Fourteen Baha’i Citizens Receive Sentences and Fines in Mazandaran

The Mazandaran Court of Appeal has handed down sentences and fines to 14 Baha’i citizens.

On November 2, verdicts were delivered, with Bita Haghighi and Sanaz Hekmat Shoar sentenced to three years in prison and a 30-million-toman fine (approximately 600 dollars). Mani Ghoi-Nejad, Negar Darabi, Sam Samimi, Mahsa Fathi, Samieh Gholi-Nejad, Majir Samimi, Anis Senaei, Afnaneh Nematian, Basir Samimi, Hengameh Alipour, Golin Falah, and Nazanin Goli were sentenced a fifty-million-toman fine (approximately 1000 dollars) in exchange for the initial sentence of two years and one month.

A source has informed HRANA that the individuals were verbally notified of these verdicts, seemingly in an attempt to prevent them from appealing. Their legal representation has also been denied access to the case documents. Additionally, they have been given ten days to pay the imposed fines.

These citizens had previously received a cumulative sentence of 31 years and were fined by the Qaem Shahr Revolutionary Court. Furthermore, all of their assets were seized.

The individuals were arrested by security forces in Sari and Babolsar, both located in Mazandaran Province, on August 31, 2022. They were subsequently released on bail in the months following their arrest.

At the time of their apprehension, the Ministry of Intelligence released a statement, accusing these citizens of being members of an espionage organization and claiming that two of them had received training from individuals in Israel.

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 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.

Iran Protests: Mahmood Alimi Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

Mahmood Alimi, arrested amid nationwide protests, was sentenced to two years in prison. Alimi, a resident of Qaem Shahr, was arrested on September 23 and is still jailed in Sari Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mahmood Alimi was sentenced to two years in prison.

According to an informed source, “during Alimi’s detention, local TV broadcasted two times a video of his coerced confession over setting fire to Qasem Soleimani’s banner. A few weeks ago, the court sentenced him to two years in prison.”

It is still unknown of which charges Alimi has been convicted.

Since the beginning of nationwide protests, about 19600 people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, have been arrested. So far, over protests, at least 757 people have been sentenced to a total of about 13134 months imprisonment.

Iran Protests: Bita Haghani Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison

The Sari Revolutionary Court sentenced Bita Haghani Nasimi, arrested at recent protests, to 18 years in prison. She was also banned from leaving the country for two years and sentenced to the “seizure of the means of committing the crime.”

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Bita Haghani Nasimi, arrested at protests, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

According to this verdict, Haghani has been acquitted of “spreading corruption on earth.” However, she received 18 years for other counts. If this verdict is upheld on appeal, based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, five years in prison for one count will be enforceable.
Confirming the issuance of this sentence, her lawyer, Majid Kaveh, stated that the appeal is admissible.

On October 18, 2022, security forces arrested 22-year-old Haghani in Sari and jailed her in Qaem Shahr Prison after ending the interrogation. She had been charged with “spreading corruption on earth.”

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, about 19400 people, including journalists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, have been arrested. For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.


Mojgan Kavousi Sentenced to Five Years and Five Months in Prison

The Sari Revolutionary Court sentenced former political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi to five years and five months in prison. Kavousi was arrested over recent protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mojgan Kavousi was sentenced to 39 months for “assembly and collusion,” 18 months for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran,” and 8 months for “propaganda against the regime.” She was acquitted of the charge of “spreading corruption on earth.”

If the verdict is upheld on appeal, applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, 39 months for “assembly and collusion” as the severest punishment will be enforceable.

On September 22, 2022, security forces arrested Kavousi at her home in Noshahr and transferred her to Tonekabon Prison on October 27 after completing interrogation. On December 16, 2022, she was relocated to Qaem Shahr Prison.

Kavousi faced other arrests and convictions on prior occasions.