Seven Baha’is from Bushihr Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison
As reported by HRNA, the news agency for Human Rights Activists in Iran, on Monday, May 6, 2019, seven Baha’is from Bushihr were sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison. These Baha’is were arrested in February 2018, and later released on bail.
In accordance with this sentence, Minou Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheikhi (Asadollah Jaberi’s wife), Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlagha Faramarzi and Pouneh Nasheri were each sentenced to 3 years in prison.
These Baha’is were arrested by security forces on February 13, 2018. On March 6, 2018, Pouneh Nasheri and Emad Jaberi, and on March 13, 2018, Ehteram Sheikhi, Asadollah Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlagha Faramarzi and Minou Riazati were released after posting 250 million tumans (approx $60,000) in collateral until the conclusion of the trial.
The arrest of these Baha’is in Bushihr followed a thorough search of their homes by security forces, and confiscation of their personal belongings, including laptop computers, books, flash memory drives, external drives and family albums.
Baha’i citizens of Iran are denied freedom of religion, a systematic exclusion, in contravention of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to both of which Iran is a signatory, which state that everyone has a right to freedom of religion and to the conversion of religion based on personal belief, as well as the freedom to express it individually or collectively, in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is in the country; however, the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, but does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, Baha’i rights in Iran have been systematically violated over a number of years.