#Human Rights
UN, UNHCHR, US State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament, AI, HRW
United States of America

July 11, 2011--The Appeals Court has upheld a four-year prison sentence issued for Houshang Fanaian, a Baha'i citizen from the city of Amol in Mazandaran Province.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Houshang Fanaian has been locked up in Amol Prison for more than four months. Recently, on charges of attending a special Baha'i religious ceremony and membership in a Baha'i social group, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Additionally, Houshang Fanaian was convicted of acting against national security through his membership in Facebook and sentenced to one year in prison.

The Appeals Court, however, overturned a six month prison term issued by the lower court for insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran.

The decision by the Appeals Court was issued within two days after the request for review was filed. Although Houshang Fanaian’s attorney, Abdolfattah Soltani, had also asked to meet with the judge assigned to review the case, the Appeals Court denied this request and announced the verdict in absentia.

The Iranian Intelligence Agency has recently increased the pressure on Houshang Fanaian who is serving a four year sentence in Amol Prison, Mazandaran Province. This has included harassing his daughter, Glarh Fanaian, and threatening her with arrest.

Houshang Fanaian, a practitioner of the Baha'i faith which is ruthlessly persecuted under the Islamic Republic of Iran, is clearly a prisoner of conscience. The charges against him and his conviction are illegal under both international and Iranian law as they violate his rights to freedom of religion, freedom of association and freedom of expression.

We demand that all pressure be brought to bear on the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally free Houshang Fanaian and all other imprisoned Baha'i Citizens, as well as all other prisoners of conscience in Iran. We also demand an immediate end to the harassment of their families and loved ones.

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The Free Iranian Baha'i Citizen Houshang Fanaian petition to UN, UNHCHR, US State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament, AI, HRW was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.