Iran executes two men for blasphemy

TEHRAN, Iran (AA) — Iran executed two men sentenced to death for committing acts of blasphemy, according to state media on Monday.

Yousef Mehrdad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare were sent to the gallows for insulting Islamic sanctities, including the Quran, Islam’s holy book, and the prophet, the judiciary-affiliated Mizan News reported.

The two men were arrested in May 2020 for running a Telegram channel called “Critique of Superstition and Religion,” which regularly posted images deemed sacrilegious of the Quran and Islamic figures.

In April 2021, a court in central Arak province sentenced the two men to death for insulting Islamic sanctities.

Mizan News said the two men had through their activities in cyberspace “attacked the sanctities of Muslims of the world” as well as “the cultural and religious values of the people of Iran.”

Mehrdad was arrested in his hometown, the northern city of Ardabil. He was described as the “creator and manager of a virtual network” that was engaged in “anti-Islamic activities and insults to Islamic sanctities.”

His activities in cyberspace, Mizan News said, aimed at “promoting atheism” in Iran, citing that he managed a total of 15 virtual “anti-Islamic channels” with different names.

Mehrdad was also accused of burning the Holy Quran, Mizan said, citing a “documentary film” that investigators found.

Both acts of blasphemy and insults to Islamic figures carry the death sentence in Iranian law.

The duo’s execution came two days after a Swedish-Iranian dual national was executed after being convicted of heading a separatist group in southwestern Khuzestan province.


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