The Tehran Court of Appeals has revised the sentences of six Baha’i citizens, resulting in a combined prison term of 29 years and 10 months. The affected individuals are Saeedeh Khozuei, Saba Sefidi, Iraj Shakoor, Samira Ebrahimi, Pedram Abhar, and Arsalan Yazdani.
Presiding over Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, Judge Abasasli issued the following breakdown for the revised sentences: Khozuei and Yazdani will serve six years each, Shakoor and Abhar five years each, Ebrahimi four years and five months, and Sefidi three years and five months.
A source close to the families, speaking to HRANA, revealed that “the government will confiscate the properties seized from these citizens during their arrest.”
The charges against each individual are as follows:
- Saeedeh Khozuei: Five years for “membership in anti-regime groups” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.”
- Arsalan Yazdani: Five years for “membership in anti-regime groups” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.”
- Iraj Shakoor: Five years for “membership in anti-regime groups.”
- Pedram Abhar: Five years for “membership in anti-regime groups.”
- Samira Ebrahimi: Three years and five months for “membership in anti-regime groups” and one year for “propaganda against the regime.”
- Saba Sefidi: Three years and five months for “membership in anti-regime groups.”
Initially, the Tehran Revolutionary Court had sentenced them to a combined 32 years and 10 months.
HRANA’s annual report has highlighted a concerning trend where, in 2022, 64.63% of reported human rights violations against religious minorities are directed toward the Baha’i community.
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.