Enayatollah Naeimi, a Baha’i citizen, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, with 10 years to be enforced, by the Isfahan Revolutionary Court. He was also fined and subjected to social deprivation.
The verdict was issued by Judge Morteza Barai, who found Naeimi guilty of “forming groups to act against national security” for which he received 10 years, and “propaganda against the regime,” for which he received five years. The evidence presented for these charges included Naeimi’s involvement with the Baha’i group “Yaran e Iran” or “Friends of Iran,” as well as his association with Baha’i communities in Israel
Under Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, if the verdict is upheld on appeal, Naeimi will serve 10 years in prison for the first charge.
Naeimi was arrested by security forces on September 28, 2022, and his house, workplace, and garden in the Isfahan suburbs were searched. He was later released on bail from Isfahan Prison but now faces a lengthy prison sentence.
According to HRANA annual report, from the total human rights reports regarding the violation of religious minorities’ rights, 64.63% belonged to the violation of the rights of Baha’is.
According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian Constitution recognizes only Islam as the official religion, in addition to Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Baha’i faith is not considered legitimate by the authorities, and the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.
Freedom of religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations Covenant holds that every person has the right to practice religion freely, freedom of converting to a religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.