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Release Youcef nadarkhani

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Iran's persecution of Christians continues despite its assurances of religious freedom. Iran’s justice system is using an uncodified Islamic law, based on the writings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, to charge and convict a Christian pastor for apostasy—the crime of renouncing Islam. His sentence is death by hanging. Although there has been some confusion over his fate, it now appears that Iran’s Superior Court is requiring that he recant Christianity in order to avoid the death penalty.

CSW said Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, from Rasht in Northern Iran, is currently being held in Lakan prison.

He was arrested on Oct. 13 2009 and charged with apostasy after he questioned the Muslim monopoly on the religious instruction of children in Iran. CSW said that violates both the Iranian constitution, which permits parents to raise children in their own faith, and international statutes to which Iran is party, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

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