Baha’i Citizen Dori Amri Begins One-year Prison Term

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, Baha’i Mashhad resident Dori Amri began serving her one-year prison sentence in Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison.

May Kholousi and her daughter Saghi Fadaei, Amri’s Baha’i co-defendants, turned themselves in October 31st to begin serving their own one-year sentences.

The verdict in Amri, Kholousi, and Fadaei’s case was recently upheld in Khorasan Razavi Appeals Court.

Baha’i Mother and Daughter Begin Prison Term

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – At 5 p.m. on October 31st, a Baha’i mother and daughter turned themselves in to begin serving one-year prison sentences.

Mashhad resident May Kholousi, her daughter Saghi Fadaei, and their fellow Baha’is Shayan Tafazzoli and Dori Amri were all sentenced February 2018 by Judge Soltani of Mashhad Revolutionary Court Branch 3 on charges of propaganda against the regime. Appeals court upheld their sentences on August 26, 2018.

Security forces arrested all four in Mashhad in June 2014. Two court sessions met for the defendants while they were free on bail, on December 17, 2014, and June 17, 2017.

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.

Appeals Court Convenes for 4 Baha’i Residents of Mashhad

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On August 26, 2018, the Appeals Court of Razavi Khorasan Province met to process the appeal of four Baha’i residents of Mashhad convicted of propaganda against the regime.

Dori Amri, May Kholousi, Saghi Fadaei, and Shayan Tafzili each face a sentence of one year in prison, issued by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad in March 2018.

An informed source told HRANA that an appeals decision is anticipated soon.

The accused were apprehended in June 2014 by Mashhad security forces and later released on bail. They were tried in two court sessions that met on December 17, 2014, and June 17, 2017. These trials culminated in a sentencing from Judge Soltani of one-year discretionary imprisonment each.

In Iran, Baha’i citizens do not enjoy the freedom of religion. Their systematic oppression flouts both Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, affording all individuals religious freedoms, i.e. the right “to have or to adopt a religion or belief of one’s choice and freedom, either individually or in community with others, and in public or private to manifest one’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”

Unofficial reports indicate that over three hundred thousand Baha’is currently reside in Iran. However, the constitution of Iran only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as official religions, and does not extend this recognition to the Baha’i faith. For this reason, the rights of the Iranian Baha’i community are systematically violated.