Iran: 9 Baha’is Sentenced to Prison

Iran: 9 Baha’is Sentenced to Prison

Published by on January 1, 2021

International Liberty Association: According to the reports, nine Baha’i citizens sentenced to a total of nine years in prison for being members of their religious minority by an appeals court in Iran.

According to the verdict issued by the Branch 36 of Tehran’s Appeals Court presided over by Judge Seyed Ahmad Zargar, these 9 Baha’i citizens were each sentenced to one year in prison for “propaganda against the state through proselytizing Baha’ism.”

It should be mentioned that, the citizens had been innitialy sentenced to one year in prison on this charge, by the Branch 2 of Shahriar Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Panahi, and the appeal court upheld the verdit.

In addition, these Baha’i citizens were previously detained from September to December 2018, and transferred to the Intelligence Ministry Ward 209 of Evin Prison by the security forces in Karaj. Then they were released temporarily on a bail in the following months until the end of the trial.
According to their relatives, the state security forces inspected their homes upon their arrest and confiscated their personal belongings including their books, computers, laptops and cell phones.

Also, the business premises of some of these citizens were also sealed after their arrest.

Iranian authorities routinely arrest its Baha’i citizens for practicing their religion and charge them with national security offenses
In late December a Revolutionary Court in the southern port of Bandar Abbas sentenced eight Baha’i citizens to prison terms and other punishments.

Omid Afaghi, Mehrallah Afshar, Nasim Ghanavatian, Mahnaz Jannesar, Arash Rasekhi and Maral Rasti were each sentenced to two years while Farhad Ameri and Adib Haghpajooh were each sentenced to one year in prison.

ILA: Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of the freedoms associated with their religious beliefs, a systematic deprivation that, according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of religion and belief; Express it individually or collectively and in public or in private.

It worth mentioning that, according to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but the Iranian regime does not recognize the Baha’i faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have always been systematically violated and they have been persecuted as a matter of state policy since the revolution in 1979.

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