theology and Islam, writing summaries of them and writing an essay on theology and religion. He must conduct regular written correspondence with the Imam Khomeini Centre for Religious Research, copies of which will be submitted to the court. He must also write quarterly reports to the court with the aim of proving his repentance and renewed faith. If he fails, the death sentence could be reimposed.“Soheil Arabi has been spared immediate execution but this new sentence is medieval,” said Reza Moini, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Iran/Afghanistan desk. “A defendant who repeatedly said he did not want to offend religion is being subjected to a form of arbitrary torture because the Ali Khamenei-controlled judicial system wants to scare Internet users. This sentence is tantamount to forced labour, which is banned by international and Iranian law. We call on the UN special rapporteurs to intercede to get it quashed.”A photographer and father who was 31 when arrested by Revolutionary Guards on 27 December 2013, he was incarcerated in Security Section 2a of Tehran’s Evin prison, where he was subjected to solitary confinement for two months and was mistreated with the aim of getting him to confess to his role in creating a Facebook network that blasphemed Islam and criticized the government. Prosecutors then used this confession against him.At the end of an unfair trial in March 2014, a Tehran revolutionary court sentenced him to three years in prison, a fine of 500,000 tomans and 30 lashes on charges of anti-government propaganda, “insulting what is sacred” and insulting government officials and the Supreme Leader. A Tehran appeal court confirmed the sentence.However, as a result of Revolutionary Guard pressure, Arabi was brought before an assizes court on 19 August 2014 on new charges of “insulting the Prophet of Islam, the Shiite Holy Imams and the Koran,” and the court sentenced him to death under article 262 of Iran’s Islamic penal code. The court ignored his lawyer’s claims that his offences were not deliberate and that he was not the only person posting on these Facebook pages. In fact, although Arabi supervised several Facebook pages, most of the posts were made by other Facebook users or administrators.His lawyer also tried unsuccessfully to draw the court’s attention to article 263, which says: “when the accused (…) confesses that his insulting statement was made under coercion or by mistake or in a state of drunkenness or anger or in a slip of the tongue or without paying attention to the meaning of the words or quoting someone else, then he shall not be considered as having insulted the Prophet.”The supreme court upheld Arabi’s death sentence on 23 November 2014.Reporters Without Borders wrote to David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, on 2 December 2014 voicing alarm about Arabi’s fate and urging him to “intercede as quickly as possible with the Iranian authorities in order to prevent his execution and to request the overturning of his conviction and his release.”As a result of the efforts of his family and lawyers, and intercession by UN rapporteurs on 27 June, the case was referred back to the supreme court, which finally quashed Arabi’s death sentence.Iran is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. RSF_en Follow the news on Iran After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists News IranMiddle East – North Africa October 2, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New arbitrary sentence for Facebook user who escaped death penalty Receive email alerts Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 Help by sharing this information News Organisation IranMiddle East – North Africa to go further News Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists June 9, 2021 Find out more February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Archbishop stresses importance of interfaith dialogue, understanding

first_imgArchbishop Michael Fitzgerald, member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa and delegate to the Arab League from 2006 to 2012, spoke on the importance of interfaith dialogue between Christianity and Islam in a lecture entitled “The Church and Islam 50 Years after Nostra Aetate.”“Religion, relayed by inter-religious dialogue, can provide the right atmosphere in which conflicts can be involved,” Fitzgerald said. “Efforts can be made towards greater respect for all individuals, and the goal of harmony and peace be brought nearer.”Fitzgerald said the “Nostra Aetate,” a declaration passed by the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church in 1965, highlights the importance of mutual understanding among religions.“Christians are not expected to combat other religions, opposing their religious and cultural expression, but rather, to seek to appreciate and defend the spiritual and moral values enshrined in them,” he said.“Nostra Aetate” calls Christians to respect religious plurality in an increasingly connected and secular world and recognize the truth found in all these religions, Fitzgerald said.“It means that the various religions, including Islam, although they differ from Christ — in essential points are not totally rejected,” he said. “They are seen as containing, or at least as reflecting, truth which enlightens.”Fitzgerald said the document clarifies that non-Christian religions are to be respected not simply because those who adhere to these religions deserve this respect, but also because these religions themselves contain truths that have directed their followers’ lives.“It would be possible to assert that the different religious traditions are to be taken seriously because they have shaped the religious outlook of the people who have followed these traditions,” he said. “One can’t make a valid distinction between the respect due to the persons and the respect for the religion.”Even though the importance of Jesus Christ may not be recognized in other religions, that does not prevent non-Christians from attaining the same enlightenment towards which Christians strive, Fitzgerald said.“The role of Jesus Christ as unique mediator between God and human kind doesn’t exclude subordinate mediations,” he said. “Dialogue with people of other religions is by no means excluded.”While “Nostra Aetate” is an important refinement in church doctrine promoting the respect of diverse faiths, it also has its limitations, Fitzgerald said.“Because of its brevity, which was a deliberate choice in order to avoid controversy, it doesn’t do full justice to the different religions in the world,” he said. “It leaves much work for theologians. In this way, it can be considered an invitational document rather than a prescriptive document.”In the context of a growing perception of Christianity and Islam as opposed world views, it is important to increase dialogue between these two religions, Fitzgerald said.“Christian-Muslim dialogue should lead to a common search for understanding, to a shared sympathy for those who are suffering and in need,” he said. “A thirst for justice for all, forgiveness from wrong done, together with a readiness to recognize one’s own wrongdoing.”Fitzgerald said before dialogue can take place, however, the widespread misunderstandings people hold of both the Christian and Islamic faiths must first be addressed.“A difficulty is in lack of knowledge when one considers populations as a whole,” he said. “There is an ignorance in the West about Islam, and much ignorance about Christianity in countries where there is a Muslim majority.“There is a constant need to educate people, conveying the true image of Islam, as many Muslims advocate, but also revealing the true image of Christianity.”Fitzgerald said while the influence of interfaith dialogue is greatest at the grassroots level, it is important for high ranking religious leaders to foster a community of understanding as well.“Religious leaders are not called upon to formulate concrete political measures but rather to underline basic moral principles,” he said. “They need to be able to support government measures when these are seen to contribute to the common good, but also to criticize them when human dignity is not being fully respected.”Tags: Archbishop, Christianity, interfaith dialogue, Islam, Michael Fitzgerald, Nostra Aetatelast_img read more

22-month old baby in N. Sulawesi may be Indonesia’s youngest COVID-19 related death

first_imgAccording to the hospital spokesperson, Handry Takasenseran, besides COVID-19, the baby also suffered from tuberculosis and malnutrition.Handry said that the medical staff had tried their best to save the baby, but unfortunately his condition kept deteriorating, leading to his death on Sunday morning.“The death is most likely a result of his other conditions,” Handry said. He confirmed the death of the baby on Sunday at 8.52 a.m. local time.According to the government’s official count, North Sulawesi had 116 confirmed COVID-19 cases with seven deaths as of Monday. The province has also recorded 109 deaths of people suspected to have COVID-19. A 22-month-old baby boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has died in Manado, North Sulawesi, the province’s COVID-19 task force announced on Monday.“Case 93, a baby from Manado has died, making it a total of seven COVID-19 related deaths in North Sulawesi so far,” task force spokesperson Steaven Dandel Steaven said on Monday.Steaven added that the baby had been receiving treatment in the isolation ward at Kandou State Hospital in Manado since the beginning of May. While the elderly have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19, data from the national COVID-19 task force also showed those aged 0 to 5 years old made up 0.74 percent of the country’s COVID-19 death toll. The age group also accounts for 1.7 percent of total COVID-19 infections as of Monday.Previously, an 11-year-old girl who died at the Slamet Martodirdjo Hospital in Pamekasan in Madura Island in East Java on March 20 was confirmed as the country’s youngest COVID-19 death.When asked whether the baby boy in Manado was now the country’s youngest COVID-19 related death, Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto told The Jakarta Post that he had not received confirmation of the case and referred the Post to the health services directorate-general.Health Services Director General Bambang Wibowo, however, did not immediately respond to the Post’s questions on the matter.Topics :last_img read more

Blaž Slišković to Take Over the North Korea’s National Team?

first_imgThe former selector of the national team of B&H Blaž Slišković will most probably become the new selector of the North Korea’s national team.Slišković revealed that he is waiting for his airplane ticket for Pyongyang where he should sign the contract.The famous Bosnian footballer should have sign this contract even earlier but it didn’t happen  because one of the generals got sick so Baka still doesn’t know if he will take over the team or not. (Source: Sport Centar)last_img

Neymar denies aiming for return to World Cup

first_imgIn this July 4, 2014, photo, Brazil’s Neymar screams out after being fouled during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Brazil and Colombia at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, Friday. The 22-year-old Neymar broke his third vertebra after being kneed in the back by Colombian player Juan Camillo Zuniga in the 86th minute of the match. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Neymar and the Brazilian football confederation denied media reports that the striker could undergo special treatment on his fractured vertebra to try to play in the World Cup final if the tournament hosts make it that far.Neymar and the confederation released statements late Sunday saying that nothing that could risk the player’s health or career would be attempted to allow him to try to play if Brazil beats Germany in Tuesday’s semifinals.The statements came after the Brazilian media quoted doctors from the Brazilian club Santos, Neymar’s former team, as saying there was a chance the striker could return for Sunday’s final with alternative treatments and painkiller injections.The 22-year-old Barcelona star was ruled out of the rest of the World Cup after being kneed in the back late in Brazil’s 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Colombia.Tests conducted at a hospital shortly after Friday’s match showed a fracture in his third vertebra.The confederation said in its statement that the “the prognosis is excellent” for Neymar, but only if the injury is given the proper amount of time to heal.“Rushed measures put in risk his future life as an athlete,” the statement said.Brazil team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said Neymar is expected to be sidelined for about 45 days. He has returned home from the team’s training camp to recover.“Let’s not create an illusion to the Brazilian people,” Runco told Globo TV. “There isn’t the smallest possibility for Neymar to play on July 13 if Brazil reaches the final.”Neymar’s staff said in his statement that he remains solely under the care of the Brazilian confederation’s doctors until the end of the World Cup. It said the visit by Santos’ doctors was a “cordiality.”While the statement never directly dismissed the possibility he could play in the final, it said that “no alternative treatment was discussed.”“If Neymar becomes fit to play a professional football match before initially expected, it will be because of the positive progress of his condition through the treatment currently being administered,” the statement said.___Follow Tales Azzoni at http://www.twitter.com/tazzonilast_img read more