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Violations of religious freedom in the Republic of Iran

Written declaration No. 498 | Doc. 12761 | 06 October 2011

Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Igor CORMAN, Republic of Moldova, SOC ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Florin IORDACHE, Romania, SOC ; Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Sergey MARKOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu MUNTEANU, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Mr Gebhard NEGELE, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Tudor PANŢIRU, Romania, SOC ; Mr Ivan POPESCU, Ukraine, SOC ; Mr Leander SCHÄDLER, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria STAVROSITU, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Renate WOHLWEND, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD

The undersigned, members of the Assembly, witnessing with deep concern the violations of religious freedom in the Republic of Iran,

Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 for the crime of apostasy because he allegedly abandoned Islam ad converted to Christianity. Pastor Nadarkhani has been charged with “frequent participation in Christian worship, organising home church services, and converting Muslims to Christianity”.

The undersigned members express deep concern regarding the attacks against Christian communities in the Republic of Iran and strongly condemn the arrest of pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who faces the death penalty. These acts are in violation of Article 9 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Faith is the most basic fundamental right of every human being.

We call upon the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the United Nations Security Council to condemn the death sentence imposed on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and to call for an immediate stay of execution.