Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Six Baha’i citizens are currently serving sentences in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz: Shahnaz Sabet, Sedigheh Aghdasi, Behrouz Farzandi, Ghassem Masoumi, Farham Sabet and Farzan Masoumi,
According to the HRANA news agency, the news organ of the Human Rights Activists in Iran, Baha’i citizens Shahnaz Sabet, Sedigheh Aghdasi, Behrouz Farzandi, Ghassem Masoumi, Farham Sabet and Farzan Masoumi, are serving their sentences in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.
Three have long-term health issue which they continue to suffer from health issues during their incarceration. Sedigheh Aghdasi, some time ago, after being transferred from prison to hospital, suffered a heart attack. She was returned to prison again after only 4 days in the CCU ward, despite her need for continuous proper medical care. Shahnaz Sabet suffers from several medical conditions including back pain and kidney stones. Behrouz Farzandi is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, during which he was wounded and a prisoner of war. He has been under medical care for the past 25 years due to neurological issues and hearing problems due to being wounded by a blast wave during that war. He is under medical care for disease as well. The medical problems and illness of these citizens has added to the concerns of their families.
Farham Sabet and Farzan Masoumi were arrested by the security forces in Shiraz in 2016 and later released on bail. In June 2020, they were sentenced by the First Branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati, to six years in prison each on charges of “propaganda against the regime and membership in opposition groups.” The sentence was reduced to two years in prison each on appeal. These citizens were remanded to Adelabad prison in Shiraz on January 22, 2021, to serve their sentences.
Shahnaz Sabet was arrested by the security forces at her home in Shiraz on September 1, 2019, and later released on bail. Prior to her arrest, officers searched her home and confiscated some of her personal belongings. Ms. Sabet’s trial, along with several other Baha’is, was held on Sunday, May 10, 2020. Ms. Sabet was originally sentenced to six years in prison by the First Branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati, in late May 2020. on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership in opposition groups. After protesting the verdict, Ms. Sabet’s case was referred to the Court of Appeals, and in late July 2020, the Fars Provincial Court of Appeals sentenced her to two years in prison. Ms. Sabet was arrested on October 19, 2020 and transferred to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz to serve her sentence. She was released on May 1, 2020, after acceptance of her request for a retrial. In March of 2021, despite re-registering her request for a retrial, she was re-arrested and transferred to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz to serve her sentence.
Sedigheh Aghdasi, Behrouz Farzandi and Ghasem Masoumi were arrested by the security forces on April 6, 2021, along with Alieh Foroutan, Siamak Honarvar and Saeed Ettehad, and transferred to solitary confinement in the detention centers of the Law Enforcement Forces, under the supervision of the IRGC – Intelligence and the Shiraz Ministry of Intelligence. They were finally released on bail in May, temporarily until the end of the trial. In November 2021, these individuals were sentenced by the First Branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court to 7 months and 16 days in prison each for propaganda against the regime, and to 31 months and 16 days in prison for membership in anti-regime groups. The convictions of Mr. Farzandi and Masoumi were upheld on appeal and the sentences of Ms. Aghdasi and Ms. Foroutan were reduced by 25 months. These citizens were detained on March 7, 2022, after being summoned to the Revolutionary Court under the pretext of some additional explanations and without notifying them of intentions to execute the prison sentences. They were transferred to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz to serve their sentences.
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.