[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] HRANA - Human Rights Activists News Agency

[Date:] 3 Khordad 1400 [24 May 2021]

 

The Court of Appeal; Three Baha’is Citizens Were Sentenced to a Total of 10 Years and 9 Months in Prison

HRANA News Agency – Mahvash Edalati Aliabadi, Sepideh Keshavarz and Farid Esmaili, Baha’i citizens living in Tehran, were each sentenced by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals to three years and seven months in prison under tazir[1] law. These citizens had each previously been sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to four years and three months in prison under tazir law.

According to the HRANA news agency, the news organ of a group of human rights activists in Iran, Mahvash Edalati Aliabadi, Sepideh Keshavarz and Farid Esmaili, Baha’i citizens living in Tehran, were sentenced by the Tehran Court of Appeals to a total of ten years and nine months in prison.

According to the verdict issued by Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals and notified to these citizens, Mahvash Edalati Aliabadi, Sepideh Keshavarz and Farid Esmaili were each sentenced to three years and seven months in prison each on charges of “action against national security by way of administration of the Baha’i organization”.

According to a verdict handed down by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mohammad Reza Amouzad, on 21 Dey 1399 [10 January 2021], Mahvash Edalati Aliabadi, Sepideh Keshavarz, and Farid Esmaili were each sentenced to three years and seven months in prison under tazir law on charges of “action against national security by way of administration of the Baha’i organization” and sentenced to eight months in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime through the propaganda and promotion of the Baha’i sect.”

The change in the conviction of these three Baha’i citizens on appeal has taken place while, according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, if the sentence issued in the initial stage was upheld, the new sentence issued for “propaganda activities against the regime” would not have been enforceable; whereas the sentence of three years and seven months imprisonment under tazir law imposed on each of these citizens as the most severe punishment for the charge of “action against national security by way of administration of the Baha’i organization” is enforceable.”

The home of Mahvash Edalati Aliabadi was searched by the security forces on 29 Aban 1397 [20 November 2018], 1997, and a number of her personal belongings, including religious books, were confiscated. This Baha’i citizen was summoned to the Evin Courthouse via a written summon on 5 Azar [26 November] of that year and detained after an interrogation. She was finally released on bail pending trial on 7 Azar [28 November].

Sepideh Keshavarz was also arrested by the security forces on 29 Aban 1397 [20 November 2018] and was released from Evin Prison on bail the next day pending trial. The Officers searched her home and confiscated a number of her books and personal belongings.

The security forces also visited Farid Esmaili’s home at 8 a.m. on 29 Aban 1397 [20 November 2018], and searched the premises, confiscated a number of personal belongings, books, and photographs related to the Baha’i Faith, and summoned this Baha’i citizen to the Evin Courthouse.

 

[1] [Tazir (discretionary punishment):  Punishment with maximum and minimum limits determined by law and judge, respectively.]