Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Afshin Seyyed Ahmad, a Baha’i citizen imprisoned at Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj, has been released upon completing his sentence. This Baha’i citizen was arrested in June 2016, after he went to the Evin Public Prosecutor’s Office, and was transferred to Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj to serve his three-year sentence.
According to HRANA, the news arm of Human Rights Activists in Iran, Afshin Seyyed Ahmad was released from Rajai-Shahr Prison on the morning of Saturday, May 4, 2019.
This Baha’i citizen had been arrested on November 7, 2012, and after 40 days of interrogation in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, had been temporarily released upon posting bail until the end of court proceedings.
Charged with “activities against national security” and “propaganda against the regime”, Afshin Seyyed Ahmad was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment by Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Moghiseh. This sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeals.
He was detained on June 28, 2016, upon going to the Evin Public Prosecutor’s Office, and was transferred to Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj to serve his sentence.
After 28 months of imprisonment, this prisoner was given a furlough for the first time on November 3, 2018, and returned to prison after 8 days.
Baha’is in Iran are deprived of freedoms related to their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation occurs even though, according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), “All persons have the right to religious freedom, the right to change their religion or beliefs, and the freedom to express their beliefs individually or collectively, in public or private.”
According to unofficial sources in Iran there are more than 300,000 Baha’is living threre, but the Iranian Constitution recognizes only the religions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i religion. For this reason, over the past number of years Baha’i rights have been systematically violated in Iran.