Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reformist cleric jailed in Iran

A prominent reformist cleric has been convicted of endangering national security, insulting authorities, spreading lies and insulting Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Hadi Ghabel has been sentenced to forty months in jail and ordered to be defrocked. He went to the Clerical Court on Monday for a meeting with the prosecutor and, when he didn’t return, his family was informed that he had been imprisoned. This was despite the intervention of several conservative clerics who attempted to prevent the sentence from being carried out.

According to the article, Ghabel is an ally of former reformist President Mohammad Khatami and a prominent member of Iran’s largest reform party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front.

“Ghabel was taken to jail because he continued to work for democratic reforms and opposed hard-line interpretations of Islamic rule,” his brother Ahmed Ghabel said. “Ghabel’s close links with top clerics in Qom was annoying hard-liners. He was seen as a threat to their hard-line agenda in Qom.”

He added, “To hard-line authorities, my brother must not wear clerical robe anymore. But such tactics don’t work. Defrocking my brother won’t stop him from pursuing reforms.

For the full article, click here.


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