(AFP) TEHRAN — Iran has sentenced a former aide to Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi to two years in jail, an opposition website reported on Thursday.
“Jinous Sobhani, a Bahai citizen and former secretary of the Human Rights Defenders Centre (Ebadi’s group) was sentenced to two years in prison,” Rahesabz.net reported.
The report did not specify the charges but said that Sobhani was out on bail after being arrested in January, a week after anti-government demonstrations on the Shiite mourning day of Ashura. She is now due to go to jail to begin serving her term.
She was previously arrested in January 2009 and accused by the judiciary of “propaganda against the system and acting against national security.” She was released in March of that year on bail.
Hardline media including Fars news agency identified Sobhani at the time as a member of the banned Bahai faith and said she was arrested for links with a Bahai organisation.
The Bahai faith was founded in Iran in 1863, but is not recognised by the government. Its followers are regarded as infidels and have suffered persecution both before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Bahais consider Bahaullah, born in 1817, to be the last prophet sent by God. This is in direct conflict with Islam, which considers Mohammed to be the last prophet.
Iran has sentenced seven Bahai leaders jailed since May 2008, to 10 years in prison on charges including spying for foreigners, spreading corruption, undermining Islam and cooperating with Israel, French members of the faith said.