Petition to free Muhammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan

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According to a petition posted 6/14/2012 at GoPetition, Dr. Muhammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan faces the death penalty in Iran on three charges:

1. Conversion to Christianism;
2. Persistence on New Faith;
3. Pro-human rights activity

Dr. Salmani-Nodoushan has a web page at International Journal of Language Studies, where he is one of the co-editors. An older (closed) petition (published 8/31/2011, closed 12/2/2011) indicates that

Dr. Mohammad Ali Salmani Nodoushan was arrested in Iran on Thursday August 25, 2011. He has been taken to unknown place.

On Farvardin 27, 1370 (April 16,1991) Mohammad married a sophomore student—named Fariba Moradalizadeh—from his same university. Fariba’s Mother, Mrs Soroor Ziaii, was a close relative of Effat Marashi, the-then-Iranian president’s wife, so he found himself in the in-group of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s family and tribe.

Dr Salmani Nodoushan has been a political dissident, a human-rights activist, and a freedom fighter in Iran. In the past 20 years he has been detained and tortured several times.

Recently, Fariba Moradalizadeh, Dr Salmani Nodoushan’s ex-wife, has gained upon some information that indicates Dr Salmani Nodoushan has been a Christian since 1993. She has written to some Grand Ayatollahs, and they have decreed that Dr Salmani Nodoushan must be put to the sword based on Islamic laws.

This time, the Iranian regime may want to use his conversion as a pretext to execute him.

His personal website appears to be here. I haven't been able to find any news-media coverage of this matter.

Based on the information available, I've signed the petition, and I invite you to consider doing the same.


  1. lukys said,

    June 19, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Is there a difference between Christianism and Christianity?

    [(myl) Yes, but in this case, I suspect that it's a translation error, either by some Iranian source, or by "Diego", who originally posted the petition.]

  2. Jon Weinberg said,

    June 19, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    . . . but a translation error that also appears in other contexts. Here, for example, is an article published by an entity calling itself the "Iran Press Service" referring to "the main three divine faiths of Judaism, Christianism and Islam".

  3. Tom Noir said,

    June 19, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    It's too bad that the petition site couldn't be bothered to secure the page where they ask you to enter all that personal information.

  4. Dakota said,

    June 19, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    (can't access this from my current location)

    apparently freed in November, recently re-arrested…

    another blog post here:

  5. Outis said,

    June 19, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    Don't want to be a party-pooper, but what exactly is this petition supposed to accomplish? The "target" of this petition are not in a position to do anything — UNHCR doesn't really deal with individual political prisoners, and all the other organizations named have pretty much zero sway in Iran. Is this a petition to Amnesty International to start a letter-writing campaign to petition to some folks with actual power to petition for the eventual release of this man?

  6. Rubrick said,

    June 19, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    Are those the actual charges, or "what they really mean" paraphrases? I would have expected a regime like Iran's to be more subtle than to have a statute explicitly forbidding "Pro human rights activity" (instead calling it "sedition" or somesuch).

  7. David Walker said,

    June 20, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    He is facing the death penalty for "Pro-human rights activity"? Wow. Let's keep the masses oppressed…

  8. KevinM said,

    June 21, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    Reminds me of the geniuses who promulgated a regulation prohibiting "First Amendment activities" in their airport. The regulation, not surprisingly, turned out to be vulnerable to a First Amendment challenge.,_Inc.

  9. Dakota said,

    June 22, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    Check out the blog I linked to. Apparently he has contributed to a website that also hires individuals who are members of The Re*ligion Which Must Not Be Named From My Location. Here's part of what it says:

    Although it is almost impossible to confirm this information, the following message was sent earlier this week:

    I am contacting you on behalf of your friend.
    Please DO NOT reply to this mail. I will delete this address as soon as this email is sent.
    Your friend in C*U*S*T*O*D*Y again since 14:00 hours local time June 13, 2012.
    1. Conversion
    2. Persistence on New Faith
    3. Propaganda against G*O*V*E*R*N*M*E*N*T by placing a footnote on page 1 of the article at:
    4. Including some J*E*W*S and I*S*R*A*E*L*I*s on I*J*L*S editorial board (i.e., this has resulted in his being charged for E* S* P*I *O *N *A *G *E for that G*O*V*E*R*N*M*E*N*T)
    Items 1 to 4 all automatically entail a D*E*A*T*H sentence.
    Please make sure you go public with this info since our cyber activities are CTRLed here, so we cannot do anything. Things must be done outside of here.
    Please remember that my name must be kept S*E*C*R*E*T. Please:
    1. Contact S*A*R, U*N* Human R*I*G*H*T*S W*A*T*C*H, and other related organizations and N*G*Os.
    2. Open a new P*E*T*I*T*I*O*N on G*O*P*E*T*I*T*I*O*N dot C*O*M
    3. Go public with all the past info and documents on F*A*C*E*B*O*O*K and other M*E*D*I*A
    4. Whatever else you think will help.
    Thank you very much.

    Hard to know what will help in this situation. Publicity of any type, I would imagine.

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