Six Baha’i Citizens Receive Lengthy Prison Sentences

In a recent development, the Tehran Revolutionary Court has handed down substantial prison sentences to six Baha’i citizens, namely Samira Ebrahimi, Arsalan Yazdani, Pedram Abhar, Saba Sefidi, Saeedeh Khozuei, and Iraj Shakoor, totaling 32 years and 10 months behind bars.

Presiding over Branch 29 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, Judge Ali Mazloum has pronounced six-year sentences for Yazdani, Abhar, Khozuei, and Shakoor, while Ebrahimi and Sefidi have been each sentenced to four years and five months.

The charges against these individuals are as follows:

  • Samira Ebrahimi: Membership in anti-regime groups, propaganda against the regime, and engaging in educational activities against Sharia law.
  • Arsalan Yazdani: Membership in anti-regime groups, propaganda against the regime, and engaging in educational activities against Sharia law.
  • Pedram Abhar: Membership in anti-regime groups and propaganda against the regime.
  • Saba Sefidi: Membership in anti-regime groups and propaganda against the regime.
  • Saeedeh Khozuei: Membership in anti-regime groups.
  • Iraj Shakoor: Propaganda against the regime, assembly, and collusion against the regime.

Should these verdicts withstand the appeals process, Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code will mandate the enforcement of a five-year prison term for Yazdani, Khozuei, Shakoor, and Abhar. Ebrahimi and Sefidi, on the other hand, would serve three years and five months in prison.

HRANA’s annual report has highlighted a concerning trend where, in 2022, 64.63% of reported human rights violations against religious minorities are directed toward the Baha’i community.

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.

Baha’i Citizen Iman Rashidi Detained in Yazd

Iman Rashidi, a Baha’i citizen, was taken into custody on October 5, 2023, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence in Yazd, and subsequently transported to an undisclosed detention facility.

According to a source close to his family, HRANA has learned that Rashidi’s wife was leaving their residence when she was confronted and encircled by intelligence agents. Under duress, she was compelled to lead the agents to Mr. Rashidi’s location, resulting in his arrest.

During the operation, the agents also conducted a search of his residence and confiscated some of his personal belongings.

As of now, the reasons behind Rashidi’s arrest and the specific allegations against him remain unknown.

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.

Tehran Revolutionary Court Sentences Baha’i Citizen Nazila Haghar to Five Years in Prison

Nazila Haghar, a Baha’i citizen, has received a five-year prison sentence from the Tehran Revolutionary Court, a verdict that was subsequently affirmed on appeal on August 20, 2023.

In a trial in absentia, Haghar was handed down a five-year sentence for “membership in an illegal group aimed at undermining national security.”
The court cited her involvement in organizing educational programs for children as evidence of this charge.
In July 2022, security forces conducted a thorough search of her residence and confiscated some of the items belonging to her and her family.

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.

 

Baha’i Citizen Susan Badavam Sentenced to Over Four Years in Prison

The Rasht Revolutionary Court has handed down a verdict against Susan Badavam (Farhangi), a Baha’i citizen, sentencing her to a total of four years and 47 days of imprisonment, coupled with additional social restrictions.

The court’s ruling, delivered to Badavam on Monday, August 21st, includes a sentence of three years, six months, and one day for her alleged “educational activities associated with religious sects and groups contrary to Islamic Sharia,” alongside an additional seven months and 16 days for purportedly “disseminating propaganda against the regime.” Additionally, she has been deprived of some civil rights for a duration of ten years.

If the verdict is upheld on appeal, three years and six months for the first count will be enforceable to her.

Badavam’s arrest dates back to December 19, 2022, when she was apprehended by intelligence agents from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Gilan Province.

 

Baha’i Citizen Anisa Fanaeian Detained in Semnan

Semnan, August 21 – Anisa Fanaeian, a member of the Baha’i community and a resident of Semnan, has been apprehended by security forces and transported to an undisclosed location.

A source closely connected to her family has relayed to HRANA that on Monday, at noon, security forces executed a sudden raid on Fanaeian’s residence, culminating in her arrest. During the operation, a thorough search was conducted, leading to the confiscation of several items including her cell phone, laptop, and literature associated with the Baha’i faith.

At present, the motives that prompted Fanaeian’s detention remain obscure, and her present whereabouts are shrouded in uncertainty.

Fanaeian faced conviction and incarceration on prior occasions due to her religious convictions.

HRANA’s annual report has highlighted a concerning trend where, in 2022, 64.63% of reported human rights violations against religious minorities are directed toward the Baha’i community.

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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Baha’i Citizen Arash Nabavi Arrested in Isfahan

Arash Nabavi, a 37-year-old Baha’i community member residing in Isfahan, was apprehended at his residence, on Monday, August 14th, by security forces.

A source connected to Nabavi’s family disclosed to HRANA that a team of five intelligence agents executed the arrest at his home on Monday. During this operation, a thorough search was conducted, leading to the confiscation of various personal items belonging to Nabavi.

Upon contacting the Ministry of Intelligence, his family received information stating that Nabavi is presently undergoing interrogation. The authorities, however, have refrained from disclosing the specific location where he is being held.

HRANA’s annual report has highlighted a concerning trend where, in 2022, 64.63% of reported human rights violations against religious minorities are directed toward the Baha’i community.

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.

 

Baha’i Citizen Suzan Eid Mohammadzadegan Apprehended in Babol

On Tuesday, August 15, Baha’i citizen Suzan Eid Mohammadzadegan was arrested by security forces at her residence in Babol and taken to an undisclosed location.

A family insider disclosed to HRANA that the arresting officers failed to produce an official arrest warrant during the apprehension. The absence of any information pertaining to her current state and location has intensified concerns among her family members.

Furthermore, Niusha Badiei Sabet, another Baha’i individual who happened to be a guest at Mohammadzadegan’s residence, was also taken into custody during the incident.

As of now, the motives behind Mohammadzadegan’s detention, her current whereabouts, and the specific charges levied against her remain shrouded in uncertainty.

HRANA’s annual report has highlighted a concerning trend where, in 2022, 64.63% of reported human rights violations against religious minorities are directed toward the Baha’i community.

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.

Appeal Court Confirms Six-Year Sentence for Baha’i Citizen Hooshidar Zarei

The Court of Appeals of Fars province has upheld a six-year sentence against Baha’i Citizen Hooshidar Zarei. He has also been sentenced to a two-year travel ban, a fine, and other social restrictions.

Zarei has been found guilty of multiple charges including “propaganda against the regime” and “sectarian propaganda in favor of anti-regime groups.”

Zarei will serve five years of his sentence as per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

Zarei was arrested on April 29, 2023, by security forces in Shiraz and was released after 22 days of detention on a 1.2 billion Tomans bail from Adelabad Prison. Zarei, who is approximately 43 years old, is a Judo Coach and a resident of Shiraz.

 

Baha’i Couple’s Sentence Upheld by Court of Appeals

The Gilan Province Court of Appeals has maintained the prison sentence for the Baha’i couple, Vesal Momtazi and Anisa Samieian.

Originally sentenced by the Rasht Revolutionary Court, Momtazi and Samieian received a combined term of nine years and six months. Mrs. Samieian’s sentence encompasses three years and six months for “engaging in educational activities and propaganda against Sharia law,” in addition to seven months and 16 days for “propaganda against the regime.” Meanwhile, Mr. Momtazi has received seven months and 16 days for “propaganda against the regime,” along with one year and three months for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran” and three years and six months for “insulting Sharia law.” He is also facing a fine of 38 million tomans. Both individuals are further subjected to social restrictions lasting a decade.

Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code dictates that each of them will serve three years and six months in prison.

According to an HRANA source close to the family, more than 50 individuals, including friends, colleagues, art students, and their parents, compiled an affidavit attesting to the couple’s adherence to the law. Regrettably, this affirmation was not permitted for presentation during the appellate court proceedings.

On November 4, 2022, security forces searched their residence, resulting in their apprehension. Following his arrest on December 6, 2022, Momtazi was granted bail. Samieian, who was pregnant at the time of her arrest, secured her release on bail after undergoing two interrogation sessions. It’s noteworthy that this Baha’i couple is responsible for the care of two young sons, aged five and about four months.

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.

 

Hami Bahadori’s Six-Year Sentence Upheld by Tehran Court of Appeals

The Tehran Court of Appeals has upheld the six-year sentence against Hami Bahadori, a Baha’i citizen currently incarcerated in Evin Prison.

On June 21, Judge Salavati, presiding over branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, delivered a verdict sentencing Bahadori to five years for “assembly and collusion against national security” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.” Pursuant to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the five-year term for the first charge will be enforceable.

In addition to the sentence, Bahadori will face a two-year travel ban, and some of his and his wife’s belongings have been confiscated.

A reliable source close to Bahadori’s family, who spoke to HRANA, revealed that judicial officials initially attempted to link his charges to the nationwide protests in 2022. However, they eventually abandoned those allegations, invoking only his activities as examples of the charges.

Bahadori’s arrest took place on October 22, 2022, by security forces, and he was subsequently detained in Evin Prison. On April 3, 2023, he conveyed his grievances about the unjust treatment of religious minorities within the judicial system through a written letter.

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.

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.