Iranian judicial authorities have charged a jailed member of the country’s persecuted Baha'i religious minority of "insulting" Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on his YouTube channel.
Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court in the northern city of Qaemshahr on January 11 informed Matin Gorji of the charge against him, three days after his arrest amid an intensified crackdown on the Baha'i faith.
The security forces had told Gorji’s mother that he was facing a prison sentence of at least two years. They did not provide further details.
Meanwhile, another Baha'i, Farbod Alavi, was released after spending 39 days in custody.
There was no information available about why he was detained and transferred to Tehran’s Evin prison.
The Iranian authorities’ crackdown on members of the Baha'i minority appears to have accelerated since July. The clampdown has continued after the eruption of nationwide demonstrations in September.
Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, Baha'is in Iran have faced systematic discrimination and harassment, including deportation, restrictions to education, property confiscations, imprisonment, torture, and executions.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes a number of minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha'i faith.