An Iranian Pastor, Yusef Nadarkhani 32, who was formerly sentenced to death for apostasy has regained his freedom after all courtesy of the Supreme Court. He was sentenced to death for converting from Islam.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) said that Nadarkhani, converted from Islam to Christianity at the age of 19 and became a pastor of a small evangelical community called the Church of Iran.
It observed that Nadarkhani, was arrested in October 2009 and condemned to death for apostasy under Iran's Islamic Sharia laws, which however allow for such verdicts to be overturned if the convicted person "repents" and renounces his conversion.
AFP noted that after his conviction was upheld by an appeal court in Gilan province in September 2010, Nadarkhani turned to the Supreme Court. His wife, who was initially sentenced to life imprisonment, was released on appeal.
Speaking, his lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah stated: "The Supreme Court has annulled the death sentence and sent the case back to the court in Rasht (his hometown), asking the accused to repent."
Dadkhah said the verdict had been read out to him on the telephone and that he needed to travel to Rasht, where Nadarkhani is being held, to see the ruling for himself.