Twenty-six Baha’is living in Shiraz have been sentenced to a total of 85 years in prison, revocation of their passports, travel bans, and being sent to exile on charges of “assembly and collusion to disrupt the internal and external national security.”
The verdict was issued in Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz, presided over by Judge Mahmoud Sadati, and is related to the case of the arrest of the Baha’i in Shiraz between July and December 2016.
The Baha’i International Community has repeatedly stated that the security allegations against Baha’i citizens in Iran are entirely “baseless” and that the only reason for the prosecution of Baha’is by the regime’s security services is their religious beliefs and activities.
In this case, Baha’i women citizens, Yekta Fahandej Sa’di, Lala Salehi, Mojgan Gholampour, Rezvan Yazdani, and Bahareh Norouzi were each sentenced to “five years in prison and two years of travel ban and passport revocation.”
The Baha’i men Nabil Tahzib, Ismail Rousta, Behnam Azizpour, Saeed Hassani, Ramin Shirvani, and Sehba Moslehi, were each sentenced to “five years in prison and two years in exile in different parts of Iran.” The men were ordered to “report themselves daily to the provincial intelligence service.” The six are also facing “their passports revocation and two years ban from leaving the country.”
At the same time, nine other Baha’i women, including Maryam Eslami, Parisa Rouhizadegan, Marjan Gholampour, Sehba Farahbakhsh, Shadi Sadegh Aqdam, Ahdieh Enayati, Samareh Ashnaei, Noushin Zanhari, and Nasim Kashaninejad, each were sentenced to “two years in prison, their passports revocation, and a ban on leaving the country. “
Messrs. Shamim Akhlaghi, Soroush Eghani, Farzad Shadman, Farbod Shadman, Mahyar Sefidi, and Vargha Kaviani were each sentenced to “two years in prison and two years in exile, plus a two-year ban on leaving the country with their passports being revoked.”
Their lawyers were informed of the verdicts verbally and in person on June 8.
Yekta Fahandej Sa’di was arrested and tried two more times by the Shiraz Intelligence Office before this case. The latest verdict was handed down against her despite the fact that she was acquitted of all charges in both the first and second cases.
The trial session of the 26 Baha’i citizens was held on May 18 while the judge had “declared several defects in the case” over the past six years.
Baha’is persecution in Iran
Baha’is are a religious minority rejected and persecuted by the clerical regime who also controls the courts and most other state institutions.
The Iranian regime does not recognize the Baha’i community, with more than 300,000 members in the country. Instead, for four decades, the clerical regime has routinely harassed, prosecuted, and imprisoned Baha’is solely for practicing their faith.
Hundreds of Bahai’s have been arrested over the years and many spent years in prison.
The regime severely restricts Baha’is right to education, including prohibiting Baha’i students from registering at universities and expelling them if their identities are discovered.