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Iranian dissident Aghajari's case to be re-examined by Tehran court

Tehran, June 12, IRNA -- The case of dissident intellectual Hashem Aghajari who was sentenced to capital punishment for blasphemy in a provincial court is to be re-examined in a court in Tehran.

photo: ISNA

The decision to transfer Aghajari's case from Hamedan, Western Iran to the courts in Tehran was taken in a session of the senior judicial officials chaired by the Head of the Tehran Justice Administration Abbasali Alizadeh.

A source commenting on the case told IRNA that the case would be transferred to Tehran for re-examination shortly without however giving further details on the case.

His comments followed remarks by Alizadeh who said the court to pursue the case of jailed academic Aghajari would be specified in the near future.

"We are to specify the court charged with examining the case," he told reporters.

Aghajari, 46, was initially sentenced by a court in Hamedan, western Iran, to death on charge of blasphemy but the sentence was quashed by the Supreme Court after the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered a review.

The sentence was related to Aghajari's speech in August 2002 in which he called for religious restructuring and criticized the Islamic principle of emulating religious leaders in the Islamic Republic.

Aghajari is a war veteran, who lost his leg as well as his brother during the Iraqi imposed-war of 1980-1988.

The death sentence drew angry criticism, with students staging several days of protest rallies to call on the Judiciary to suspend the ruling.

... Payvand News - 6/13/04 ... --

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