Free speech and Islam appear to be sworn enemies. Anybody who dares to draw the Prophet, let alone insults Islam, must face the firing squad. That’s exactly what happened to 21-year-old Sina Dehghan. According to The Daily Mail, Denghan “has been sentenced to death after ‘insulting the prophet’ of Islam on an instant messaging app. Sina Dehghan was 19 when he was arrested by the Iranian revolutionary guard at a military barracks in Tehran in October 2015 for insulting the national religion on the messaging app LINE.”
Iranian authorities managed to extract a forced confession out of Dehghan, say human rights activists. Authorities promised the young man a pardon if chose to confess his so-called crime. He obliged and the authorities double-crossed him. The confession was taped on-camera and prosecutors have used the footage to incriminate the young man.
“But after signing the confession, prosecutors dropped the agreement and kept Dehghan incarcerated at Arak Prison,” notes The Mail.
Iran also promised Dehghan’s release in exchange for his family’s obedience and quiet during the judicial process, adding another lie to the pile.
It’s unclear what Dehghan actually said on the messaging app that the zealot mullahs of Iran found so offensive. But that’s immaterial. As an Islamic supremacist regime, Iran does not pay deference to the idea of free speech. Islam supersedes all.
Dehghan’s death penalty was confirmed in January and upheld by Tehran’s highest court. Insulting the prophet is punishable by death, according to Iranian Penal Code.
Anyone can fall victim to the Islamophobia thought police. Anyone.
Case in point. Dehghan “was a conscript posted as a guard in military barracks,” explains The Mail. “[He] had just four days left in his military service when he was arrested in 2015.”
According to Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, insulting the prophet is punishable by death.
Dehghan’s co-defendents, Sahar Eliasi and Mohammad Nouri, were also charged and convicted for similar offenses. Elias was sentenced to seven years in prison, but successfully cut down his punishment to three years after going through an appeals court process. Nouri was less lucky. He was sentenced to death for insulting the prophet. International monitors and human rights groups have yet to receive information about the Supreme Court’s ruling on his fate.