Birjand Revolutionary Court Sentenced Nine Baha’is to 54 Years in Prison
The Birjand Revolutionary Court has sentenced nine Baha’i citizens to a total of 54 years in prison. According to the sentence, each one of the Baha’is has been sentenced to six years in prison, and the funds raised by the Baha’is of Birjand for administrative expenses of the Baha’i community have been confiscated by the order of the court. The court hearing for these citizens was held on July 3, 2019, without their attorney present. These individuals were arrested in September 2017, and later released on bail. As reported by HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists in Iran, the Revolutionary Court’s verdict was communicated to the nine Baha’is on July 6, 2019.
According to the indictment issued by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Birjand, nine Baha’is were each sentenced to 5 years in prison for the charge of “membership in the illegal Baha’i administration, disruptive to the national security” and one year in prison for the charge of “propaganda against the regime by teaching the Baha’i Faith”:
Sheyda Abedi, daughter of Lotfollah;
Firooz Ahmadi,son of Zabihollah;
Khalil Melaki, son of Nemat;
Simin Mohammadi, daughter of Mohammad;
Bijan Ahmadi, son of Zabihollah;
Maryam Mokhtari, daughter of Tarazollah;
Saghar Mohammadi, daughter of Mohammad;
Rafat Talebi Fard, daughter of Mohammad Hasan; and
Bahman Salehi, son of Zabihollah. Each has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.
In addition, according to the verdict issued, the funds collected for the administration of the affairs of the Baha’i community, through contributions made by the Baha’is of Birjand at Nineteen Day Feasts (community meetings), were also confiscated for the benefit of the government.
Also, according to the contents of the indictment, these Baha’i citizens were denied the right to have an attorney present during their court hearing. This was because Mazdak Etemadzadeh, the attorney for these individuals, is not among attorneys approved by the Judiciary Branch; in accordance with article 48 of the code of criminal justice, he was banned from the court hearing.
These Baha’is were arrested as a group of 9 on October 21, 2017, after the search of their home, and later released on bail in stages on November 18th, 20th and 24th of that year.
Court of Appeals – Baha’i Moin Mohammadi Sentenced to Monitoring with Electronic Anklet
The Yazd Province Appeals Court has sentenced Moin Mohammadi, a Baha’i citizen, to one year of supervision using an electronic wrist or ankle bracelet, limited to movement within the vicinity of the city of Yazd. He was previously sentenced to six years of imprisonment by a lower court. This Baha’i was arrested by security forces in January last year and was released on bail in April this year.
According to HRANA, the news arm of Human Rights Activists in Iran, the appeals court verdict was issued to Moin Mohammadi, a Baha’i residing in Yazd.
According to this verdict which was issued and communicated by Branch 11 of the Yazd Court of Appeals, Moin Mohammadi was acquitted of the charge of “membership in anti-regime groups” and was sentenced to one year of supervision within the city of Yazd and on the route to his workplace within the industrial city of Yazd by electronic monitoring (wristband or ankle bracelet) as a result of charges related to “propaganda against the regime”.
Moin Mohammadi, a Baha’i resident of Yazd, was previously sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Yazd to five years of imprisonment on a charge of “membership in anti-regime groups” and one year in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.
This Baha’i citizen was arrested on January 9, 2019 by security forces in Yazd.
Mr. Mohammadi’s family followed up on his situation when they found out that he had not arrived at his workplace; after several hours, they found out that he had been arrested.
Prior to his arrest, security forces searched Mr. Mohammadi’s and his father’s homes, although the search warrant was solely for Mr. Mohammadi’s house. After completing a full inspection of the homes, the agents took mobile phones, laptops and a number of books and personal belongings with them.
On Wednesday evening, April 10, 2019, he was finally released on bail from Yazd Prison.