Three Iranian Bahai citizens sentenced to prison for following outlawed faith

A Tehran Revolutionary court sentenced three Bahai citizens to four years and three months of prison each on January 29.

According to the Human Rights News Agency, the three men and women were identified as Mahvash Edalati Abadi, Sepideh Keshavarz, and Farid Esmaeli.

The 28th Branch of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Mohammedreza Amouzad sentenced each of the Bahai citizens to three years and seven months of prison for “gathering and conspiring against the state by managing a Bahai organization” and eight months for “acting against national security by promoting the Bahai faith”.

Mahvash’s home was raided by security forces on November 20, 2018, and her personal belongings including her holy book were confiscated. She was summoned on November 26, 2018 and arrested. Mahvash was released on bail two days later.

Sepideh was arrested at her home on November 20, 2018 and released the next day on bail. Her home was also raided, and her holy book and other belongings were confiscated upon arrest.

Farid was also arrested at home on the same day. His personal belongings including Bahai religious pictures and books were confiscated.

In another case, a Bahai in Karaj was summoned and arrested on January 29.

According to the Human Rights News Agency, the Bahai man, identified as Touraj Amini is a writer and researcher. Touraj’s home was raided last summer by security forces and his personal belongings including books, notes, and personal computer were confiscated. He was initially sentenced by the Karaj Revolutionary Court to one year of prison and two years of exile, but his sentence was later commuted to six months of prison.

Touraj Amini was charged with “spreading propaganda against the state”. He was arrested once before in March 2008.

Iranian Bahais are deprived of freedom of religion as stated in Article 18 of the Core International Human Rights Treaties.

Unofficial sources say there are more than 300,000 people following the Bahai Faith in Iran. However, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize Bahaism. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iranian Bahais have been systematically persecuted as a matter of government policy. During the first decade of this persecution, more than 200 of Iran’s Bahais were killed or executed. Hundreds more were tortured or imprisoned, and tens of thousands lost jobs, access to education, and other rights – all solely because of their religious belief.
The persecution of Iran’s Bahais is still ongoing with dozens of Bahais languishing in prisons throughout Iran.

Source » irannewswire

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