Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Hassan Salehi, Vahid Dana and Saeed Abedi, Baha’i citizens, were each sentenced to six years, one month and seventeen days of imprisonment under the electronic monitoring system, fines, and social exclusions by the first branch of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court.
According to HRANA news agency, the news organ of the Human Rights Activists in Iran, Hassan Salehi, Vahid Dana and Saeed Abedi, Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz, were sentenced to prison.
According to the verdict issued on the 16th of October by the first branch of Shiraz Revolutionary Court and communicated to these citizens, Mr. Salehi, Dana and Abedi that they were accused of “membership in an illegal sect and enemies of the regime with the intention of disrupting national security”, each sentenced to two years and seven months and sixteen days of imprisonment and for the charges of “propaganda of a sect against the holy Islamic law” each received three years and six months and one day of imprisonment, under the electronic monitoring system restricted within a thousand meters of Their residences.
Also, based on the verdict, these Baha’i citizens were sentenced to pay a fine of thirty seven million and one hundred thousand tomans and being deprived of some social rights for fifteen years as additional punishments.
On April 28, 2021, Mr. Dana and Mr. Abedi were arrested in their private homes by the agents of the Intelligence Services and were taken to the detention center of this security institution known as Number 100. During the arrest, the officers searched the homes of these citizens and took away some of their personal belongings, including mobile phones, personal computers, and a number of books, literature, and pictures related to the Baha’i Faith. They were finally released from Adel Abad prison in Shiraz after posting bail on the 1st of June of the same year.
Hassan Salehi, Vahid Dana, and Saeed Abedi have previously been arrested, convicted, and prosecuted.
The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion by Iranian authorities, leading to systematic and longstanding violations of the rights of Baha’is in the country. This includes the denial of their fundamental right to practice their religion, which constitutes a clear breach of both 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 freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.
According to unofficial sources, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is in Iran. The Iranian constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Authorities use this omission to justify depriving Baha’is of the freedom of religion and have systematically violated the rights of Baha’is in Iran since the Islamic Republic came into power.