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German lawyer urges Iran to free apostasy accused Christian pastor

Berlin , Thu, 23 Feb 2012 ANI

Berlin, Feb 23 (ANI): Germany's top human rights lawyer has urged Iran to release a pastor sentenced to death for refusing to renounce Christianity for Islam.


Markus Loening said the German Government is 'extremely concerned' about Yusuf Naderkhani's fate amid reports of his imminent execution.


Loening urged the Iranian authorities to "release Naderkhani, lift his death sentence and grant him a fair trial," Fox News reports.


He says an execution also breaches international obligations guaranteeing religious freedom.


Naderkhani, who is in his early 30s, was born to a Muslim family and admits that he was introduced to the teachings of Islam, but claims he never accepted the faith.


He was facing execution after being convicted of apostasy in November of 2010, but appealed his conviction all the way up to the Iranian Supreme Court.


Naderkhani's execution was delayed amid international pressure on the Iranian regime. At one point Tehran claimed Nadarkhani's real crime was being a threat to national security. (ANI)


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