Death sentence on Iranian professor to be reviewed
Iran's top leader has ordered the country's chief judge to review a reformist scholar's death sentence that has prompted Iran's largest protests in years, a lawyer for the scholar said Sunday, according to AP.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's order likely means university professor Hashem Aghajari's death sentence will be overturned. He issued the order after hundreds of university teachers wrote to Khamenei asking him to intervene, lawyer Saleh Nikbakht told The Associated Press. Aghajari was sentenced to death by a court in Hamedan in western Iran on Nov. 6 after being convicted of insulting Islam and questioning the rule of hard-line clerics.
Aghajari's case has heightened tensions in the power struggle between reformists and Islamic hard-liners, who control the police, judiciary and other levers of power. Student protesters have boycotted classes and denounced Aghajari's verdict as "medieval." Iran's reformist camp said it portrayed Iran as anti-freedom and anti-human rights.
Majlis Speaker, Mehdi Karroubi Sunday thanked Khamenei. Karroubi, speaking before Sunday's Majlis open session, voiced his appreciation to the leader for responding to an appeal by university lecturers in revising Aghajari's sentence more carefully. "I would like to particularly thank the leader for taking into account the importance of 'blood and human life' in Islam," he said. (Albawaba.com)
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