HRANA – The verdict was upheld by the court of appeals conviction against seven Baha’i citizens who had previously been sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Bushehr.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists in Iran, the appeals court in Bushehr, upholding the verdict by the lower court, sentenced seven Baha’i residents to a total of twenty-one years in prison.
Earlier, on May 5, 2019, these seven Baha’is had been sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Bushehr.
According to the verdict in the lower court, “Mino Riyazati, Asadullah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheikhi (wife of Asadullah Jaberi), Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farrokh Lagha Faramarzi, and Pouneh Na’sheri were each sentenced to three years in prison.”
These Baha’i citizens were arrested by security forces on February 13, 2018, Pooneh Na’sheri and Emad Jaberi on March 6, and Ehteram Sheikhi, Asadullah Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farrokh Lagha Faramarzi and Minoo Riyazati on March 13 of that year, with bail set at 250 million tomans (approx. $21,000), which were released at the end of the proceedings.
The arrests of these Baha’i citizens from Bushehr were accompanied by thorough searches of their homes and personal belongings, including laptops, books, flash drives, external hard drives, and family albums, which were seized by security forces.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are systematically denied freedom of religious belief, although under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of religion and religious conversion as a result of conviction, and the freedom to express it individually or collectively, and in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is in the country, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only the religions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism; it does not recognize the Baha’I Faith – therefore, over past years Baha’is rights have been systematically violated.