Mr. Musa Talebi
was arrested in 1979 and sentenced to death for apostasy on August 18, 1996 by the Islamic Revolutionary Court, branch number 31, is in the Evin Prison in Tehran. He was initially sentenced to ten years in prison for having shared the tenets of his faith with others. An appellate court reduced that sentence to 18 months. The public prosecutors, protesting that the sentence was too light and that the court had failed to consider the charge of apostasy, appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court referred the case to Islamic Revolutionary Court, branch 31, which set aside the earlier sentence and imposed the death sentence for apostasy. The death sentence was appealed, but on January 28, 1997 the Bahá’í International Community was informed that the Supreme Court of Iran had confirmed the sentence. This news was conveyed to relatives of Mr. Talebi during prison visits. It has been the practice of the Iranian authorities to convey verdicts orally to prisoners and not give them a copy of the actual text of the court decision.