[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:] Jahan News

[Date:] 7 Bahman 1386 [27 January 2008]

 

Response to U.S. Request For Release of Three Baha’i Prisoners

According to the Jahan News correspondent, Hojatoleslam Jaber Baneshi added, “The case of the mentioned prisoners and fifty other Baha’is has been going on since 1385 [2006/2007]. With judicial proceedings during the legal process, fifty of these people were put on probation and three of them were sentenced to prison.”

He stated, “Extensive propaganda to create deviation in religion, action against the Islamic system and membership in counter-revolutionary groups is among the charges against these three people; they have been imprisoned according to the existing laws and through all formalities and legal procedures.”

The public prosecutor of Shiraz added, “The rest of the people who were put on probation in the initial investigation have been released on bail, but the convictions of these three people were final, so they are in prison.”

He added, “The opportunity to protest in the initial vote was also considered for these three people and they were also given the right to protest against the verdict, so the case was referred to the court of appeal, but the court of appeal also rejected and sentenced them to imprisonment.”

Baneshi stated that the period of imprisonment should be spent for them in order to provide the grounds for their release. He said, “The period of imprisonment of these people has not been completed yet, so we cannot speak for their release.” The report states that in this regard, Radio Farda wrote, “The U.S. State Department has issued a statement asking Iran to release three Baha’i citizens who have been detained for nine months on charges of propaganda and acting against the national security of the Islamic Republic.”

The statement says, “It is not clear why these three people, Haleh Rouhi Jahromi, Raha Sabet Sarvestani and Sasan Taghva, are in detention. They may have been imprisoned solely for ideological reasons.”

According to the radio, the three individuals and 51 others worked for an NGO in Shiraz that provided educational assistance to poor children, but it is possible that they were arrested for propagating Baha’ism.

According to this radio [station], Amnesty International and the Baha’i International Community have expressed concern about the possibility of torture. In the end, the American Radio Farda, added, “One of the charges against the three activists was teaching a book to children; it is said that this book was inspired by the teachings of the Baha’i Faith.”