Iran drops anti-state charge
Iran has dropped its accusation against two women of conducting anti-state activities (October ET).
27-year-old Maryam Rustampoor and 30-year old Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad were arrested in March on three charges: anti-state activity; propagating the Christian faith; and apostasy from Islam. They were told by a court to renounce their new-found Christian faith and return to Islam. But they refused.
According to Middle East Concern a judge at the Revolutionary Court has now dropped the charge of carrying out activities against the state. The two women and their lawyers are said to be delighted, as acquittals are rare in Iran. Their case will be transferred to a general court, where the other two charges will be considered.
In Iran it is illegal for Muslims to change their faith. Legislators are considering mandating the death penalty for Muslim men who change their religion. Under the proposed law the penalty for women would be life imprisonment.
Maryam and Marzieh are now back in prison awaiting their next hearing. Both are said to be in poor health and to have been denied satisfactory medical care by the authorities, though Maryam was given treatment for severe food poisoning.