[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]

 

[Adopted from website:] HRANA

[Date:] 17 Aban 1396 [8 November 2017]

 

HRANA News Agency - Three young Baha’is Deprived of Education Were Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

HRANA News Agency: Rouhiyyeh Safajou and Tara Houshmand 21, and Sarmad Shadabi 22, have each been sentenced to five years in prison.

According to the HRANA news agency, the news organ of the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, in 1393 [2014] these three people, after passing the university entrance exam, have not been able to continue their journey—that is, to see their rank and to choose their field [of study]—just because they believe in the Baha’i faith.

They protested against this incident and the violation of Articles 19, 20 and 23 of the Constitution, and wrote letters to various government institutions, including the Office of the President, the Ministry of Science, the Assessment Organization and other related institutions, but have not yet received a response from any of them. Then they had a meeting with the member of parliament for Tehran at the time (Mr. Mahjoub), who expelled these three and their other friends from his office after insulting and humiliating them.

Then, after a year, all three people were arrested in Esfand 1394 [March 2016] and released in Farvardin 1395 [April 2016] on bail—Misses Rouhiyyeh Safajou and Tara Houshmand each to 50 million tomans, and Mr. Sarmad Shadabi, to two million tomans.

After [they had been] summoned six times to court, of which only two hearings were held, the case was transferred to another judge for the fourth time due to the absence of Judge Moghiseh. The case was handed over to another judge, who, after hearing the defendants and their defense lawyers, requested that a case expert be summoned to court to further explain why the three had been detained.

Finally, on 4 Mehr 1396 [26 September 2017], the trial was held in the presence of Judge Moghiseh with the defendants and their lawyers, and without the presence of the prosecutor. 

One month later, in Aban 1396 [October/November 2017], Judge Moghiseh, without considering the request of the previous judge, sentenced each of the three to five years in prison on charges of “acting against national security through membership in the perverse Baha’i sect” (being a Baha'i), while the court ruling did not mention the existence of a bill in the case nor the defence of the defendants and their lawyers, in such a way that it appears they did not have a lawyer and were not present in court.