Four Baha’i Citizens Sentenced to Twelve Years on Appeal

In a recent development, the Tehran Court of Appeal has issued a collective 12-year prison sentence to Baha’i citizens Shadi Shahidzadeh, Mansour Amini, Valiollah Ghadamian, and Ataollah Zafar.

Presiding over the case, Judge Abbasali Hoozan has pronounced the following sentences: Shahidzadeh will serve five years, while Zafar and Ghadamian will each serve two years, and Amini will face a three-year term.

It is worth noting that initially, the Tehran Revolutionary Court had sentenced all four individuals to five years in prison on charges of “membership in illegal groups aimed at disrupting national security.”

These Baha’i citizens were apprehended by security forces on May 1, 2023, and subsequently transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison.

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.

Four Baha’i Citizens Sentenced Each to Five Years in Prison

In a ruling by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, Shadi Shahidzadeh, Mansour Amini, Valiollah Ghadamian, and Ataollah Zafar, four Baha’i citizens, have each been sentenced to five years in prison.

Judge Iman Afshar, presiding over the court, issued these sentences based on the charge of “membership in illegal groups to disrupt national security.” The court session took place on May 31, 2023.
According to a reliable source close to their families, who spoke to HRANA, despite starting their trial, they are still under interrogation as they are jailed in Ward 209 of Evin Prison.

These Bahais were arrested by security forces on May 1, 2023, and transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison.

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.