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.