Six Iranian Bahai citizens have been jailed by an Iranian court for allegedly propagating the beliefs of the Bahai sect. Borhan Esmaili, Maryam Bashir, Faranak Sheikhi, Hayedeh Ram, Minoo Bashir and Derna Esmaili, six Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz and Borazjan, were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Dashtestan (Borazjan) to a total of 73 years and 6 months in prison.
According to the court verdict, Bahai citizens sentenced to prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime by spreading the beliefs of the Baha’i sect and acting against national security by disseminating and propagating the ideas of the Baha’i sect”.
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, Iran Human Rights Monitor reported.
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.