World

Jailed Raelian leader receives overwhelming public support in Turkish news poll


03 Dec, 2009
 None    World

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An overwhelming majority (98.3 percent) of the nearly 500,000 people who cast votes in a poll taken by the Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet said that Raelian leader Negar Azizmoradi, 30, an Iranian woman presently confined to an Istanbul detention center, should not be returned to Iran.

An overwhelming majority (98.3 percent) of the nearly 500,000 people who cast votes in a poll taken by the Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet said that Raelian leader Negar Azizmoradi, 30, an Iranian woman presently confined to an Istanbul detention center, should not be returned to Iran. The poll results were published in Hürriyet on Monday.

Azizmoradi, head of the Raelian Movement in Iran, was arrested in Turkey after fleeing religious persecution in Iran. Following Movement guidelines, she had publicly declared her Raelian beliefs that there is no god and that all life on Earth, including humans, was created through genetic engineering by extraterrestrial scientists known as the Elohim.

In addition, she had apostasized from Islam. (Formal withdrawal from any birth religion that acknowledges a personal deity is required of all International Raelian Movement members.)

"Public declarations of atheism and apostasy from Islam are punishable by death in Iran," said Brigitte Boisselier, spokesperson for the International Raelian Movement. "Since Negar faces the death sentence if she is sent back to Iran, it's wonderful to see the Turkish people giving such overwhelming support for her asylum request. We deeply hope that the Turkish authorities will listen to their own citizens and release Negar instead of deporting her to Iran.”


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