Baha’i Women Upheld with Three Years and Eight Months Sentence on Appeal

The Court of Appeal in Razavi Khorasan Province has affirmed the three-year, eight-month sentence for each of Baha’i citizens Golnoosh Nasiri and Farideh Moradi.

According to a source close to these women, who confirmed the news to HRANA, the verdict includes three years for “membership in groups to act against national security” and eight months for “spreading propaganda against the regime.”

The initial judgment was issued by the Mashhad Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Hadi Mansouri, during a court session held on October 11, 2023.

Their investigation procedures took place in late August 2023, during which each was granted bail with five billion tomans, approximately equivalent to 100,000 dollars.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

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 Keyvan Rahimian Arrested in Tehran

On July 18, 2023, security forces arrested Baha’i Citizen Keyvan Rahimian in Tehran and transferred him to Evin Prison.

A reliable source close to Rahimian’s family, who spoke to HRANA, revealed that he informed his family about his transfer to Evin Prison during a phone call following his arrest.

The grounds for this arrest and the allegation against him are unknown.

The specific reasons behind his arrest and the allegations against him remain unknown at this time.

Rahimian has a history of previous arrests and convictions related to his activism. Notably, he also serves as a lecturer at an online university affiliated with the Baha’i community. It is important to mention that Baha’is face exclusion from tertiary education in Iran.

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.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian Constitution recognizes only Islam as the official religion, in addition to Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Bahai faith is not considered legitimate by the authorities, and the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

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.

 

Baha’i Couple Faces Nine-Year and Six-Month Combined Sentence

Vesal Momtazi and Anisa Samieian, a Baha’i couple, have been collectively sentenced to a nine-year and six-month prison term by the Rasht Revolutionary Court.

According to the verdict issued on June 13 by Branch 3 of the Rasht Revolutionary Court, Mrs. Samieian received a sentence of seven months and 16 days for “propaganda against the regime,” along with three years and six months for “engaging in educational activities and propaganda against Sharia law.” Meanwhile, Mr. Momtazi has been sentenced to seven months and 16 days for “propaganda against the regime,” one year and three months for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” and three years and six months for “insulting Sharia law.” In addition, he has been fined 38 million tomans. Both individuals are also subjected to social deprivations for a period of ten years. If these verdicts are upheld on appeal, each of them will serve three years and six months in prison.

On November 4, 2022, security forces conducted a search of their residence, resulting in their arrest. Mr. Momtazi was released on bail after his arrest on December 6, 2022. Mrs. Samieian, who was pregnant at the time, was granted release on bail following two interrogation sessions. It is important to note that this Baha’i couple has two young sons, aged five and three months.

According to HRANA annual report, from the total human rights reports regarding the violation of religious minorities’ rights, 64.63% belonged to the breach of the rights of Baha’is.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian Constitution recognizes only Islam as the official religion, in addition to Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Bahai faith is not considered legitimate by the authorities, and the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

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.