Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Ghazaleh Bagheri Tari, a Baha’i citizen residing in Tehran, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment; the decision was announced to her this week. Ms. Bagheri Tari’s trial was held in December of last year at the Tehran Revolutionary Court. She was arrested by security forces on October 21, 2017, during the observance of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the prophet of the Baha’i Faith, and was released on bail 23 days later.
The indictment against this citizen announced her crime as “Acting against the security of the country through membership in and administration of Baha’i institutions.”
Ms. Bagheri Tari was arrested October 21, 2017, by security forces and transferred to Evin Prison during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet of the Baha’i Faith, which was held at her home.
According to one attendee of the observance, security forces entered Ms. Bagheri Tari’s residence with the warrant and requested each of the participants to sign a pledge not to attend Baha’i gatherings. Finally, they left the home after a full house search and confiscation of books and personal belongings and arresting the host.
Ghazaleh Bagheri Tari was released, 23 days after her arrest on November 13, 2017, on bail of 200 million Tomans (approximately US $47,632), and was released from Evin prison until the end of her trial.
On December 17, 2017, a hearing was held on the charges against this citizen in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.
Bahá’i citizens in Iran are deprived of freedoms related to religious beliefs, a systematic exclusion, although in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone shall have the right to adopt a religion or belief, and freedom to manifest this religion or belief either individually or in community with others in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism; it does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, Baha’is’ rights in Iran have been systematically violated in recent years.
March 7, 2019 7:39 am
Fyi according to Baha’i belief Baha’is should obey their government except when obedience constitutes a repudiation of their faith. Signing such a statement to avoid future attendance at further Baha’i functions would probably fall into that category. However it is easy for me to say this an Australian Baha’i where no restriction like this will (hopefully) ever be in place.