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Political Activist Arrested For 'Insulting The Prophet'

Djavad Giyahshenas, Secretary of Mardomsalari party in Hamedan.
Djavad Giyahshenas, Secretary of Mardomsalari party in Hamedan.

The secretary of Mardomaslari (democracy) party in Hamedan, Javad Giyahshenas, a newly elected stand-in member of the city council, was arrested on charges of insulting prophet Muhammad. Bail has been set for him.

Reports on Mr. Giyahshenas’ arrest were published yesterday, but it is not clear exactly when he was arrested.

Earlier, news agencies had reported that provincial officials in Hamedan had complained about his remarks at a debate that had taken place in the university. Fars News Agency last week reported that Mr. Giyahshenas “in a debate about presidential elections in Free University insulted the Prophet, calling him a secularist and labeling Islam as liberalism.

According to article 513 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, whoever insults Prophet of Islam, his daughter and twelve Imams of Shi’ism in a severe manner will face death sentence; otherwise, the sentence will be from one to five years of imprisonment.

The dean of Hamedan Islamic Seminary and member of The Assembly of Experts, ayatollah Mousavi-Esfahani, has called the students not to keep silent and challenge those who make such comments.

The reports concerning Javad Giyahshenas’ arrest have not yet been officially confirmed by the Justice department.

In May 19 presidential election, Hamedan and its surrounding villages overwhelmingly voted for President Hassan Rouhani’s main challenger, Ebrahim Raeisi.