Target: Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani
Goal: Stop the execution of an Iranian blogger who allegedly insulted a religious figure via social media
An Iranian blogger and journalist is set to be executed for “blasphemous” Facebook posts in Tehran. Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Soheil Arabi, who was allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed. Officials are now making the preparations for his imminent death.
Arabi’s lawyers tried to argue that Arabi was in “poor psychological condition” in order to avoid the execution charge, but to no avail. Arabi has also tried to claim that he didn’t actually write the posting and only agreed with them, but the charge still remains.
In addition to his charges, the Supreme Court also added the charge of “sowing corruption of earth,” which is commonly added to cases to hinder exercising their basic human rights. This is hardly new for Iranian authorities: They are notorious for it and have one of the worst records in the world for jailing journalists and bloggers. Sixty-five journalists and bloggers are currently being detained in Iran’s prisons, according to Reporters without Borders. In the past, Iran jailed seven people for simply dancing to the popular song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, saying that it violated Islamic laws.
It is wrong to sentence someone to death for voicing their displeasure with the current state of affairs. To sentence someone to death over a Facebook post is simply outrageous. Please sign the petition below to halt the execution of Soheil Arabi.
Dear President Hassan Rouhani,
The recent death sentence given to Soheil Arabi is shocking and outrageous. Arabi was only voicing his opinion in a peaceful manner in the form of a harmless Facebook post. Hanging him for this crime is completely unnecessary and he should be released immediately.
Arabi has a wife and child he needs to take care of and posting a comment that voices his opinion is not worthy of a death sentence. Your country’s censorship is unsettling and the penal code needs to be revised so that others do not face such outlandish charges. Citizens have different opinions and should be able to voice those opinions in a peaceful manner.
While you have voiced concerns over such strict internet censorship in the past, I urge you to take a stronger stance on the matter to save this man from an unjust death. Please do the right thing and voice your support for halting Soheil Arabi’s execution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: IranHumanRightsWatch.org