Three Baha’i residents of Abadan and Ahvaz, Neda Sabeti (Azadi), Forough Farzaneh, and Noushin Afshar were each sentenced to a one-year prison term for the charge of “propaganda against the state” by the Revolutionary Court of Abadan. On May 6, 2019, they were arrested at their houses and were transferred to Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz on May 30, 2019.
A closed source told Human Rights in Iran, that their case was opened by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and during their interrogations, they were under pressure for forced confession. On May 6, 2019, they were arrested at their houses by six agents of the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Ahvaz and Abadan. They were released a week after on May 13 but were rearrested for an unknown reason on the same day. They were released on bail on May 30, 2019.
Baha’i citizens of Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private.
Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.