On November 24, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to hang. The court transferred his file to the judiciary’s implementation unit, opening the way for his execution.
For what? Did he murder someone?
A Tehran criminal court had convicted him in August of sabb al-nabbi, or “insulting the prophet,” referring to the Prophet Muhammad, which carries the death penalty. Arabi’s legal team has asked the judiciary to suspend the death sentence and review the case.
Insulted “the prophet” how? Facebook posts.
Nastaran Naimi, Arabi’s wife, told Human Rights Watch that intelligence agents linked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrested her and her husband at their home in Tehran in November 2013. They soon released her but transferred her husband to a special section of Evin prison that the Revolutionary Guards control, where they kept him in solitary confinement for two months, subjected him to long interrogation sessions, and prevented him from meeting his lawyer, she said. They later transferred Arabi to Ward 350 of Evin prison.
All because of the bruised dignity of “the prophet.”
Vahid Moshkhani, Arabi’s lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that instead of upholding or overruling the lower court verdict, the Supreme Court unlawfully added the charge of efsad-e fel arz, or “sowing corruption of earth,” to Arabi’s case. In addition to carrying a possible death sentence, the charge also forecloses the possibility of amnesty, he said.
What the fuck even is “sowing corruption of earth”?
The circumstances surrounding the recent execution of another man, Mohsen Amir Aslani, have increased concerns for Arabi. On September 24, prison officials at Rajai Shahr prison in the city of Karaj executed Amir Aslani, whom the judiciary had convicted of “sowing corruption on earth” for allegedly advancing heretical interpretations of Islam and insulting the prophet Jonah. After the execution, a judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaeili, denied that authorities had executed Amir Aslani for his religious beliefs, and said his hanging was related to “illicit” forcible sexual relations with several women. In fact, the Supreme Court had overturned Amir Aslani’s death sentence on three separate occasions, and ruled that the rape charges were invalid due to lack of evidence.
Perfect – insert fake rape charges to make it all look less horrendous. That’s helpful.
Human Rights Watch previously expressed concern regarding the broad definition of “sowing corruption on earth” in the revised penal code, under which authorities can prosecute, convict, and sentence political dissidents and others exercising their basic rights to freedom of speech, assembly, association, and religion.
I have a feeling I “sow corruption on earth” every time I tap on the keyboard.