Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Kianoosh Salmanzadeh, Jamileh Pakroo, Peyman Manavi, Payam Shabani, Parvan Manavi, Elham Salmanzadeh, Hooman Khoshnam, Neda Shabani and Soroush Agahi, nine Baha’i citizens living in Karaj, were each sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the Shahriar Revolutionary Court and informed of their conviction on Thursday, August 6th, 2020. These Baha’i citizens had been initially previously detained by security forces in Karaj in 2018 and later released on bail pending trial.
According to the HRANA news agency, the news organ of the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, Shahriar Revolutionary Court sentenced nine Baha’i citizens living in the city to a total of nine years in prison.
According to this verdict, which was issued by Branch 2 of the Shahriar Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Panahi, Jamileh Pakroo, Peyman Manavi, Payam Shabani, Kianoosh Salmanzadeh, Parvan Manavi, Elham Salmanzadeh, Hooman Khoshnam, Neda Shabani (Buick*8 Aghaei) and Soroush Agahi were each sentenced to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime. The trial of these citizens was held on July 27th, 2020 in the Shahriar Revolutionary Court, and they were informed of their sentences on August 6, 2020.
These citizens were initially arrested in a series of raids executed by security forces in Andisheh, Karaj, from August through November of 2018. Following arrest, they were transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center, Ward 209 of Evin Prison. They were later released on bail from the detention center of this security institution in Tehran, to await trial.
Some of their homes were searched by security forces at the time of their arrest, and some of their personal belongings, including books, computers, laptops, and cell phones were confiscated. The business premises belonging to some of these citizens were also sealed after their arrest.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of the right practice their religion and are systematically deprived of their civil right, contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entitle any individual to freedom of religion and belief and also freedom to express it individually or collectively and 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 past years.