A number of Bahai citizens persecuted in Iran

Iranian Baha’is Given Fines And Jail Sentences

Friday, 11/03/2023

The Court of Appeals in northern Mazandaran province has sentenced 14 Baha’i citizens to imprisonment and fines.

According to the HRANA human rights news agency, Sanaz Hekmat Shoar and Bita Haghighi, two Baha’i citizens, were each sentenced to three years in prison and additional fines.

The news agency also announced that twelve other defendants in this case, named Mani Ghoi-Nejad, Negar Darabi, Sam Samimi, Mahsa Fathi, Samieh Gholi-Nejad, Majir Samimi, Anis Sanaei, Afsnaneh Nematian, Basir Samimi, Hengameh Alipour, Golin Falah, and Nazanin Goli were sentenced to a fifty-million-toman fine (approximately 1,000 dollars) in exchange for the initial sentence of two years and one month.

These Baha’i citizens were arrested in August 2022 in Mazandaran province but were released on bail months after.

At the time of their arrest, the Ministry of Intelligence released a statement, accusing these citizens of being members of an espionage organization and claiming that two of them had received training from Israel.

According to HRANA annual report, from the total human rights reports regarding the violation of religious minorities’ rights, 64.63% belonged to the violation of the rights of Baha’is.

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.

Approximately 300,000 Baha'is reside in Iran, and they frequently document a pattern of regular rights violations. The violations encompass harassment, forced displacement from their residences and businesses, and unequal treatment regarding government employment and access to higher education.

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