Appellate Court Upholds Prison Sentence for Baha’i Citizens Abbas Taef and Ataollah Zafar

Branch 26 of the Tehran Court of Appeals recently upheld the primary court’s sentence for Baha’i citizens Abbas Taef and Ataollah Zafar.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on July 6, Branch 26 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided by Judge Seyed Ahmad Zargar, had sentenced each of these citizens to one year in prison on charges of “acting against national security through the administration and activity in the Baha’i sect”.

According to unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have beeen systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation 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.

Below is the picture of the AppealsCourt verdict.

Sepideh Gholiyan Sent on Leave from Bushehr Prison

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists (HRA), today, August 19, civil activist Sepideh Gholiyan was sent on a 7-day leave from Bushehr Prison.

In early August, Ms. Gholiyan’s Covid-19 test result came out positive.

Sepideh Gholiyan was first arrested in November 2018, along with at least 19 workers’ representatives and labor activists of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. at the Shush, and was released on bail on December of the same year.

Ms. Gholiyan was sentenced to 5 years in prison by the Tehran Court of Appeals in December 2019.

In June 2020, she was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison to endure her sentence. She was transferred from the women’s ward of Evin Prison to Bushehr Prison on March 2021, where Ms. Gholiyan and Mahboubeh Rezaei were severely beaten.

Reza Mohammad Hosseini Beaten by Doctor in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists (HRA), Reza Mohammad Hosseini, a political prisoner in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, was beaten by a prison doctor on May 29 after objecting to the lack of medical treatment for fellow prisoner and labor activist Ali Ishaq.

Hosseini, who is serving a seven-year sentence, was beaten, insulted, and humiliated by prison officials for refusing to wear prison uniforms, handcuffs, and shackles last November.

In May of 2019, Reza Mohammad Hosseini was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to 16 and a half years in prison on charges of conspiracy, insulting the leadership, illegally leaving the country, illegally entering the country, and disobeying the orders of agents.

The verdict was upheld by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar in May 2020.

Based on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment will be imposed on him on charges of conspiracy and collusion.

Three Baha’is were Sentenced to a Total of 10 Years and 9 Months in Prison

Baha’i citizens Mahvash Adalati Aliabadi, Sepideh Keshavarz, and Farid Ismaili, residents of Tehran, were sentenced by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals to a total of 10 years and 9 months in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ms. Aliabadi, Ms. Keshavarz, and Mr. Ismaili were each sentenced to three years and seven months in prison on a charge of “Acting against national security through administering the Baha’i organization”.

In their first hearing in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided by Judge Mohammad Reza Amouzad, Aliabadi, Keshavarz, and Ismaili, had been sentenced to 3 years and 7 months in prison on the same charge, in addition to eight months on charges of “Propaganda activities against the regime through the promotion of  Baha’ism”.

According to unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation 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.