Hasan Momtaz Sarvestani, a Baha’i prisoner of Evin prison and a citizen of Shiraz, was transferred to hospital on Tuesday for medical checkup. Although his physician has recommended hospital bed rest to undergo medical treatments, he was returned to the prison after a day. He has been sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of teaching Persian literature at the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE). He began his sentence on December 28, 2017 in Shiraz’s Adelabad prison and was transferred to Evin prison about a year later.
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.