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Pastor Nadarkhani update: Bogus charges, renewed call for action

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 4, 2011 11:18 AM

The ACLJ has the very latest on Christian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who faces the death penalty in Iran because he refuses to renounce his faith.

The mullahcracy has cooked up bogus charges that now include being a “Zionist” and traitor:

In a troubling development, Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s attorney, Mohammed Ali Dadkha, has acknowledged the possibility of the charges against him being changed. Recall, throughout the last two years and most recently at the Iranian Supreme Court, Pastor Nadarkhani was on trial for apostasy and nothing else. Now, as Fox News reported, the Iranian government is claiming that Pastor Nadarkhani was charged with a number of crimes including being a threat to national security and a Zionist, but not apostasy.

The charge of being a Zionist and thus a traitor, terms that imply he is some kind of spy for Israel and opponent of the Islamic Republic, is among the most serious accusations that can be made in Iran. Unfortunately, we know that this is the charge Iran levies to justify executing people who were actually arrested, imprisoned, and tried on completely different charges. While these new charges may be, as I said before, an attempt to deflect media and international attention, the fact that it is possible the Pastor could actually face these charges means that his life is in more danger now than it has been at any other time since the trial began.

It is also becoming more difficult to confirm that he is still alive. Throughout Pastor Nadarkhani’s two-year imprisonment, he has traditionally only been permitted to have one visitor per week. This is one barrier we have to overcome each day when we try to get solid confirmation that he is alive. We can confirm that our contacts in Iran have reported that as of yesterday evening, Pastor Youcef was still alive, but that is becoming more and more difficult to confirm each day.

More on the trumped-up charges via Fox News:

In a ruling from the Iranian Supreme Court obtained by FoxNews.com, Nadarkhani was sentenced to execution by hanging for breaking Islamic law by conducting Christian worship and baptizing himself and others.

Nowhere in the ruling is there a mention of these new charges, which were first reported by Iranian news agency FARS.

Nadarkhani’s lawyer, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah, says he has not received any of these new charges from the Supreme Court, according to the ACLJ.

“The opinions of these new charges come from the political branch. Not a single judicial figure, a prosecutor or member of the court has spoken to these new charges,” Dadkhah said through a translator.

Hello, U.N.? Hello, State Department?

The European Center for Law and Justice, an affiliate of the ACLJ and an non-governmental organization with consultative status at the U.N., is looking at taking action at the United Nations this week.

“We have not seen any new charges from the court,” an official for the U.S. State Department said. “We continue to seek additional information.”

If you haven’t signed the petition to save Nadarkhani, go here right now and spread the word.

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Previous:

9/29 Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces execution for refusing to renounce Christianity: Where are the Hollyweirdos and Euroweenies now?; Update: White House statement; Britain, EU stand up

9/30 Pastor Nadarkhani update: State Department, Boehner weigh in

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