AN MEP who lives in the Wye Valley has launched an appeal to halt the execution of a member of a persecuted religious minority in Iran.

West Midlands Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre, who lives in Walford near Ross-on-Wye, is calling for a retrial after Yavar Mohammed Salas was “unfairly” convicted of the murder of three police officers by by the Iranian Supreme Court last month.

She is gathering signatures from MEPs of all nationalities and political allegiances for a letter insisting that the Iranian leadership must stop the hanging and conduct a fair trial.

Supporters say Mr Salas, a Gonabi Dervish, was wrongly convicted of the murder as the case against him is “incomplete and unsubstantiated”.

He was accused of killing the officers by running them down with a bus in February, but campaigners say there is no evidence showing he drove it.

Eyewitness and photographic evidence establishing his innocence was ignored by the court, while an alleged confession was extracted under duress, they claim.

Ms McIntyre said: “It appears Mr Salas was denied proper legal representation and that his trial violated the Iranian constitution and penal code. We say there must be no execution and this man must be allowed his right to a fair trial.

“We also condemn the suppression of religious and ethnic minorities, and the persecution of Gonabadi Dervishes in Iran, and call for the immediate release of detainees who have been imprisoned because of their beliefs.”

Mr Salas previously attended a court hearing on March 11, where he was not allowed to hire his own attorney.

Campaigners also say he was tortured and interrogated prior to the court hearing inside solitary confinement.

They claim “false statements” were made by the prosecutor to imply that he confessed to the murder charge of the three police officers.

During his trial, the defendant rejected all gations and pleaded alle not guilty.

The website says: “This entire case against Mr Salas is a false and cruel accusation set up in an orchestrated attempt to forcefully sentence him to death and execute him.

“The court trial of Mr Salas was initially being broadcasted live on Iran’s National Television that is controlled by the regime, in order to malign his image as a “criminal”, and was quickly shut down soon after Mr Salas pleaded not guilty.

“The case lacks any evidence of a murder weapon, and does not have any credible evidence to prove that the driver of the bus was Mr Salas, or even place him at the scene.

“The prosecution does not have any confession from Mr Salas, despite their repeated attempts to torture him in solitary confinement.

“The heavily tampered video clip which the Regime has tried to push as supposed evidence for the case, is clearly fabricated and tampered with.”