Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA – The Tehran Province Court of Appeals has upheld the sentence of a Baha’i resident of Tehran and communicated the sentence to her. This Baha’i citizen was sentenced to five years in prison by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court last May; the court was presided by Judge Moghiseh. Samin Maghsoudi was arrested in her home on the occasion of the bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith. She was released on bail later.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists of Iran, Branch 36 of the Tehran Province Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Zargar, confirmed the sentence of Samin Maghsoudi and communicated the sentence to her.
A source close to Ms. Maghsoudi’s family told the HRANA reporter: “Ms. Maghsoudi was contacted by the Intelligence Office to pursue the case last March, i.e. about ten months after the preliminary sentence was issued. Due to the stress caused by this contact, she lost her two-month-old fetus as a result of cardiac arrest. However, based on the Court of Appeals ruling, despite the psychological and physical pressure resulting from the incident, she is required to serve the prison sentence.”
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of their freedom of religious beliefs. This deprivation has been systematic, even though according to Article 18 of the Universal Human Rights Declaration and Article 18 of the International Treaty on Political and Civic Rights, every individual has the right to their religious belief and to change beliefs. In addition, every human being must be free to express those beliefs, whether in private or in public.
Based on unofficial sources, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is residing in Iran, although constitutionally only the religions of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are officially recognized. Baha’is have no religious freedom; this is why the rights of Baha’is have been systematically violated.