A Baha’i citizen, Elaheh Samizadeh, sentenced to an extra year in prison

Posted on: May 25th, 2020

Elaheh Samizadeh, a Baha’i citizen, has been sentenced to one extra year of imprisonment and two years suspension from holding all governmental and public jobs by Branch 105 of Shiraz Criminal Court.

Ms. Samizadeh had previously been sentenced to six years in prison by Branch One of Shiraz Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Seyed Mahmoud Sadati, on charges of “propaganda against the regime and membership in opposition groups” Based on the Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Ms. Samizadeh should serve five years in prison. Ms. Samizadeh is the mother of a toddler boy, and charges brought up against her of “propaganda against the regime” and “collaborating” with “dissident “groups” are because she worked as an instructor at “mother-child innovation courses” using her valid college degree obtained from official institutions. Charge of “forging a university degree” was brought up against her in July 2019 and caused her bail to be increased by 60 million Toman. According to the verdict that was communicated to Ms. Samizadeh on May 22, 2020, by Branch 105 of Shiraz Criminal Court presided over by Judge Fakharzadeh, “usage of scientific titles” which refers to her studies at BIHI (Baha’i University) is the underlying reason for her sentence of 1-year imprisonment and 2 years suspension from holding all governmental and public jobs.  An informed source told HRANA: “She is accused of forging her diploma, while Ms. Samizadeh studied at the Baha’i Online University (BIHE) due to the Baha’is’ exclusion from studying at country’s accredited universities. She has also received her degree from this university, and after making bail has been repeatedly summoned and interrogated over this fact.”

Earlier, Shahriar Atrian, Navid Bazmandegan, Bahareh Ghaderi, Nora Purmoradian, Soheila Haghighat, Shahnaz Sabet, and Soodabeh Haghighat, were also charged by Branch 1 of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Seyed Mahmoud Sadati in the same case. The charges against this group include “propaganda against the regime and membership in an opposition group” which caused a 6-year sentence for every member of this group, an 8-year sentence for Niloufar Hakimi, and a 1-year sentence for Ehsanullah Mahboub Rah Vafa. From this group, Ms. Haghighat is also awaiting another trial in the criminal court, and Niloufar Hakimi has previously been sentenced to five years in prison by a criminal court. Taking Ms. Samizadeh’s new convictions into account, she and nine others implicated in this case have been sentenced to a total of 63 years in prison. These citizens were arrested by security forces in September 2018 and were all released on bail impending trial. HARANA reports the second part of Ms. Samizadeh’s case which went into the sentencing phase on May 22, 2020, has added a 1-year conviction to her previously 6-year sentence, and this addition brings up the collective sentencing of this group to a total of 63 years.

Bahai’s of Iran are deprived of all liberties and religious related activities, a systematic deprivation of liberty which goes against Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that entitle any person to freedom of religion and belief, freedom expression individually or collectively and in a public or private setting. According to unofficial reports, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran. However, Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i faith. And this reason has given the Iranian authorities an excuse to systematically violate the rights of Baha’i citizens over the years.

 

A report on Sunni prisoners of Rajai Shahr Prison

Posted on: April 8th, 2020

31 Sunni prisoners are detained in ward 7 of hall 21 of Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj in an unfavorable condition. This report that is gathered by Human Rights Activists (HRANA) examines the conditions in Rajai Shahr Prison and as well, the condition of 31 Sunni political prisoners who were kept in this prison. The information of this report was gathered from the sources inside the prison. Several prisoners contacted HRANA while incarcerated in Rajai Shahr Prison or after they were released.

Prison conditions

Lack of hygiene products and sanitary necessities in the prison during the Coronavirus outbreak has raised concerns among these prisoners. Some of these prisoners, who are serving their rather long imprisonment sentences in exile, suffer from various illnesses such as shortness of breath, neck and knee arthritis, and herniated disc. As a result of the location of this hall and high humidity in the ward, the majority of the prisoners suffer from respiratory diseases. Also, unsafe and unpurified drinking-water caused kidney problems such as kidney stones for many of these prisoners. Moreover, malnutrition has weakened them physically. In addition, many of these prisoners suffer from psychiatric disorders as a result of the tortures they endured during their interrogation or detentions.

 

Other issues

In addition, most of these prisoners were transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj from different towns across Iran, thus, long distances and the costs of transportation to and from their towns has led to fewer family visits for these prisoners.

In recent years, these prisoners have been subject to attacks and violent searches that led to the destruction of their belongings. In the latest attack on February 6, 2019, the security forces including the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and more than 200 of the prison guards attacked ward 7 of hall 21 of this prison, confiscated and distracted belongings of these prisoners, and beat several of these prisoners.

 

31 Sunni prisoners of Rajai Shahr Prison

There are 31 Sunni prisoners with political or security charges in this prison. The latest list of the names of these prisoners and their health condition is complied by HRANA as follows:

 

1.Teymour Naderizadeh – arrest: June 2010 – charges: membership and collaboration with Salafi groups – sentence: 12 years of imprisonment – notes: he was first sentenced to death but after three years, his sentence was reduced to 12 years imprisonment.

2.Saeed Karimi – charges: membership in ISIS, act against the national security, waging war against God (Moharebeh) – sentence: death – health condition: he suffers from Diabetes and shortness of breath – notes: he left the country for a while and was allegedly joined the ISIS but returned and was arrested after two months.

3.Barzan Nasrollahzadeh – arrest: June 2010 – charges: waging war against God (Moharebeh) – sentence: death – health condition: he suffers from kidney stones, gastrointestinal discomfort, and herniated disc. He is physically very weak because of missing spleen – notes: when he was 17 years old, he was arrested by the security forces on the back from school. He was shot 5 times at the time of arrest in which he lost his spleen.

4.Abdolrahman Sangani – arrest: 2010 – charges: waging war against God (Moharebeh) through supporting Salafi groups – sentence: he was initially sentenced to death but his sentence was reduced to life in prison – health condition: he suffers from respiratory disease and due to a severe infection of his eye, he has lost vision in one of his eyes. Also, due to an accident before being arrested, half of his body is numb.

5.Hamzeh Darvish – arrest: 2016 – charges: waging war against God (Moharebeh) through membership in ISIS and leaving the country illegally – sentence: 15 years imprisonment – health condition: he takes psychiatric medication due to psychiatric conditions.

6.Abdollah Shariati – arrest: July 2011 – charges: waging war against God (Moharebeh) through membership in an opposition group – sentence: 10 years imprisonment – health condition: has undergone two operation on his neck discs and suffers from asthma and herniated disc.

7.Farshid Naseri – arrest: 2010 – charges: membership and collaboration with a Salafi group – sentence: 12 years imprisonment – health condition: he suffers from herniated disc and arthritis in the knee and the neck.

8.Firouz Hamidi – arrest: 2010 – charges: charges: waging war against God (Moharebeh) through membership in a Salafi group – sentence: 20 years imprisonment – health condition: he lost a kidney. He suffers from shortness of breath and stomach disease, so he is physically weak, and he only weighs 45 Kg.

9.Khosro Besharat – arrest: January 2010 – charges: involvement in assasination of Mamusta Abdolrahim Tina, membership in a Salafi group, corruption on earth, act against the national security and propaganda against the state – sentence: death – health condition: he suffers from psychiatric diseases but the prison authorities refuse to provide him with his medications.

10.Farzad Shahnazari – arrest: 2010 – charges: membership and collaboration with a Salafi group – sentence: 12 years imprisonment – health condition: he suffers from a heart condition, shortness of breath and gastrointestinal discomfort.

11.Borhan Asgharian – arrest: 2012 – charges: act against the national security and waging war against God (Moharebeh) through membership in a Salafi group – sentence: 10 years imprisonment – health condition: he suffers from herniated disc and in need of a surgery.

12.Tohid Ghoreishi – arrest: April 2014 – charges: assembly and collusion with an intent to act against the national security, supporting opposition groups, and propaganda against the state – sentence: 16 years imprisonment – notes: he was previously sentenced to 5 years imprisonment which was completed in March 2019 but when he was expecting to be released, a new case was opened for him and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

13.Abdoljabbar Hasani – arrest: 2012 – charges: acting against the national security and waging war against God (Moharebeh) through membership in a Salafi group – sentence: 10 years imprisonment – health condition: he suffers from neck arthritis and kidney stone.

14.Foad Babaei – arrest: 2012 – his charges and details of his case are not known – sentence: 10 years imprisonment – health condition: he suffers from herniated discs and vision of one of his eyes is severely distorted.

15.Mokhtar Kakaei – arrest: 2014 – his charges and details of his case are not known – sentence: 15 years imprisonment – health condition: because of he was severely hit in his head during interrogation, he is having difficulty in his hearings in both ears. He also suffers from foot ache.

16.Abdolaziz Pirabi – arrest: 2016 – his charges and details of his case are not known – sentence: 15 years imprisonment – health condition: he suffers from severe headaches and has fainted several times.

17.Omid Sotoudeh – arrest: 2016 – charges: cooperation with ISIS – sentence: 15 years imprisonment.

18.Ahmad Anjezari – arrest: 2014 – his charges and details of his case are not known – sentence: 15 years imprisonment

19.Adnan Hosseini – arrest: 2016 – his charges and details of his case are not known – sentence: 15 years imprisonment – notes: he was a store owner at Paveh Border Market before being arrested.

20.Yasin Abbas Joubi – arrest: 2014 – his charges and details of his case are not known – sentence: 15 years imprisonment.

21.Kamran Sheikheh – arrest: January 2011 – charges: involvement in assassination of Mamusta Abdolrahim Tina, membership in Salafi groups, corruption on earth, act against the national security, and propaganda against the state – sentence: death.

22.Farhad Salimi – arrest: January 2011 – charges: involvement in assassination of Mamusta Abdolrahim Tina, membership in Salafi groups, corruption on earth, act against the national security, and propaganda against the state – sentence: death.

23.Anvar Khezri – arrest: January 2011 – charges: involvement in assassination of Mamusta Abdolrahim Tina, membership in Salafi groups, corruption on earth, act against the national security, and propaganda against the state – sentence: death – health condition: he suffers from respiratory diseased due to tortures during his detention. The physicians believe that his condition is because he was hit hard on his chest.

24.Ayoub Karimi – arrest: January 2011 – charges: involvement in assassination of Mamusta Abdolrahim Tina, membership in Salafi groups, corruption on earth, act against the national security, and propaganda against the state – sentence: death.

25.Ali Mafakheri – arrest: 2014 – charges: leaving the country illegally and act against the national security – sentence: 1o years imprisonment – notes: his sentence was initially rejected by the Supreme Court but was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by judge Salavati.

26.Ismaeil Rashidi – arrest: August 2016 – charge: act against the national security (unknown details) – sentence: 5 years imprisonment.

27.Hossein Palani – arrest: 2016 – charge: cooperation with ISIS – notes: he has been in a limo state from the time of his arrest. The first and only session to investigate his charges was held five months ago. He and Ahmad Abdolrahman used to sell foreign currencies (Dollars) before being arrested.

28.Yasin Mahmoudian – arrest: 2017 – charges: membership and cooperation with ISIS and waging war against God (Moharebeh) – sentence: death – notes: he was arrested at his residence after the armed attack to the Parliament. He was charged with providing a vehicle for the attackers to the Parliament.

29.Fereidoun Zakeri Nasab – arrest: 2017 – charges: membership and cooperation with ISIS and waging war against God (Moharebeh) – sentence: death – notes: he was arrested at his residence after the armed attack to the Parliament. He was charged with providing a vehicle for the attackers to the Parliament.

30.Mohammad Abdolrahman – arrest: 2014 – charges: leaving the country illegally and act against the national security – sentence: 10 years imprisonment – notes: he is a citizen of Iraq. He claimed that he traveled to Iran to meet his friend, Ali Mafakheri. He was a construction worker before being arrested. Three years ago, the authorities promised to release him earlier, but he has not yet been released.

31.Ahmad Abdolrahman – arrest: 2016 – charge: cooperation with ISIS – notes: he is a citizen of Iraq. He has been in a limo state since he was arrested. The first and only session to investigate his charges was held five months ago. He and Hossein Palani used to sell foreign currencies (Dollars) before being arrested.

30 Baha’is were summoned to the court in Shiraz

Posted on: March 17th, 2020

On March 14, 2019, 30 Baha’i citizens were summoned to Branch 10 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz. Their summon was related to a case that was opened back in 2016 against them by the Intelligence Ministry. They were charged with “membership in an opposition group” and “propaganda against the state”. They were identified as follows:

Noushin Zanhari, Esmail Rousta, Behnam Azimpour, Saeed Hasani, Ramin Shirvani, Marjan Gholampour, Mojgan Gholampour, Farid Shademan, Farzad Shademan, Parisa Rouhizadegan, Shamim Akhlaghi, Sahba Farahbakhsh, Sahba Moslehi, Ahdyeh Enayati, Mahyar Sefidi, Shadi Sadegh Aghdam, Vargha Kaviani, Soroush Ighani, Maryam Eslami, Yekta Fahandaj Saadi, Nabil Tahzib, Samar Ashnaei, Rezvan Yazdani, Lala Salehi, Nasim Kashani, Bahareh Norouzi, Niloufar Hakimi, Farzan Masoumi, Shahnaz Sabet, and Farhad Sabet

 

Background

Marjan Gholampour, Mojgan Gholampour, Farid Shademan, Farzad Shademan, Parisa Rouhizadegan, Shamim Akhlaghi, Sahba Farahbakhsh, Sahba Moslehi, Ahdyeh Enayati, Mahyar Sefidi, Shadi Sadegh Aghdam, Vargha Kaviani, Soroush Ighani, and Maryam Eslami were arrested in 2016 and were transferred to Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center in Shiraz known as the No. 100 Detention Center.

On October 3, 2016, Bahareh Norouzi and her husband, Siamak Honarvar were arrested and their house was searched and their belongings were confiscated. They were also transferred to the No.100 Detention Center.

On October 10, 2016, Vargha Kaviani, Shamim Akhlaghi, Farid Shademan, Soroush Ighaei, Farzad Shademan, and Mojgan Gholampour were released from Adel Abad Prison on 200 million Tomans bail along with 92 other prisoners.

On October 11, 2016, Marjan Gholampour, Maryam Eslami, and Parisa Rouhizadegan were released from prison on 200 million Tomans bail.

Moreover, Noushin Zanhari, Esmail Rousta, Behnam Azimpour, Saeed Hasani, and Ramin Shirvani were arrested along with several other Baha’i citizens in June 2016. They were released on 200 million Toman bail after a month.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

A Christian Citizen Was Arrested and Another Was Went into Exile

Posted on: December 16th, 2019

According to Aran Moghan, a Christian citizen was arrested in Pars Abad Moghan by the Damghan Intelligence Department officers and Security police. He was accused of “Christianity mission” and “disturbing public opinion” in public space and cyberspace.

Additionally, another Christian citizen, Ebrahim Firouzi, started serving his sentence to live in exile in Sarbaz city on November 12, 2019. He was released on October 26, 2019, after serving five years in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. On March 7th, 2013, Ebrahim Firouzi, a 28-year-old Christian convert was arrested by the security forces when he was on his way to his work. He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. He has multiple arrests in his record and was previously sentenced to one year in prison and two years living in exile in Sarbaz. He was tried on the charge of acting against the national security on March 8, 2015, by judge Mogheiseh. He has no access to a lawyer before trial and met his lawyer for the first time in the court hearing. The Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Ebrahim Firouzi to five years in prison. He was arrested for the first time on January 11, 2011. He was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state”, “insulting Islamic sacraments” and “acting against national security” by the Branch 102 of Robat Karim’s Revolutionary Court.

Although Christianity is an official minority religion in Iran, converting to Christianity is not acceptable.

Ali Ahmadi, a Baha’i citizen, Was Sentenced to 11 Years Imprisonment

Posted on: December 5th, 2019

On December 2, 2019, Ali Ahmadi, a Baha’i citizen, was sentenced to an 11-year prison term by Qaemshahr Revolutionary Court.

On November 20, 2018 he was arrested by security forces. He was transferred to solidarity confinement at Kachoui Detention Center in Sari. On January 2, 2019, after 43 days of imprisonment, he was temporarily released on 150 million Tomans bail. He was charged with “propaganda against the state”. He has been arrested at least five times during last 10 years.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

11 Baha’is were arrested in Isfahan and Omidiyeh

Posted on: December 2nd, 2019

Soroush Azadi is the tenth Baha’i citizen who was arrested in November 2019 by security forces in Baharestan in Isfahan. He was arrested on November 30, 2019. His whereabouts is still unknown. On the same day, two Baha’i citizens, Bardia Farzaneh and his uncle, Esmail Farzaneh, were arrested at their homes in Omidiyeh in Khuzestan. They were transferred to an unknown place. Their houses were searches and their belongings were confiscated.

Moreover, on November 29, 2019, nine other Baha’i residents of Baharestan in Isfahan were arrested and their houses were searched and their belongings were confiscated. They were identified as following:

Shahab Ferdosian, Nasim Jaberi, Mehran Allahverdi, Shahbaz Bashi, Vahideh Niazmand, Naser Lotfi, Ghodus Lotfi, Saghar Manouchehrzadeh, and Homa Manouchehrzadeh

Additionally, earlier on November 16, Nasr Rajab, Baha’i resident of Karaj, was arrested and his house was searched and his cell phone and Identification card were confiscated.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

Seven Baha’is Were Sentenced to 21 Years Imprisonment in Bushehr

Posted on: November 25th, 2019

Bushehr Appellate Court upheld sentences of seven Baha’i citizens. On May 5, 2019, they were sentenced to 21 years imprisonment, compiled, by the Bushehr Revolutionary Court. Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha Faramarzi, and Pooneh Nasheri were each sentenced to three years imprisonment.

They were arrested on February 13, 2018 by the security forces. Their houses were searched and their personal belongings such as laptops, books, flash memories, external hard drives, and family albums were confiscated. On March 6, 2018, Pooneh Nasheri and Emad Jaberi were temporarily released on 250 million Tomans bail. Subsequently, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Farideh Jaberi, and Farokhlegha Faramarzi, were released on 250 million Tomans bail on March 13, 2018.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

Three Baha’is were sentenced to 23 years imprisonment

Posted on: November 15th, 2019

Behnam Eskandari, Yalda Firouzian, and Ardeshir Fanaiyan, three Baha’i citizens residing in Semnan, were sentenced to 23 years in prison and live in exile.

They were arrested on April 30, 2019 by the security forces, their personal belongings were confiscated, and they were transferred to Semnan Prison. The Revolutionary Court of Semnan put hold on their temporary releases. They are banned from having any visitor and contact with outside of prison. Behnam Eskandari was under pressure in the course of his interrogation for forced confession. He was resilient and was transferred to the quarantine ward where he was beaten by two other prisoners.

According to the verdict issued by the Semnan Revolutionary Court headed by judge Mohammad Ali Rostami, Ardeshir Fanaiyan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and one year live in exile in Khash on the charge of “cooperation in establishing an illegal group inside the country with the aim of acting against the national security”. Yalda Firouzian and Behnam Eskandarian were sentenced to five years imprisonment and two years ban from living in Semnan, each on the charge of “membership in establishing an illegal group inside the country with the aim of acting against national security”. Also, each of them were sentenced to a one-year prison term for the charge of “cooperation in acting against national security in favor of opposition groups”. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Ardeshir Fanaiyan should spend 10 years in prison, Yalda Firouzian, and Behnam Eskandaian should spend five years in prison, each.

Ardeshir Fanaiyan’s first arrest was on January 8, 2019 and was sentenced to an eight-month prison term. Although the law of arresting the eligible ones for military service has been cancelled.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

Three Baha’is Were Arrested in Shiraz

Posted on: October 21st, 2019

On October 21, 2019, three Baha’i citizens were arrested in Shiraz while their houses and several other Baha’i houses were searched and their personal belongings such as laptops, cell phones, and computers were confiscated. Farzan Masoumi, Kiana Shoaei, and Soroush Abadi were arrested by the Intelligence Department officers and were transferred to an undisclosed location. The identities of the other Baha’i citizens whose houses were searched are still unknown.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

Three Baha’is Were Sentenced to Three Years Imprisonment

Posted on: October 12th, 2019

Three Baha’i residents of Abadan and Ahvaz, Neda Sabeti (Azadi), Forough Farzaneh, and Noushin Afshar were each sentenced to a one-year prison term for the charge of “propaganda against the state” by the Revolutionary Court of Abadan.  On May 6, 2019, they were arrested at their houses and were transferred to Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz on May 30, 2019.

A closed source told HRANA that their case was opened by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and during their interrogations, they were under pressure for forced confession. On May 6, 2019, they were arrested at their houses by six agents of the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Ahvaz and Abadan. They were released a week after on May 13 but were rearrested for an unknown reason on the same day. They were released on bail on May 30, 2019.

Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private. Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.