HRANA News Agency – Five Baha’i citizens were sentenced to one year in jail, each, by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad in recent weeks.
According to HRANA (Human Rights Activists’ News Agency in Iran) Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, resided by Judge Soltani, sentenced four Baha’i citizens of Mashhad to one-year imprisonment each, on charges of propaganda against the regime. Those sentenced were Dori Amiri, May Kholousi, Saghi Fadaei, and Shayan Tafazoli. Their case has been in motion since 2014. Last month, another Baha’i citizen of Mashhad, Fataneh Nabilzadeh, was sentenced to one year in prison by the same court.
Dori Amiri, May Kholousi, Saghi Fadaei, and Shayan Tafazoli were arrested in June 2014 by Mashhad’s security forces. They were released on bail, and tried in two court hearings, December 14, 2014, and June 17, 2017. Judge Soltani convicted these people for propaganda against the regime and sentenced each one to one-year imprisonment. The verdict was communicated to these citizens in recent days.
The sentences are not definitive and are eligible for review within 20 days.
Reports received by HRANA, Fataneh Nabilzadeh, also a Baha’i citizen in Mashhad, was arrested in August 2014, along with Peyman Sarraf and Diane Teimuri, in her private home in the city. Ms. Nabilzadeh was sentenced by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad last month to one year in prison for propaganda against the regime.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are systematical deprived of religious freedoms and civil rights. This systematic exclusion is carried out contrary 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 thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.”
According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, Baha’is rights in Iran have been systematically violated throughout the past years.