“Norway is deeply concerned about reports from Iran that the execution of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been sentenced to death, may be imminent. We appeal to the Iranian authorities to stop the execution, and we will repeat this in no uncertain terms,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The Iranian authorities have sentenced Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to death for having renounced Islam. This is incompatible with the country’s human rights obligations. Norway has been following the case closely for a long time through our embassy in Tehran and has had regular contact with the Iranian authorities and human rights organisations.
“Pastor Nadarkhani’s case is a frightening example of the deteriorating situation of religious minorities in Iran,” said Mr Støre.
Norway has repeatedly called on the Iranian authorities to comply with their international human rights obligations, both directly and in official statements.
“The Government is working for the total abolition of the death penalty and has recently stepped up efforts to protect religious minorities. This is a global human rights challenge, but the situation in a number of countries in the Middle East, such as Iran, gives cause for concern and calls for intensified international efforts. We will reiterate this at the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council next week,” said Mr Støre.