Baha’i citizen Sanaz Notghi was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in prison by the Ahvaz Revolutionary Court on a charge of “membership in an illegal Baha’i organization” and to eight months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, if the sentence is upheld at the appeal court, with the application of Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 5 years of imprisonment will be applicable as the most severe punishment for Ms. Notghi.
According to unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.
This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation of 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.