After 33 days, Baha’i citizen Saba Sefidi, a resident of Tehran, is still in detention pending legal process. On January 11, she was arrested after an appearance at Branch 2 of Evin Courthouse.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, despite family frequent inquiry, judicial officials at Evin Courthouse have not yet provided any clear information about the reason for the arrest or her whereabouts, which is raising concern about her condition.
Since her arrest, she has been only allowed to make a few short calls to her family.
Regarding the prosecution and harassment of Baha’i people by Iran’s regime, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson stated that HRA strongly condemned these discriminatory acts against religious minorities in Iran. She asked that the regime take action to ensure Iranian people, and particularly Baha’i citizens, are entitled to the freedom of religion and can perform religious acts freely.
According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that 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.
The deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach 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.