The Iranian judiciary has given five-year prison sentences to three Baha’is in Mashhad, while another seven followers are to go on trial in the next two weeks.
RHANA reports that Rosita Vaseghi, Nahid Ghadiri and Noura Nabilzadeh were each sentenced to five years in prison by a Mashhad Revolutionary court.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Reporters Committee reports that seven other Baha’is are to be tried by Iranian authorties in connection with the BIHE, the online Baha’i university. They are charged with “membership in an anti-security Baha’i group.”
In June, Iranian security forces raided the homes of seven BIHE administrators and professors and arrested them.
Since then, another 20 people have been arrested in connection with the BIHE and another 50 have been summoned for questioning and forced to sign an oath disowning the organization.
The BIHE offered online higher education for Baha’is in Iran, an alternative to the discrimination faced by young Baha’is in Iranian universities. Many Baha’is are denied the right to pursue studies in universities.
Iran does not recognize the Baha’i faith as an official religion, and Baha’is are faced with widespread discrimination in all walks of life in Iran.