Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Moin Mohammadi, a Baha’i citizen from Yazd, was summoned to the Judgment Enforcement Unit of the Yazd Revolutionary Court on Thursday, May 6th, 2021 to begin his sentence. In this case, Mr. Mohammadi had originally received a sentence of three years and three months imprisonment, but on appeal the sentence was reduced to one-year under electronic surveillance. He had completed that sentence as of Monday April 20, 2020. However, the appeal was eventually denied and Pursuant to Article 134, the court upheld the most severe punishment, i.e., 31 months and 16 days in prison. Mr. Mohammadi must now serve out the remaining 19 months and 16 days in prison.
According to the HRANA news agency, the news organ of the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, on Thursday, May 6, 1400, Moin Mohammadi, a Baha’i citizen from Yazd, was summoned to the Judgment Enforcement Unit of the Yazd Revolutionary Court to begin his sentence.
According to this notification, which was issued to him by the First Branch of the Enforcement of Judgments of the Revolutionary Court of Yazd on May 6th, Mr. Mohammadi was asked to appear in this branch within 10 days to serve his sentence.
In March of 2019, Mr. Mohammadi had been sentenced by the Yazd Revolutionary Court to five years in prison on charges of “membership in anti-regime groups” and up to one year in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime.” However, the following June, on appeal he was acquitted by Branch 11 of the Yazd Court of Appeals of the charges of “membership in anti-regime groups.” On the remaining charge, “propaganda activity against the system” he received a sentence one year of under electronic surveillance. On Monday April 20, 2020, he was released, having completed the year of electronic surveillance.
However, the prosecutor had objected to the reduced sentence. Re-examination and retrial of Mr. Mohammadi’s case were held in Branch 39 of the Supreme Court, on Tuesday April 13, 2021, by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Yazd presided by Judge Amir Hossein Qaraghani. The court determined that, pursuant to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the most severe punishment (31 months and 16 days of imprisonment), was applicable to Mr. Mohammadi and he was to serve 31 months and 16 days imprisonment for “membership in anti-regime groups” and 7 months and 16 days imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime and in favor of anti-regime groups”, for a total of 3 years. The May 6th, 2021 summons was for Mr. Mohammadi to appear and serve the remainder of the sentence, 19 months and 16 days.
Mr. Mohammadi was originally arrested in this case by security forces in Yazd on Saturday, December 22, 2018. When Mr. Mohammad’s family learned that he had not arrived at his workplace, they began to investigate the and, in a few hours, learned of his arrest. It is worth mentioning that, prior to his arrest, security forces had gone to his home with a search warrant. They also searched the home of Mr. Mohammadi’s father; even though the search order was only related to Mr. Moin Mohammadi’s place of residence. After conducting a thorough search, the officers confiscated mobile phones, laptops and a number of books and personal belongings. Mr. Mohammadi remained in detention at Yazd Prison until Wednesday, April 10, 2019 after posting bail.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of liberties of practicing their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs while 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 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.