Rashin Soodmand, whose father was hanged in Iran for converting to Christianity

Life for Rashin Soodmand, her siblings and her mother became extremely difficult after her father was executed in Iran for the ‘crime’ of abandoning his religion Photo: PAUL GROVER

A month ago, the Iranian parliament voted in favour of a draft bill, entitled “Islamic Penal Code”, which would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian who leaves his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. The majority in favour of the new law was overwhelming: 196 votes for, with just seven against.

Imposing the death penalty for changing religion blatantly violates one of the most fundamental of all human rights. The right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in the European Convention of Human Rights. It is even enshrined as Article 23 of Iran’s own constitution, which states that no one may be molested simply for his beliefs.

And yet few politicians or clerics in Iran see any contradiction between a law mandating the death penalty for changing religion and Iran’s constitution. There has been no public protest in Iran against it.

continue reading at          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/3179465/Hanged-for-being-a-Christian-in-Iran.html

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