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Former Tehran University Chancellor Charged With 'Waging A War Against God'

Mohammad Maleki

Mohammad Maleki

The former chancellor of Tehran University, Mohammad Maleki, has been charged with “moharebeh” (waging a war against God), a charge that carries the death sentence.

Maleki was released last week on bail after spending about three months in solitary confinement. Maleki’s lawyer, Mohammad Sharif, has said that the 76-year-old religious activist has been charged with “moharebeh” over alleged ties to an “illegal organization.”

Maleki’s wife, Ghodsi Mirmoez, rejected the charge against her husband as “a lie” and told RFE/RL that authorities have been misusing the term “moharebeh,” which according to Iranian law applies to someone who has taken up arms against the establishment.

“Dr. Maleki is not like this in his nature and ideas. I can say with full trust that this is not [a charge] that is applicable to Maleki, but [the authorities] want to say it as they’ve said many other things,” Mirmoez said.

Maleki’s lawyer has said that he has also been charged with acting against national security and insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Maleki has been jailed a number of times in recent years and has spent many months in solitary confinement. He is due to go on trial in April.

Maleki is among the oldest activists and intellectuals to have been jailed in Iran's postelection unrest. He was being treated for prostrate cancer when he was jailed three months ago and his wife says his health has deteriorated as a result of his imprisonment.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.