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January 8, 2010

At War With God? Iran Accuses 5 Protestors of Warring Against God

Nazila Fathi reports that at least five of the protesters  arrested during the Ashura protests last week are being tried for the crime of “warring against God,” a crime that can ultimately lead to a death sentence. The severity and charge of the crime coming so soon after the protesters’ arrest demonstrates that the Islamic Republic is increasing efforts to bully protesters, hoping to (perhaps literally) kill the dispute over the June presidential election.

In a statement carried by IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, the judiciary said that the five would soon be tried by the revolutionary court on charges of “Moharebeh,” meaning waging war against God, which is punishable by death according to the penal code. The statement did not disclose the names of the defendants, when they would be tried or any details of accusations against them.

A representative of the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, characterized protesters during a speech at a pro-government rally last week as “followers of the path of Satan.”

The fact that the indictment was put together on the newly-expedited timelines cause for even more skepticism regarding the case.

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