An Iranian court has sentenced a Baha’i citizen, Hourieh Mohseni, to three years’ imprisonment and an additional year of suspended time.
The First Branch of the Revolutionary Court of the northeastern city of Mashhad alleged that Mohseni was a member of “a social action and development group that aimed to promote Baha’ism with the intention of disrupting national security.”
It further accused her of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic in favor of the Baha’i faith.”
The court hearing was conducted without the presence of either the defendant or her legal counsel.
Mohseni submitted her defense plea to the court in writing.
The court’s ruling appears to have been based on Mohseni’s charitable activities.
For several months, Mohseni had been teaching mathematics and Persian to children in a disadvantaged village near Mashhad. The villagers were not aware of her religious beliefs.
For more than four decades, Baha’is have been systematically persecuted in Iran because of their faith and are often accused of being spies or opposed to the Iranian government.
The Baha’i International Community says 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, denying them access to higher education and livelihoods, and confiscating or destroying their personal properties.