[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:] Iran Emrooz

[Date:] 3 Bahman 1386 [23 January 2008]

 

Prosecution of Baha’i Citizens in Shiraz

Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz have come under intense pressure from judicial authorities in recent days. Some Baha’is are in prison for “acting against security” and “propaganda against the regime” and others are awaiting trial.

Iran Emrooz: Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz have come under intense pressure from judicial authorities in recent days. Some Baha’is are in prison for “acting against security” and “propaganda against the regime” and others are awaiting trial.

Fifty-four young Baha’is training [people in] life skills, with the permission of the Shiraz city council in city slums, have been charged in the Shiraz Revolutionary Court and convicted of “acting against security” and “propaganda against the regime.”

It is noteworthy that these people were deprived of the right to a lawyer. These people were sentenced to four years in prison, of which three are enforceable and the rest are suspended. The court also sentenced them to attend classes in Islamic propaganda and Islamic studies organization. These individuals appealed the verdict, but their appeal was heard on Thursday and Friday in Branch 9 of the Fars Court of Appeal. Even at this stage, these people have been denied the right to a legal defence attorney.

In order to increase the pressure on Baha’i citizens over the past three months, seven high school girls have been expelled from Hazrat-e Masoumeh High School in Shiraz. Following their complaints, the father of a student and the student herself were detained for two weeks. These detainees have been temporarily released on bail of 20 million tomans. [The other] high school students are back in the classroom after signing a commitment.

It should be noted that searching the homes of followers of this religious minority is on the agenda of security officials. In this regard, several houses have been inspected and several cases have been filed in the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz.

Bahaism is not officially recognised as a religion in the government of the Islamic Republic, and Baha’is, subject to the rule of law, suffer from government discrimination and are denied many social [civil] rights, including going to university and holding government jobs.

Last year, Amnesty International published the text of a written order from the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khamenei, to gather information about the Baha’is. The order to gather information about this religious minority, issued by the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, was seen by human rights defenders as a prelude to the start of widespread repression and raised public concern. Now, with the start of the prosecution of Baha’i citizens in Shiraz, the grounds for such concern have become much more serious.