Iran Appeals Court Upholds Verdict for Bahais, Reduces Prison Sentences


By Kayhan Life Staff


An appeals court in Shiraz has upheld the conviction of 12 members of the Bahai faith who had been accused of “spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” and “being members of opposition groups,” according to the human rights group Campaign for Defense of Civil and Political Prisoners in Iran.

The court has, however, reduced the prison sentences for most of the defendants.

Security forces in Fars Province (of which Shiraz is the capital) had arrested all 12 men and women between 2016 and 2019. They were subsequently released on bail pending trial, the report added.

Branch 1 of the Shiraz Revolution Court had initially sentenced Shahnaz Sabet, Farham Sabet, Soheila Haghighat, and Farzan Masoumi to six years in prison. Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati, the presiding judge, had also handed a six-year prison sentence to Soudabeh Haghighat, Noura Pourmoradian, Bahareh Ghaderi, Navid Bazmandegan, and Elahe Samizadeh. The court had further delivered an eight-year prison sentence to Niloufar Hakimi.

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The appellate court has reduced the prison sentences of Shahnaz Sabet, Farham Sabet, Soheila Haghighat, and Farzan Masoumi to two years. The court has sentenced Soudabeh Haghighat, Noura Pourmoradian, Bahareh Ghaderi, Navid Bazmandegan, and Elahe Samizadeh to two years and nine months in prison. It has also reduced Niloufar Hakimi’s prison sentence to five years and nine months.

The appellate court has upheld the Revolutionary Court’s ruling for Shahriar Attarian, who had been sentenced to six years in prison for “spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” and “being a member of an opposition group.”

However, the court has reduced Ehsanollah Mahboub Rah Vafa’s one-year prison sentence to a fine of $240.

All other defendants have also been ordered to pay a fine of $240.

A criminal court has given Niloufar Hakimi an additional five-year prison sentence on separate charges.

Soheila Haghighat is also awaiting a criminal trial.

Branch 105 of Shiraz Criminal Court has sentenced Elahe Samizadeh to one year in prison and banned her from working in the government and public sector for two years.

This article was translated and adapted from Persian by Fardine Hamidi.

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