Baha’i Citizen Shohreh Salekian Sentenced to Three Years and Eight Months in Prison

The Mashhad Revolutionary Court has issued a three-year and eight-month prison sentence to Baha’i citizen Shohreh Salekian.

Presiding Judge Hadi Mansouri determined Salekian’s sentence, attributing three years for “membership in groups to disturb order and act against national security” and an additional eight months for “spreading propaganda against the regime.”

In the event of an appeal, Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code stipulates that, in cases involving multiple charges, the most severe penalty shall be applied. Consequently, if the verdict is contested, Salekian will serve a three-year term.

Legal proceedings against Salekian commenced in July of this year following her summons to Mashhad Courthouse.

HRANA’s annual report has highlighted a concerning trend where, in 2022, 64.63% of reported human rights violations against religious minorities are directed toward the Baha’i community.

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 Rouya Malakooti Arrested, Eight Others Summoned in Mashhad

On July 29, nine Baha’i women were separately summoned to appear at Mashhad Courthouse, with one among them, Roya Malakooti, ending up arrested after hours of interrogation.

The other eight citizens, Roya Ghaneh-Ezabadi, Shohreh Salekian, Golnoosh Nasiri, Azita Foroughi, Nooshin Mesbah, Soheila Ahmadi, Fardieh Moradi, and Nasim Sabeti, have had the addressing of their legal cases postponed until further notice.

The specific allegations against these individuals remain undisclosed, leaving uncertainty surrounding the reasons behind the summoning and the subsequent arrest. According to a reliable source who spoke to HRANA, the Prosecutor’s office investigator issued a one-month detention order for Roya Malakooti, and she was subsequently transferred to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad.

As the case unfolds, the fate of the other eight Baha’i women remains uncertain, and their legal proceedings are set to be addressed in the coming days.

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 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.