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Kill Aghajari Vol. 2

Languishing in the “European news briefs” section of the NY Times is a Reuters report that:

A court has reimposed a death sentence on a history lecturer for blasphemy — a verdict that sparked mass student protests when first announced in 2002. Zekrollah Ahmadi, judiciary chief in Hamadan Province, said the judge had confirmed his original ruling against Hashem Aghajari after a review of the case ordered by the Supreme Court. Mr. Aghajari was convicted after the Hamadan court found him guilty of blasphemy — a capital offense — for a speech in which he said Muslims were not “monkeys” to follow blindly the teachings of senior clerics.

So, having reviewed his own case, Ahmadi has decided to approve his original judgement that judicial murder was the appropriate response to someone criticising the religious hierarchy.

The report does not add if the other sadistic elements of Aghajari’s punishment have also been reimposed. According to Human Rights Watch back in 2002, reporting on the original trial:

In addition to the death sentence, Aghajari received a sentence of 74 lashes of the whip, eight years imprisonment and internal exile, and a 10-year prohibition from teaching.

However, Aghajari, who lost a leg fighting Saddam Hussein, does have a lot of popular support, especially among students. There’s more detail here.

Human Rights Watch also reports that

Iranian authorities are holding scores of professors, lawyers, students and activists arrested after expressing their views.

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