Baha’i Citizen Sheida Taeed Released on Bail

On Monday, October 11, Baha’i citizen Sheida Taeed, a resident of Qaemshahr city in Mazandaran Province, was released on a bail of 900 million Tomans (approx 33,000 dollars)  from a security detention center in this city.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Taeed had been arrested by security forces at her home on September 23, 2021, and then transferred to an unknown location. During the arrest, officers inspected her home and confiscated a number of her belongings, including her cell phone, electronics, books, photographs, and manuscripts.

According to an informed source, the security forces initially put Farideh Taeed, Sheida’s elderly mother, in the car as well, and dropped her off somewhere along the road.

Sheida Taeed had been detained and convicted once before because of her faith. She was arrested in the city of Noor in January of 2013 and was finally sentenced to one year in prison in 2015, which she served out in Babol Prison.

According to unofficial reports, by estimated there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran. While the constitution recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as accepted religions (People of Book, as articulated in Sharia law), it denies recognizing the Baha’i faith, which conclusively leads to the systematic violation of their rights.

Baha’i citizens are denied the right to exercise their religion. This systematic deprivation stands in violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which both affirm that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Three Baha’is were Sentenced to a Total of 10 Years and 9 Months in Prison

Baha’i citizens Mahvash Adalati Aliabadi, Sepideh Keshavarz, and Farid Ismaili, residents of Tehran, were sentenced by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals to a total of 10 years and 9 months in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ms. Aliabadi, Ms. Keshavarz, and Mr. Ismaili were each sentenced to three years and seven months in prison on a charge of “Acting against national security through administering the Baha’i organization”.

In their first hearing in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Reza Amouzad, Aliabadi, Keshavarz, and Ismaili, had been sentenced to 3 years and 7 months in prison on the same charge, in addition to eight months on charges of “Propaganda activities against the regime through the promotion of  Baha’ism”.

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 Women of Baharestan: Sanaz Rasteh and Firoozeh Rastinejad are Temporarily Released, 6 Others Still in Detention

On May 20, Baha’i citizens Sanaz Rasteh and Firoozeh Rastinejad were released on bail from Dolatabad Prison in Isfahan after their arrest in Baharestan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 11 Baha’i women, including Rasteh and Rastinejad, were detained by security forces on April 25, April 30, and May 5.

Three of the detained women (Roya Azad Khosh, Nasrin Khademi, and Maryam Khorsandi) were released on bail earlier this week, while six others (Shurangiz Bahamin, Sara Shakib, Azita Rezvani, Mojgan Pourshafi, Noushin Hemmat, and Shola Ashouri) are still in the detention center.

In recent months, the homes of at least 29 Baha’i families have been searched by security forces. During the searches, belongings have been confiscated and, reportedly, in a few cases residents have been beaten.

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.

Court Trial Held for Baha’i Citizen Kiana Shoaei

The trial of Kiana Shoaei, a Baha’i resident of Shiraz, was held at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz on May 15.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the trial referred the case to the prosecutor’s office to rectify incomplete documents. Another hearing will be held after the deficiencies are fixed.

Kiana Shoaei was previously summoned to Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz on May 5. In this citation, she was asked to appear at the branch on the 15th regarding a lawsuit that had been lodged against her for “forming dissident groups with the intention to disrupt the security of the country, membership in dissident groups with the intention of disrupting security, and propaganda against the regime”.

Shoaei had been awaiting trial since 2019,  after being arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in October and released on bail in November of that year.

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.

This 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.