13 Baha’i Citizens Sentenced to Over 40 Years in Prison Combined

13 Baha'i Citizens Sentenced to Over 40 Years in Prison Combined

The Court of Appeals in Karaj has issued a combined sentence of 40 years and seven months, along with additional punishments, for 13 Baha’i citizens.

The verdicts state that Afif Na’imi (Naeimi) will serve seven years, while Saman Ostovar and Kamyar Habibi will each serve five years. Rameleh Tirgarnejad, Elham Shareghi Arani, and Sabin Yazdani have been sentenced to three years. Mahsa Tirgar, Shahrzad Mastouri, Sadaf Sheikhzadeh, Negin Rezaie, Nakisa Rezaie, Sahba Adyani, and Bita Momtazi will serve two years and one month. Additionally, all individuals have been fined, prohibited from leaving the country, and restricted from residing in Alborz Province, along with other social deprivations.
They have been convicted of multiple charges such as “insulting and propaganda against Islamic Sharia, forming and running groups to act against national security through preaching Baha’i faith to children in Kindergartens, promoting against Islamic Sharia through holding coaching courses.”

The court session took place on June 15, 2023, without notifying their lawyers. The initial sentences have now been upheld and will be enforced within ten days, as confirmed by a reliable source who spoke to HRANA.

These citizens were detained during the summer of the previous year. While the specific grounds for the charges remain undisclosed, they appear to be related to their educational activities for children in Alborz Province, particularly preschool children. The Iranian regime perceives the peaceful activities of Baha’is in providing humanitarian aid and education as a threat to its own ideology.

According to HRANA annual report, from the total human rights reports regarding the violation of religious minorities’ rights, 64.63% belonged to the violation of the rights of Baha’is.

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