Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Sophia Mobini, a Baha’i resident of Tehran, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court. This Baha’i citizen was arrested by security forces on October 2017, during the bicentenary celebration of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet Founder of the Baha’i Faith; she was later released on bail.
An informed source told the HRANA reporter: “During the proceedings, the charges against this Baha’i citizen were issued as “formation and administration of an illegal Baha’i group with the aim of disrupting national security”; a sentence of 10 years of prison has been decided based on this charge. However, in the sentencing there is reference to Article 499 of the Islamic Penal Code, though in reality, the original text of this article reads: “Anyone who joins, as a member, any of the groups, societies, or branches … shall be sentenced to three months to five years’ imprisonment, unless it is proven that they had been unaware of its aims.” So the maximum penalty for such charge is five years in prison.”
Sophia Mobini was arrested and sent to Evin prison by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on October 26, 2017, on the occasion of the bicentenary celebration of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet Founder of The Baha’i Faith. This Baha’i citizen was released on bail after a while, until the end of the trial process.
HRANA had already reported on the conviction of another one of Ms. Mobini’s compatriots in the same legal case, Ms. Negin Tadrisi.
Negin Tadrisi, another Baha’i citizen living in Tehran, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison on charges of “formation and administration of an illegal Baha’i Administration” under Article 499 of the Islamic Penal Code.
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; it does not recognize the Baha’i religion. This is why in recent years Baha’is’ rights have been systematically violated in Iran.