Yousef Nadarkhani

The attorney for detained Christian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani denies that the charges against his client are related to security.

Mohammadali Dadkhah told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: “We have only defended Mr. Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy, arguing that he should not be sentenced to death over it. There has been no other charge.”

Yesterday, the political security advisor to the governor of Gilan, Gholamali Razavi, said: “The verdict for those who choose another religion is up to God on Judgement Day…an Islamic country has no problems with people who choose another religion; only God will deal with them.”

Razavi said: “This individual is a criminal, and his crime is not that he has invited others to Christianity. There are security charges against him.”

Razavi insisted the death sentence against Nadarkhani in not related to his conversion and that “he is a Zionist and has security charges.”

He added that Nadarkhani’s death sentence has not been confirmed yet.

Defense attorney Dadkhah said that in all the trials in which he had defended his client, the charges against him were only related to apostasy and nothing else.

Nadarkhani is an Iranian Baptist priest. He and his wife, who converted to Christianity from Islam, were arrested two years ago in Rasht. He was charged with “apostasy, inviting others to Christianity, establishing a secret church in his home and blatant opposition to Islam.”

His death sentence was confirmed by the Gilan appellate court in August 2010, but this July, the court announced that the death sentence would be commuted if he repents.