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7th September 2017, 11:53:17 UTC

Prisoner of conscience sentenced to death.

Mohammad Ali Taheri was sentenced to death on 27 August for establishing a spiritual group, Erfan-e Halgheh.

He was convicted of “spreading corruption on earth”. He has been held in solitary confinement for over six years.

His lawyer has 20 days to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Mohammad Ali Taheri’s trial took place over two sessions: 6 March and 10 July.

Prior to his first court hearing, Iranian state television aired Satan’s Ring, a programme which introduced him as the leader of a “perverse sect” and claimed his teachings had led people to doubt their Islamic beliefs. At the end of the programme, individuals who described themselves as “survivors” called for his execution. This programme was played during the 10 July trial session, along with videos of Mohammad Ali Taheri teaching at Erfan-e Halgheh classes prior to his 2011 arrest.

This is the third time the authorities had sought the death penalty against Mohammad Ali Taheri for the same activities.

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