Facebook Activist Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for “Insulting the Prophet”
Soheil Arabi, whose death sentence for “insulting the prophet” was recently struck down by the Supreme Court, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, a source close to the case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Branch 10 of Tehran Criminal Court also ordered Arabi to study Islamic courses for two years to “prove his repentance” for posting content on Facebook against the Prophet Mohammad, the source added.
“Mr. Arabi must read 13 books on theology and religious awareness for two years and prepare summaries for each one to clear his doubts. He must also be in contact with the True Path Institute as well as the Imam Khomeini Research Center and present his questions. Every month he will present to the court the questions, answers and book summaries,” the source told the Campaign.
Arabi, 32, was arrested in November 2013 by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards for his posts on Facebook and sentenced to death for “insulting the Prophet” (sabb-al-nabi) by Branch 76 of the Tehran Penal Court. But on June 27, 2015, the Supreme Court nullified the death sentence.
The source close to Arabi said there would be another appeal to try to reduce the seven-and-half-year prison sentence “because we believe he should spend less time in prison.”
Arabi, who has admitted he was “not in a suitable state of mind” when he wrote some of his Facebook posts, is currently serving a three-year sentence in Evin Prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “waging propaganda against the state.”