Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRA News Agency – Six Baha’i residents of Tabriz have been sentenced to a total of 36 months of imprisonment. The court hearing for these citizens was held on June 11th. The residents were arrested by security forces in mid-November of 2018, and after about a month were released on bail until their trial.
According to HRANA, the news arm of Human Rights Activists in Iran, on Saturday, June 15, 2019, six Baha’i residents of Tabriz were sentenced to 3 years in prison.
According to the verdict issued by the First Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz, headed by Judge Haml-bar, Kambiz Misaghi, Farzad Bahadori, Monika Alizadeh (Aqdasi), Shabnam Isa-Khani, Shahriar Khodapanah and Kheirollah Bakhshi, were each accused of “membership in the illegal Baha’i administration” and sentenced to 6 months in prison.
According to Abbas Jamali, the defense attorney of these residents, Kheirollah Bakhshi, who was also charged with “propaganda against the regime”, was acquitted of this charge.
On the morning of Tuesday, June 11th, 2019, a court hearing was held at the Branch One of Tabriz’s Revolutionary Court for these six Baha’i residents.
Over the three days of 17th, 18th and 20th of November 2018, 6 Baha’i citizens – Kheirollah Bakhshi, Monika Alizadeh (Aghdasi), Kambiz Misaghi, Shahriar Khodapanah, Farzad Bahadori and Shabnam Isa-Khani – were arrested by Security Forces in Tabriz and on December 16, 2018, were released on 250 million toumans [approx. $59,000] bail until their trial.
Baha’is 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), to both of which Iran is a 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.”
According to unofficial sources in Iran there are more than 300,000 Baha’is living in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only the religions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrian, and does not recognize the Baha’i religion. This is why over past years Baha’is’ rights have been systematically violated in Iran.