An Iranian Revolutionary Court has sentenced a Baha'i citizen to three years in prison for her faith, amid an intensified crackdown on members of the country’s persecuted religious minority.
According to a March 15 message received from Parva Behdad, the Baha’i citizen, who lives in Isfahan, she has been sentenced to three years in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country.
Behdad has also been deprived of her social rights and is required to attend Islamic religious classes for five years.
The charges against her include following the Baha'i religion and establishing a Telegram channel for Baha'is.
Parva Behdad was arrested on November 14 last year at her residence in Isfahan. After 21 days of solitary confinement, she was transferred from the Intelligence Department to Dolat Abad prison in Isfahan.
She was temporarily released on bail on December 18.
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 2022, with dozens of arrests reported over the past few weeks.
There are some 300,000 Baha'is in Iran, making it the largest non-Muslim religious minority, and an estimated 5 million believers worldwide.
Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, Baha'is in Iran have faced systematic discrimination and harassment, including deportation, barriers to education, property confiscations, imprisonment, torture and executions.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes several minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha'i faith.