Update on Baha’i Ardeshir Fanaeian in Semnan Prison

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Source: www.en-hrana.org

Baha’i Ardeshir Fanaeian is currently serving a six-year prison term in Semnan prison.

According to a source close to Fanaeian’s family, since his incarceration, prison officials have held him separated from other inmates resembling solitary confinement.

Fanaeian was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence on April 30, 2019, and released on bail after 75 days.

Subsequently, the Revolutionary Court of Semnan, presided over by Judge Mohammad-Ali Rostami, sentenced Fanaeian to 11 years in prison, one year of exile to Khash County, and one year banned from Semnan for “assisting in forming and running an illegal group to act against national security in favor of anti-regime groups.” This verdict was later reduced to six years on appeal.

Notably, Fanaeian’s parents were incarcerated for their faith in the 1980s. He was born in prison and resided there until he was three months old. Also, he faced a prior arrest and conviction in 2013.

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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