Jail Time Reduced for Baha’i but False Charges Remain

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Source: iranwire.com

Iran’s judiciary has reduced the prison sentence of Payam Vali, a Baha’i citizen incarcerated in Ghezelhasar prison, IranWire understands. Vali’s initial sentence of 16 years has been reduced to 9 years and 9 months.

The judgment, issued by Branch 12 of the Alborz Court of Appeals on May 10, outlines modifications made during the appeals process. 

Vali is accused of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic, cooperating with foreign media and inciting protests via social media.

He was arrested on September 24 after police raided his home and workplace in the city of Karaj, near Tehran. He was severely beaten by the officers after resisting arrest.

The sentence for the charge of cooperating with “hostile countries” was decreased from ten years to six years. 

The five-year sentence for inciting people to protest remained unchanged. However, the one-year sentence for “propaganda against” the regime was reduced to eight months. 

Consequently, Payam Vali has been sentenced to a total of nine years and nine months in prison.

According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the maximum punishment applicable to Vali is six years in prison.

Throughout his detention, Vali has endured pressure and threats aimed at coercing him into making false confessions against himself. But he has continued to deny all the charges against him.

The court deemed Payam Vali’s interviews with  BBC Persian and London-based Manoto satellite television, where he discussed the violation of the rights of Baha’i citizens in Iran, as evidence of his alleged cooperation with hostile countries.

Payam Vali is being held in Ghezelhasar prison where he continues to serve his revised sentence.


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