Death Sentence for Expression of Opinion in Iran; Demand for a Retrial

April 9, 2018, 1:32 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (Apr 9, 2018): Sina Dehghan (Dehqan), who has been sentenced to death for “insulting prophet Muhammad,” has requested a retrial and his lawyer hopes the request will be approved.

According to a close source, Sina Dehghan, who has been sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet” and his verdict has been approved by the Supreme Court, has requested a retrial.
Mehdi Shakibafar, a lawyer who has accepted Sina Dehqan’s case, told IHR, “Sina Dehqan’s case was processed by a judicial authority in Arak who issued the ruling. Afterward, the defendant objected to the ruling and his family appointed me as their son’s lawyer. I requested a retrial after reading the case, and now it’s being studied by the Supreme Court. We hope to achieve the desired result.”
He continued, “Sina Dehqan and Mohammad Nouri are serving time in Arak Central Prison, so we hope the execution sentence will be rejected.”
Sina Dehqan, a resident of Tehran, was arrested on October 21, 2015, by Ministry of Intelligence agents from the city of Arak. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Dehqan was only 19, and he was reportedly just finishing up his mandatory military service at a base in Tehran operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Before his arrest, Sina Dehqan along with Mohammad Nouri, Sahar Elyasi, and an individual under the age of 18 used the messenger app "Line" to share content that the judicial and security authorities in Iran consider offensive to Islam.
Branch 1 of the criminal court in the Markazi province, presided by Judge Mohamad Reza Rahmati, reportedly sentenced Sina Dehqan and Mohammad Nouri to death and Sahar Elyasi to seven years in prison. The individual under the age of 18 has reportedly not received a sentence yet and was released on bail.
In February 2017, Iran's Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for Sina Dehqan and Mohammad Nouri and reduced Sahar Elyasi's sentence to three years in prison. Additionally, these three individuals were sentenced by a Revolution Court to 16 months in prison on the charge of insulting the Supreme Leadership.
IHR has not been able to contact Mohammad Nouri’s lawyer or his family so far. We ask those who are in touch with his family to contact us.