The Revolutionary Court in Bushehr, in southern Iran, has sentenced seven members of the Bahai religious minority to a total of 21 years in jail on the charges of "propagating against the political system."
An individual close to the seven Bahais has told Radio Farda that they did not have any political activity and that they have been sentenced to jail solely for their religious beliefs.
The verdict against the Bahais, Minoo Riazati, Ehteram Sheikhi, Asadollah Jaberi, Pooneh Nasheri, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi and Farrokhlagha Faramarzi, has been issued on May 6 after a very brief summary trial.
They were arrested on February 13, 2018 and their houses were searched and their belongings were taken away from them. They were subsequently released on bail before their trial.
International human rights watchdogs as well as the United Nations Organization have criticized the Islamic Republic for harassing and jailing Bahais for their belief. The Bahais in Iran are deprived of university education and the right to work with the government, and their businesses are shut down by religious authorities of the Islamic Republic. The government's behavior has been characterized by the International Bahai Community as "economic apartheid."
Tens of Bahais are currently in jail in Iran while scores of others have been released on bail, awaiting their trial.
The Iranian government does not recognize Bahaism, but Tehran is committed under international laws to protect the rights of all of its citizens regardless of their religious beliefs.