Six Baha’is Sentenced to Total of Over 19 Years in Prison in Shiraz

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Source: www.hra-news.org

Translation by Iran Press Watch


HRANA ‒ The Court of Appeals of Fars Province sentenced seven Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz to a total of 19 years and six months in prison, plus a fine of one million tomans (about $237). According to this sentence, Niloufar Hakimi was sentenced to five years and nine months imprisonment, Navid Bazmandegan, Bahareh Ghaderi, Noora Pourmoradian, Soodabeh Haghighat, and Elahe Samizadeh to two years and nine months imprisonment each, and Ehsanollah Mahboub Rah-Vafa was sentenced to a fine of one million tomans.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists in Iran, the Court of Appeals of Fars Province sentenced seven Baha’is living in Shiraz to a total of 19 years and six months in prison and a fine of one million tomans.

According to this sentence, Niloufar Hakimi was sentenced to five years and nine months of imprisonment, Navid Bazmandegan, Bahareh Ghaderi, Noora Pourmoradian, Soodabeh Haghighat, Elahe Samizadeh to two years and nine months of imprisonment each, and Ehsanollah Mahboub Rah-Vafa to a fine of one million tomans.

Earlier in the primary stage, the First Branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Seyed Mahmoud Sadati, sentenced Niloufar Hakimi to eight years in prison, Navid Bazmandegan, Bahareh Ghaderi, Noora Pourmoradian, Soodabeh Haghighat and Elahe Samizadeh each on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime and membership in opposition groups,” to six years in prison and Ehsanullah Mahboub Rah-Vafa to one year in prison.

Among these people, in the second stage of her court case, Elahe Samizadeh was sentenced by Branch 105 of the Shiraz Criminal Court to an additional one year of in prison and two years of banning from government and public services. In addition, Niloufar Hakimi was also sentenced to five years in prison by the criminal court.

Soheila Haghighat, Shahnaz Sabet, Farzan Masoumi, Farham Sabet and Shahriar Atrian, five other Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz, were previously sentenced by the First Branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court to six years in prison each on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime and membership in opposition groups.” Among these people, Soheila Haghighat was also waiting for the trial of her other case in the criminal court. The status of this part of Ms. Haghighat’s case was unknown up to the time of the preparation of this report.

Previously, the Court of Appeals of Fars Province upheld the conviction of Shahriar Atrian with no change, without holding a court hearing.

Information regarding the sentencing, and the verdicts issued by the Court of Appeals regarding Soheila Haghighat, Shahnaz Sabet, Farzan Masoumi and Farham Sabet were also not known up to the time of the preparation of this report.

These citizens were detained by security forces in Shiraz during the years 2016 to 2019 and were later released on bail pending trial.

Baha’is in Iran are deprived of freedom to practice their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs even though Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entitle any individual to freedom of religion and belief as well as freedom to express it individually or collectively, in public or in private.

According to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated over the years.

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