Iran Hangs Two Men on Rare Blasphemy Charges

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The Facts

  • On Monday, Iran executed Yousef Mehrdad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare. The two were convicted of burning the Quran and insulting the Prophet of Islam, according to the country's judiciary.

  • The men were first arrested in May 2020, and were then sentenced to death in April 2021 for running online "anti-Islam groups and channels," including the Telegram channel "Critique of Superstition and Religion."

The Spin

Narrative A

These men promoted atheism, burned the sacred Quran, and organized anti-religious activities online to sway others to join their movement. Iran had no choice but to execute the anti-Islamic propagandists who sought to desecrate and blaspheme the country's culture and religion.

Narrative B

Iran has again shown a complete lack of respect for fundamental human rights, resorting to draconian measures for people who disobey their Islamic theocracy. Torturing and executing civilians for not believing in the state's religion is criminal. The international community must act swiftly to stop Iran from committing further human rights abuses.

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