Six-Year Prison Term Upheld Against Baha’i Woman in Northeast Iran

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The Court of Appeal in Khorasan Razavi province has upheld a verdict and sentence against Roya Malakoti, a Baha’i citizen, who is currently being held at Mashhad’s Vakil Abad Prison.

The first branch of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court, Judge Hadi Mansouri presiding, sentenced Malakoti to six years in prison on the charge of “forming an illegal gathering or group with the intention of disrupting national security” and eight months on the charge of “propaganda against the system.” 

She also received a one-month suspended sentence.

The confirmation of the verdict and sentence means that Malakoti faces six years in prison. She was first apprehended on July 29, after responding to a summons and presenting herself at Branch 903 of the Mashhad Prosecutor’s Office. She has been held at Vakil Abad Prison since that time.

Baha’is have been systematically persecuted in Iran for 44 years because of their faith and are often accused of being spies or opposed to the Iranian government. 

The Baha’i International Community notes that no evidence has ever been provided to demonstrate these charges.

The Iranian government has intensified its crackdown on members of the Baha’i faith, imprisoning dozens of them on spurious charges over the past year, as well as denying access to higher education, livelihoods, and confiscating or destroying personal properties.


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