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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Ayatollah Mohammad Kazemeini Boroujerdi


Detained Since: October 8, 2006.

Charges: Emnity against God, spreading propaganda against the regime.

Sentence: Eleven years in prison.

Biography: Ayatollah Mohammad Kazemeini Boroujerdi is a Shi’a cleric who advocates for the separation of religion and state and has spoken out on behalf of the rights of Iran’s religious minorities as well as those of its Shi’a Muslim majority.  In October 2006, he was arrested and imprisoned without charge.  He and seventeen of his followers were tried by a special court with jurisdiction over Shi’a clerics and sentenced to death on spurious charges, including “enmity against God” and spreading propaganda against the regime.  After an appeal, the death sentence was withdrawn and Ayatollah Boroujerdi was sentenced to eleven years in prison.   He currently is serving his prison term, and the government has banned him from practicing his clerical duties and confiscated his home and belongings.  He has suffered physical and mental abuse while in prison.

Advocacy Partner: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Past Advocate: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN, Ret.)