Yesterday the International Business Times reported that Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is facing the death penalty in Iran, is actually being charged with rape–not apostasy.
However, the article reports:
However, a December 2010 court ruling issued and signed by Supreme Court judges Morteza Fazel and Azizoallah Razaghi mentions the religious charges against Nadarkhani and nothing more.
What has happened here is that the world has noticed that Pastor Nadarkhani was facing the death penalty for apostasy and has begun to question the Iranian record on human rights.
The article further reports:
As the case slowly garners international attention, the rape allegation is a signal that Nadarkhani has become, to put it bluntly, a public relations disaster for Iran.
In what could prove to be Nadarkhani’s last days, world leaders have finally condemned the death sentence and pushed for the pastor’s release.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a made-up charge. Hopefully the civilized nations of the world can put enough pressure on the Iranian government to prevent the execution of an innocent man.