Islamic vigilantes acquitted of murder by Iran supreme court
Friday, April 20, 2007
Iran's Supreme Court has nullified the death sentences awarded to several members of the Basij and Ansar-e Hezbollah paramilitary groups for killing people they accused of moral corruption under Islamic laws.
Iran's Islamic laws permit summary execution of those who commit blasphemy, sacrilege, repeated fornication, adultery, slander Imam Khomeini, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or the Islamic prophets, and otherwise behave in a way that is out of sync with the Islamic criteria.
Members of the paramilitary group (Basij) - which is variously characterized as a pro-government vigilante group or militia - who had been convicted escaped the death penalty because they argued before the Islamic court that they acted in defense of Islamic laws. The members, who pledge allegiance to Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stoned one of their victims to death and tied up four others, including Nejadmalayeri and Nikpour, before throwing them into a swimming pool where they drowned.
In Iran, courts have previously imposed severe penalties for what they considered immoral behaviour. In 2004, a 16 year old girl, Atefah Sahaaleh, was executed for committing "acts incompatible with chastity", after she testified that she had been repeatedly raped while in an abusive relationship with an ex-revolutionary guard, Ali Darabi. Dabari received a sentence of 95 lashes. In 1998 a German businessman, Helmut Hofer, was sentenced to death for having a relationship with a 26-year-old single Iranian woman.
- Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iranian Court Overturns Death Sentence" — , Apr 19, 2007
- Nazila Fathi. "Iran Exonerates Six Who Killed in Islam’s Name" — , April 19, 2007
- "Mullahs: Bassijis Licensed to Kill Iranians in Iran" — , April 19, 2007
- "Iran Overturns Death Sentence Against Islamic Vigilante" — , April 19, 2007
- "Group cleared over Iran murders" — , April 15, 2007
- "Execution of a teenage girl" — , July 27, 2006
- Iran (newspaper). "Iranian press report on condemned German" — , October 10, 1998 (translated from Persian by BBC Monitoring.)
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