The 28th Branch of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced four Bahai citizens to a total of 12 years of prison.
According to the Human Rights News Agency, the four men and women, identified as Mona Mehrabi, Elham Kerempisheh, Afsaneh Yadegar Ardestani and Ehsanollah Yadegar Ardestani were previously tried in absentia in 2019 and sentenced to a total of 20 years, later changed to 3 years of prison for each person.
The four Bahai citizens were charged with “membership in illegal organizations which are threats to national security”.
Iranian Bahais are deprived of freedom of religion as stated in Article 18 of the Core International Human Rights Treaties.
Unofficial sources say there are more than 300,000 people following the Bahai Faith in Iran. However, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize Bahaism.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iranian Bahais have been systematically persecuted as a matter of government policy. During the first decade of this persecution, more than 200 of Iran’s Bahais were killed or executed. Hundreds more were tortured or imprisoned, and tens of thousands lost jobs, access to education, and other rights – all solely because of their religious belief.
The persecution of Iran’s Bahais is still ongoing with dozens of Bahais languishing in prisons throughout Iran.