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Mentally Ill Man Escapes 'Moharebeh' Charge

Blogger and lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei writes about how he represented a young man in court who was charged with "moharebeh," or waging war against God, despite a mental condition. According to Iran's Islamic law, moharebeh is punishable by death:

A few months ago I was sitting at the gate of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. One of my clients was awaiting trial there, scheduled for 9 a.m. I was waiting outside when I saw an anxious young man, who was clearly stressed and paralyzed by fear.

I asked him what he was accused of, and he said he was arrested on the charge of moharebeh, and held in Section 209 of Evin prison. He said he didn't even have a lawyer to defend him.

Fortunately for him, I took the power of attorney out of my bag and offered to defend him free of charge. He was glad to hear that and signed the papers immediately.

After the court announced the charges on this young man, Davud Fardbache, I appealed to go through his file after announcing my willingness to defend him. The branch's judge, Pir Abbasi, ordered a review of the case.

Davud's court session was due at 1 p.m. that day, and I came to the conclusion after reviewing his case for an hour and talking to him, that he was not capable of controlling himself and tends to lose control. He had announced on numerous occasions that he was in touch with an Iranian monarchist group, the Assembly of Kingdom, while his accomplices had been arrested and agreed to it.

In any case, the trial began and besides defending my client regarding the nature of this case, I emphasized that he suffers from a mental disorder that prevents him from being in full control of himself, ultimately leading to his acting abnormally.

The court took note of this point and Davud was introduced to the coroners under protection. After some time, the coroners declared that Davud Fardbache has no control over his actions and the court ordered his release.

He had been arrested several months ago for participating actively in the terrorist activities of the Assembly of Kingdom. He will be released soon and I hope this young man can have a productive life and improve his psychological condition.

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.


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