The Court of Appeals of Tehran province has upheld the initial sentences of 10 years in prison for 70-year-old Mahvash Sabet (Shahriari) and Fariba Kamalabadi, two members of Iran’s Baha'i religious minority.
Sabet and Kamalabadi spent 10 years of their lives in prison, from 2008 to 2017, solely based on her religious beliefs.
They have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison since their latest arrest in July 2022.
In November, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced them to another 10 years in prison each on security charges, after a one-hour trial during which the judge spent most of the time insulting the defendants for managing the Baha'i community in Iran.
They were also ordered to surrender their mobile devices and laptops and prohibited from residing in Tehran, leaving the country, and participating in social or political organizations for a period of two years.
Sabet and Kamalabadi are two former members of the “Yaran” (“Friends”) of Iran, the informal Baha’i leadership group that for almost 20 years looked after the Iranian Baha’i community.
The Iranian government has intensified its crackdown on Baha'is, arresting and imprisoning dozens of them on spurious charges over the past few weeks.
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.