In reaction to the on-going judicial review concerning the sentence of Dr. Mohammad Ali Taheri, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Pier Antonio Panzeri, stated:

“I am gravely concerned about the on-going judicial review by Iran’s Revolutionary Court concerning the sentence of Dr. Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of the Erfan-e Halghe movement (also known as Inter-Universalism). Dr Taheri’s sentence to death was cancelled on 25 October 2017 by the Supreme Court. There should not be yet another attempt to uphold the death penalty with regard to  his case based on the charges brought against him during his seven years of imprisonment. We maintain our strong and principled position against the death penalty in all circumstances and for all cases. Capital punishment would be totally unjustified and unacceptable with regard to Dr. Taheri who has not committed any serious or violent crime and only faces charges related to his role as the founder of a spiritual movement. I also call on Iran to stop the persecution and intimidation of Dr. Taheri’s followers.

As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran should fully respect freedom of religion and belief in line with its obligations under Article 18. Furthermore, the fundamental right of the defendant to choose his own lawyer should also be ensured.

I also reiterate our call to the Iranian judicial authorities to release Iranian-born Swedish scientist Ahmadreza Djalali who was sentenced to death on 21 October 2017, after 19 months of imprisonment. I am gravely concerned as his basic right to a fair trial, including an appeal, seems to have been seriously violated.”

Contact:

Office of MEP Pier Antonio PANZERI

+32(0)2 28 45349

pierantonio.panzeri@europarl.europa.eu