Thursday, February 11, 2010

Iran uses 'enemies of God' charge on protesters

clipped from www.cnn.com

(CNN) -- Iran hanged two men at the end of January -- the first political prisoners known to be executed in Iran since the demonstrations protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to Amnesty International.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks. Some who protested his re-election are charged as enemies of God.

It's still not entirely clear what Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani's crime was. Rahmanipour's lawyer said he was already in jail on election day in June 2009, so he couldn't have been involved in the post-election uprising, she said.

But whatever their earthly crimes were, the two men executed last month were also accused of another offense far more serious than simply protesting against a government.

They were convicted of being "mohareb," enemies of God.

That is the worst possible crime in Shiite Muslim law, according to Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian studies at Stanford University.

That the regime is labeling its opponents enemies of God is a sign of how rattled it is by the protests, he said.

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