Baha’i Citizen Shabnam Tebyanian Receives Sentence and Additional Penalties

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Shabnam Tebyanian, a Baha’i citizen, has been sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Semnan to six months imprisonment along with supplementary punishments. However, the prison term has been commuted to a fine.

Tebyanian was found guilty of “engaging in educational activities and propagating against Sharia Islam,” resulting in a two-year prohibition from affiliating with civil or political organizations and groups. Additionally, she has been mandated to attend “Cult Therapy” courses organized by the Islamic Development Organization.

The incident stems from Tebyanian’s arrest by security forces on August 21, 2023, in Semnan. During the arrest, her residence was searched, and some of her possessions were confiscated. She was subsequently released on bail in September 2023 pending further legal proceedings.

Shabnam Tebyanian, a mother of two and a Semnan resident, now faces financial penalties instead of imprisonment following the court’s decision.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

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.


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