Translation by Iran Press Watch
According to HRANA News Agency, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists in Iran, Fataneh Nabilzadeh, a Baha’i citizen, was convicted on charges of propaganda against the regime and sentenced one-year imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad in February of this year. She has been transferred to Mashhad Central Prison to serve her sentence.
Ms. Nabilzadeh conviction stems from her arrest, along with Peyman Sarraf and Diane Taymoori, which occurred in August of 2013 at her place of residence in Mashhad.
One month after the announcement of Ms. Nabilzadeh’s conviction, four other Baha’i citizens, Dori Amri, May Kholousi, Saghi Fadaei, and Shayan Tafazzoli, were also sentenced to one-year imprisonment in Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are systematically deprived of freedoms related to religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation is in direct contradiction to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), both of which Iran is signatory, “all persons have the right to religious freedom, the right to change their religion or belief, and the freedom to express their belief individually or collectively in public or private.”
Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith as a religion. The Regime has used this to justify systematic denial and violation of the civil rights of the Baha’is over the years.
As the Iranian Regime has forced the Baha’i community to disband its administrative bodies, it is difficult to accurately assess the number of Baha’is in Iran. However, based on unofficial sources, it is believed there are over 300,000 Baha’is currently living in Iran.