Baha’i Anisa Fanaeian Receives Lengthy 16-Year Prison Sentence and Additional Penalties

Baha'i Anisa Fanaeian Receives Lengthy 16-Year Prison Sentence and Additional Penalties

The Revolutionary Court of Semnan has issued a harsh sentence of 16 years in prison, coupled with additional penalties, for Baha’i citizen Anisa Fanaeian.

Presiding over Branch 1 of the Semnan Revolutionary Court, Judge Ali Isari sentenced Fanaeian to ten years for “forming groups to act against national security.” In addition, she received a five-year sentence, a fine, and deprivation from social rights for her involvement in “educational activities and propagating against Sharia Islam.” Furthermore, Fanaeian was given a one-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime.” The court also mandated the confiscation of $4,350 from her family’s assets, which had been seized during a search of her daughter’s room.

According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, if the verdict is upheld on appeal, the ten-year prison term for the first count will be enforceable.

Fanaeian was arrested by security forces in Semnan on August 21, 2023, and was released on bail pending the conclusion of legal proceedings in early September 2023.

It is worth noting that Fanaeian has faced previous convictions and incarceration due to her religious convictions.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion by Iranian authorities, leading to systematic and longstanding violations of the rights of Baha’is in the country. This includes the denial of their fundamental right to practice their religion, which constitutes a clear breach of both Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

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