Appellate Court Upholds Prison Sentence for Baha’i Citizens Abbas Taef and Ataollah Zafar

Branch 26 of the Tehran Court of Appeals recently upheld the primary court’s sentence for Baha’i citizens Abbas Taef and Ataollah Zafar.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on July 6, Branch 26 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided by Judge Seyed Ahmad Zargar, had sentenced each of these citizens to one year in prison on charges of “acting against national security through the administration and activity in the Baha’i sect”.

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 beeen 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.

Below is the picture of the AppealsCourt verdict.

Baha’i Citizen Ali Ahmadi Sent to Ghaemshahr Prison to Endure Sentence

On Thursday, August 26, Ali Ahmadi, a Baha’i citizen and native of Ghaemshahr, was arrested and transferred to prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ahmadi was sent to Ghaemshahr Prison to endure his one-year prison sentence.

Ali Ahmadi, who suffers from the underlying conditions of diabetes and heart disease, is being forced to serve out this prison sentence during the peak of the coronavirus crisis in Iran.

Mr. Ahmadi had been detained and imprisoned before. He was arrested by security forces and transferred to the Kachuei Detention Center in Sari, in November 2018. He was released on bail in January 2019.

Ghaemshahr Revolutionary Court sentenced Mr. Ahmadi to a total of 11 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime and the administration of the Baha’i organization”. This sentence was upheld by the appeal court without holding a trial. Eventually, the Supreme Court accepted the request for retrial and sent the case to the Branch 28 of the Mazandaran Court of Appeals, where Mr. Ahmadi’s sentence was reduced to 1 year in prison.

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 beeen 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.

Family Expresses Growing Concern Over Condition of Baha’i Citizen Sina Kamali in Adelabad Prison

Baha’i citizen Sina Kamali Sarvestani is still being held in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz 24 days after his arrest, and his family has expressed growing concern over his condition.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Humen Rights Activists, Kamali Sarvestani informed his family during his last phone call on July 4 that he is in a very unfavorable mental condition. Kamali Sarvestani expressed that that he is anxious, in need of consultation, and worried that he will be sent back to the IRGC’s intelligence detention center.

Kamali Sarvestani’s family delivered the medications he needs to the prison following the call, but do not know if they were ever given to him. Kamali Sarvestani’s poor condition and the lack of transparency about the delivery of the drugs, coupled with recent cancellations of visit time by the authorities have raised concern among his family.

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.

Despite his family’s inquiries, officials have still given no reason for Kamali Sarvestani’s arrest or the charges against him.

Dorsa Dehghani Released on Bail; Sina Kamali Sarvestani Still in Detention

Baha’i citizen Dorsa Dehghani was released on bail on Thursday, July 1st, while  Sina Kamali Sarvestani, another Baha’i resident of Shiraz, is still being held in an undisclosed location after 17 days of detention.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, these citizens were arrested separately on June 14 by IRGC intelligence agents.

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.

Baha’i Citizens Sina Kamali and Dorsa Dehghani Still in Detention in Shiraz

After 14 days, Baha’i citizens Dorsa Dehghani and Sina Kamali Sarvestani are still in detention in an unknown location in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the citizens were arrested separately on June 15 by IRGC intelligence agents.

A source close to their families said that Dehghani and Sarvestani have made a brief calls and spoken with their families but are being interrogated under psychological and physical pressure. The lack of accountability of the security agencies about their condition and whereabouts has caused increasing concern from their families.

Darsa Dehghani was treated for a medical problem before his detention, but he has not had access to his medications since being arrested.

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.

 

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Baha’i Citizens Sina Kamali Sarvestani and Dorsa Dehghani Arrested in Shiraz

On June 14, Baha’i citizens Sina Kamali Sarvestani and Dorsa Dehghani were separately arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, officers reportedly searched Sarvestani and Dehghani’s homes in Shiraz and confiscated all electronic devices including phones, laptops, and books.

More than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, according to unofficial sources, 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.

As of this writing, no information is available on the detention facility or the status of Sarvestani and Dehghani.

Women’s Motocross Champion and Baha’i Citizen Shahrzad Nazif Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

Women’s motocross champion and Baha’i citizen Shahrzad Nazifi was recently sentenced to 8 years in prison, 3 months’ probation in a center for mental handicaps, and a 2-year ban from leaving the country.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari, issued the sentence in the absence of both Nazifi and her lawyer.

Tehran resident Shahrzad Nazifi, daughter of Ali, was born in 1971. Nazifi and her daughter Nora Naraghi are among the pioneers of women’s motocross in Iran. In May 2019, HRANA reported that Shahrzad Nazifi, Mehrshad Naraghi, and their children, were all barred from entering and using motorcycling tracks without a court order.

Nazifi has been charged with “managing illegal groups and factions with the aim of disrupting the security of the country” and with “bad motives and internal desire to destroy the religious system”.

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.

HRANA Recap: Recent Sentences and Summons in Iran

Khabat Mafakheri sentenced to 4 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj

 

Khabat Mafakheri, a citizen of Sanandaj in Kurdistan Province, was recently sentenced to 4 years suspended imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists (HRA), quoting Kurdpa, Mafakheri was arrested in early August 2020 and released on bail in mid-December of that year. According to the report, Mafakheri was notified of the verdict in the past few days and was charged with collaborating with one of the opposition parties.

 

 

Four Baha’is sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison

 

Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of Baha’i citizens Mona Mehrabi, Elham Karampisheh, Afsaneh Yadegar Ardestani, and Ehsanullah Yadegar Ardestani. The four citizens were previously sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to 3 years in prison each.

 

 

 

Court of Appeals upholds 3 year sentence for Maziar Seyednejad

 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 16 of the Court of Appeals of Khuzestan Province upheld the conviction of a labor activist Maziar Seyednejad. Seyednejad had previously been sentenced to three years in prison on charges related to his membership in an opposition group.

 

 

 

Citizen sentenced to 99 lashes and exile for extramarital affair

 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Aftab News, the case of a citizen who was sentenced to 99 lashes and two years of exile in an area with a brutal climate for having an extramarital affair has been referred to a court of equal rank in Tehran.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights explicitly prohibits the use of degrading and inhumane punishment such as flogging.

 

Sunni cleric summoned and interrogated by Zabul City intelligence forces

 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Baloch Activists Campaign, on May 29, Sunni cleric Abdul Samad Ijbari, the director of the Quran Education School in Hassanabad village of Zabul province, was summoned to the Zabul city intelligence office in Sistan and Baluchestan province and was interrogated.

The report states that the Sunni cleric was summoned following the presence of Mohammad Othman Qalandarzahi at the Hassanabad Mosque. The reason for the summons and the accusations against Ijbari are not yet known.

 

 

Six Baha’is Were Sentenced to a Total of 73 Years and Six Months in Prison

Six Baha’i citizens, one man and five women, were sentenced to a total of 73 and a half years in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, On May 19, the Revolutionary Court of Borazjan, presided over by Alireza Kiani, issued the verdict.

Borhan Ismaili, Maryam Bashir, Frank Sheikhi, Hayedeh Ram, Minoo Bashir, and Dorna Ismaili are residents of Shiraz city in the Fars Province and Borazjan city in the Bushehr Province.

Borhan Ismaili was sentenced to 11 years in prison as a first-degree defendant on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime” by spreading Baha’i beliefs and “acting against the security of the country” by disseminating and propagating the Baha’i faith.

Maryam Bashir, Frank Sheikhi, Hayedeh Ram, Minoo Bashir, and Dorna Ismaili each were sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison on charges of “assisting in propaganda activities against the regime by spreading Baha’i beliefs, producing and publishing vulgar images in cyberspace and social networks, and acting against the security of the country through publication”.

Based on this verdict, all documents, pamphlets, books, pictures, videos, and CDs related to the Baha’i faith that were taken by the Bushehr provincial IRGC Intelligence Organization during the search of the house will be confiscated.

The court has issued this sentence based on (what the court called) “membership in the hostile and anti-regime Facebook website, and also referred to the educational activities related to Bahai’s’ children”.

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.

 

Baha’i Crackdown Continues with Two More Arrests in Karaj

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Two Baha’i residents of Karaj, a northwestern suburb of Tehran, became the latest victims of the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on the Baha’i community when they were arrested October 16, 2018.

Parvan Manavi and Elham Salmanzadeh became the seventh and eighth Baha’is to be arrested in their city after authorities confiscated some of their books and personal belongings during a raid of their homes.

A close source told HRANA that security forces first searched the workplace of Manavi, a greenhouse operator, before escorting him to his home where they carried out a search and seizure. “They raided Elham Salmanzadeh’s home at the same time, and then arrested her afterward too,” the source added.

On September 16th, HRANA reported on the arrest and transfer to Evin Prison of four Baha’i Karaj residents: Peyman Manavi, Maryam Ghaffaramanesh, Jamileh Pakrou, and Kianoush Salmanzadeh. HRANA also reported on the arrest of two more Baha’i Karaj residents, Hooman Khoshnam and Payam Shabani, on September 24 and 25, 2018. In recent weeks, HRANA also reported on the arrest of a number of Baha’i citizens in Shiraz and Isfahan.

Over the past month, members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority have faced increased pressure across the country from Iran’s security and judiciary establishment.

Iranian Baha’i citizens 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, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.