Sen's daily

2010-10-11

Ruhollah Ekhlaqi arrested

RAHANA, 30 November

Ruhollah Ekhlaqi ( روح‌الله اخلاقی ), a Bahai living in Shiraz, was arrested by security agents on the morning of 30 November. The agents searched his house thoroughly and seized a computer, CDs, books, and personal belongings, before taking him away. It is not known where he is being held.

Source (in Persian)
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Extraordinary measures to prevent contact with Bahai prisoners

Hambastegi Meli, 29 November

The Student Committee to Defend Political Prisoners reports that in recent days the prison officers have been taking extraordinary measures to prevent prisoners in Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj (near Tehran) contacting 6 Bahai prisoners held there. Five of these prisoners are among the ‘Yaran’ — a group of seven mentors who assisted the Iranian Bahais with matters such as finding a place to bury their dead. All seven were sentenced to 10 years in prison this year, on charges that included spying for Israel. [Presumably the reference is to the five men among the seven Yaran.]

Source (in Persian)
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New national Bahai Centre in Vienna, Austria

Baha’i österreich, 24 November

The Austrian Baha’i community now has a new center in Vienna – “a visible sign of a culture of peace” as a keynote speaker said. It was opened on Oct 15, 2010, in a ceremony attended by many notables and religious dignitaries.

At the time the planning permission for the centre was granted, in December 2008, one local notable raised objections in the media, claiming the Bahais had links to a terrorist organisation (!).

The centre is a renovated Art Nouveau Officer’s mess. Congratulations to the Austrian Bahai Community.

Full report (in German)
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Mas`ud `Ata’yan: sentence begins

RAHANA, 27 November

Mas`ud `Ata’yan ( مسعود عطائیان ), a Bahai from the Qaemshahr region in Iran, was sentenced to 10 months in prison in March this year, following more than three months detention in solitary confinement. He will begin serving this sentence tomorrow, in Qaemshahr prison.

Source (in Persian)
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Two arrests in Ramsar

RAHANA, 27 November

On the evening of 22 November, security agents arrested Majid Aqasafri and Seraj Keyan ( مجیدآقاصفری و سراج کیان ) in the Caspian coastal town of Ramsar, while they were gathered for the Feast of Qawl. The “Feast” is the regular Bahai community meeting, for devotions, discussion and socialising.

Source (in Persian)
Update, 6 December. RAHANA reports that a third person, Mrs. Lotfi ( خانم لطفي ), was also arrested, and that all three are being held in prison in Sari.
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Two more arrests in Nour

Khabar Navard blog, 26 November

On the morning of 20 November, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Shayda Ta’id ( شیدا تایید ) and her mother Farideh `Ali Baba’i ( خانم فریده علی بابائی ) and took them to the prison in Sari. The Ta’id family home was one of three homes raided two weeks ago, at which time Bahai books, photographs and CDs were confiscated, and two Bahai men, Mahmud Razi and Jamal Chupani ( محمود رزی و جمال چوپانی ) were detained. All those present were required to fill in a previously prepared questionnaire, giving personal and family details and also personal characteristics such as hair and eye colour and nose shape, and the addresses of all immediate relatives.

Source (in Persian)
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Three Isfahan Bahais begin their sentences

Bahai World News Service, 23 November

Mr. Soroush Puzeshki, Enayatollah Na`imi and Ahsanollah Ashtiyaq ( سروش پزشکی، عنایت الله نعیمی و احسان الله اشتیاق ) have been summoned to begin serving 12 month their prison sentences.

Source (in Persian)
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Mahin Khanjani free on bail

Bahai World News Service, 23 November

Mahin Khanjani, who was arrested in Tehran on 7 October by Intelligence Ministry agents, was released on bail two days later.
Source (in Persian)
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Triple arson in Rafsanjan

Bahai World News Service, 23 November

On 25 and 27 October, three appliance repair shops belonging to Bahais in Rafsanjan (Kerman Province) were set on fire by unknown persons.

Source (in Persian)
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Sepideh Ma`sumi begins sentence

Iranians’ News, 24 November

Sepideh Ma`sumi ( سپیده معصومی ), a Bahai living in Sari, received a written summons to the court in Sari, and was arrested when she presented herself. She was taken to the prison in Sari. She came to the attention of authorities when she was excluded from tertiary education because of her Bahai identity. She was arrested on 19 December 2009, and sentenced in June to six months in prison, on the charge of ‘propaganda against the regime,’ a sentence confirmed by the review court. Her current detention is presumably to serve this six month sentence.

Source (in Persian)
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Restriction on using the name “Bahai” ruled inapplicable

Chicago breaking news, 23 November

The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has ruled that a group of self-proclaimed “orthodox” Baha’i believers can keep calling themselves Baha’i, despite a 1966 court decision that stopped another offshoot organization from using the Baha’i name.

Although the judges criticized the ruling from more than four decades ago as wrongfully trying to resolve a question of religious authority, they determined it was a moot point since the original defendants led a denomination that no longer exists. Tuesday’s ruling sidestepped the question of whether a religious organization can trademark its name or icons.

Adherents of the Orthodox Baha’i Faith–numbering about 50 in the U.S.–believe the mainstream Baha’i faith — has strayed from the religion’s original teachings.

Source
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30 Sufis sentenced to 1 year without Samaa’

Eurasia Review, 22 November

[This is not a blog on human rights in Iran (although sometimes appears to focus only on Iran), but I think it’s important to post human rights news from Iran sometimes, as a reminder that the Bahais of Iran are not the only victims of repression and injustice there.
]

Thirty Gonabad dervishes in Iranian city of Charmahin of Esfahan province were sentenced to one year suspended jail term and cash fines. The court sentence also forbids the dervishes from holding their spiritual gatherings.

Majzoban-e Noor, the official website of Gonabadi Dervishes, reports that these dervishes were charged with “disturbing public order and peace, insulting and disobeying officials and vandalizing public property.” The report however maintains that the dervishes were tried for “protesting against the destruction of their place of worship by the City two years ago.”

In recent years, Iranian dervishes have been under severe pressure from Iranian Ministry of Intelligence with their centres destroyed the media prohibited from publishing any news related to dervishes. Last week, 24 Gonabad dervishes in Khorasan received court sentences which included imprisonment, floggings and exile.

The Gonabad dervishes have a four-hundred-year history of ceremonies and traditions in Iran which goes back to Shah Nematollah Vali, a 17th century mystic who is buried in Kerman. These ceremonies and traditions have been heavily restricted by pressure from government services

Source
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Suriname: first hearing in John Veira murder trial

Star News, 23 November

The preliminary hearing of those accused for the murder of John Veira, a Bahai who was the well-respected Director of Civil Aviation in Suriname (see the earlier reports here) has taken place in Suriname. The first substantial sitting has been scheduled for 13 January.

Three suspects appeared, one of whom was freed pending trial, while two were ordered to be detained. A fourth suspect was due to appear, but he has been free pending trial and it proved impossible to serve the summons for the hearing on him, as he was not found at his reported residential address. Extradition proceedings are under way for two other suspects who are being held in the Netherlands and in French Guyana.

Source (in Dutch)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arezu Samimi expelled from university

Arezu Samimi, a Bahai student at the Behshahr campus of Tehran’s University of Science and Technology was expelled for ‘following the Baha’i faith.’ Her religion has been registered as ‘Islam’ in the university database, but after she had followed up to correct her student profile, she was expelled.

Sources:
Afsaneh Oskoueinejad’s blog, 23 November
Secular Democracy for Iran, 22 November (In Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Bahais of Nour raided, detained

Ey-Baha blog, 20 November

This personal blog — one I trust — reports that intelligence agents in raided a Bahai gathering in Nour (a town on Iran’s Caspian coast) on the evening of 3 November, when the Bahais would have been celebrating the Feast of Qudrat. The gathering was held in the home of Mr. Razi ( جناب آقای رزی ). Mahmud Razi and Jamal Chupani ( محمود رزی و جمال چوپانی ) were detained. All those present were required to fill in a previously prepared questionnaire, giving personal and family details and also personal characteristics such as hair and eye colour and nose shape, and the addresses of all immediate relatives.

On 6 November, the homes of the Shahnazi and Ta`id families ( شهنازی و تائید ) in Nour were raided, and all the Bahai books, photographs and CDs, and a satellite receiver, were confiscated. In addition to the usual accusations, the pretext for the raids has been “accessing Bahai books from abroad and via internet, and distributing them” – a charge not employed previously.

Source (in Persian)
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Trial relating to the murder of John Veira scheduled

Suriname Times, 18 November

The Suriname Times is reporting that four suspects are to be tried for the murder of John Veira, a Bahai who was the well-respected Director of Civil Aviation in Suriname. (See the earlier reports here). The trial is scheduled for 23 November.

Source (in Dutch)
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One arrested, one released, in Semnan

HRANA, 17 November

On the morning of 15 November, officers of the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan entered the business premises of Adel Fana’yan ( عادل فنائيان ), searched the premises and arrested him. Last year, Adel Fana’yan served six months in prison in Semnan.

On the same day, Rufia Bidaqi ( روفیا بیدقی ) was released on bail, having been arrested by security officials on 7 November. The bail was 70 million tuman (50,000 euro).

Source (in Persian)
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Amid Qadri released

RAHANA, 11 November

Amid Qadri ( امیدقادری ), a Bahai of Tenakbon, has been freed after one month in detention, first in Tenakbon and then in Sari.
Source (in Persian)
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Five Bahais tried in Isfahan

RAHANA, 16 November

Five young Bahais arrested in August for teaching literacy and computer skills to women and children in the village of Quleh-ye Musa Khan ( قلعه موسی‌خان ), some 50 kilometres from Isfahan, were tried today, on charges of acting against national security. Their names are given as Zhinous Jushanyan, Mazgan Evadi, and Faraz, Nasim and Afruz Rouhi ( فراز روحی، ژینوس جوشنیان، افروز روحی، مژگان عبادی و نسیم روحی ).

Source (in Persian)
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Navid Khanjani’s sentencing postponed again

CHRR, 13 November

Navid Khanjani ( نوید خانجانی ), a Bahai human rights activist, presented his final defense in the Evin magistrate court, Tehran, on 21 June, and has since been free on bail of 100 million tuman (70,000 euro). He was summoned to appear in court in Tehran on 5 October, which was postponed until today, 13 November, and has now been postponed again. The reason given was that a legal representative was not available, which may not be the whole story, since Bahais are often tried and sentenced in Iran without legal representation.

He was charged with acting against national security, propaganda against the regime, disturbing public opinion, publishing lies [i.e., blogging], forming illegal groups (a committee to defend educational rights), and active membership in the illegal group Committee of Human Rights Reporters. He has presumably been summoned for sentencing although, in theory, an Iranian court could find a Bahai not guilty.

Source (in Persian)
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Land grab in Ivel

RAHANA, 12 November

Some 50 houses belonging to Bahais in the village of Ivel were arbitrarily destroyed a month ago. Now more then 30,000 hectares of land belonging to these farmers has been confiscated on the orders of Ahmad Jannati, chairman of Iran’s Guardian Council, and Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, head of the Judiciary, and has been presented to Ali Khamanei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Source
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Another Bahai arrested in Semnan

RAHANA, 12 November

Rufia Bidaqi ( روفیا بیدقی ), a Bahai of Semnan, was arrested by security officials on 7 November. Rufya is the daughter of Gudraz Bidaqi ( گودرز بیدقی ), who was arrested on 1 March and released recently.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai expelled from school in Sari

HRANA, 9 November

Sarah Sabeteyan ( سحر ثابتیان ) was expelled from the Zahra secondary school in Sari on 1 November, for “blasphemy” and because she is a Bahai.

Source (in Persian)
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Hossam Bahgat receives human rights award

Copts United, 4 November

An Egyptian activist has been awarded the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary activism by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in recognition of his work defending civil rights and personal freedoms in Egypt. HRW describes Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), as a “leading voice against the prosecution and harassment of individuals based on their religious beliefs or private sexual conduct.” Established in 2002, EIPR works on the right to privacy, health, violence and bodily integrity.

The Cairo-based NGO has won a number of high-profile cases, including a case against the interior ministry that allowed Egyptian Baha’i citizens to leave the religious denomination field on identification documents blank rather than being forced to incorrectly identify themselves as Muslim, Christian or Jewish.

Full story
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Siamak Iqani to begin sentence

HRANA, 2 November

On 7 October we reported that the review court of Semnan had confirmed the sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment for Siamak Iqani ( سیامک ایقانی ), for propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith. He has now been summoned to begin serving his sentence on 6 November. He will join two other Bahais in Semnan prison, Ali Ahsani and Behnam Mot’arefi ( علي احساني و بهنام متعارفي ). Three Bahai women from the town, Sahba Rezvani, Susan Tebyanian and Manizheh Monzavian ( صهبا رضواني ، سوسن تبيانيان و منيژه منزويان ), are being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~

Simin Gorji freed

Kabul Press, 1 November

Simin Gorji ( سیمین گرجی ), a Bahai resident of Qaemshahr, was detained for the fourth time on May 5 (or 6th, reports vary), 2010. She has now been released, having served the final six months of an interrupted one-year sentence. She was first arrested on 3 August 2005, and released on bail on 17 September that year. Then on 1 January 2008 she was arrested again, and freed on 3 April that year. Less than a month later, on 26 April 2008, she was again arrested and was imprisoned in Sari for five months. She was freed from there on 29 October 2008.

A HRANA report adds that she was charged with propaganda against the regime and Bahaism, that she spent six months of her sentence in solitary confinement in Sari, and that in the six months she was imprisoned in the women’s prison in Qaemshahr she was engaged in running Quran classes and literacy classes.
Source (in Persian)
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Firuzeh Yegan imprisoned

HRANA, 30 October

Firuzeh Yegan ( فيروزه يگان ), a Bahai from Qaemshahr, has been in prison there since 8 September. She is serving a 6 month sentence, handed down in December 2009, for teaching the Bahai Faith.
Source (in Persian)
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Qaemshahr Bahai sentenced

HRANA, 29 October

Fakhraldin Samimi ( فخرالدين صميمي ), a Bahai of Qaemshahr, has been sentenced by the court of Sari to six months imprisonment, on charges of propagating the Bahai Faith.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Farid Ruhani summoned

CHRR, 29 October

Farid Ruhani ( فرید روحانی ) was one of 10 Bahais arrested in January following the Ashura demonstrations, at a time when the government was seeking to blame the unrest on the BBC, the Bahais, the Israelis, etc etc.. He was released on bail on 28 February. Now he has been summoned to appear in court, on 11 December. He has been charged with actions contrary to national security, blasphemy, propaganda in favour of foreigners and disturbing public order. His workplace was also closed following his release on bail, apparently on government orders.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai couple freed from Yasuj prison

RAHANA, 27 October

Zalikha Mousavi and Asgar Ravanbakhsh (زلیخا موسوی و عسگرروانبخش), a Bahai couple, have been released at the end of their two-year sentences. They had been held at the prison of Yasuj.

Source
~~~~~~~~~

Roya Yazdani freed

RAHANA, 27 October

Roya Yazdani ( رویا یزدانی ) has been freed from Yasuj prison at the end of her two-year sentence.

Source
~~~~~~~~~

Strict conditions for 4 Bahai prisoners in Mashhad

CHRR, 26 October

Nasrin and Nahid Qadiri, Sima Rajabiyan and Rozita Vasseqi ( نسرین قدیری، ناهید قدیری، سیما رجبیان و رزیتا واثقی ), four Bahai women held in Mashhad’s Vakil Abad prison, have been transferred to a punishment wing, where facilities are poorer and doors are kept locked. They have also been excluded from the general classes. Prisoners in the punishment wing are not allowed to use the library and are deprived of cultural facilities, and other limitations are somewhat stricter. The four are allowed one to two hours per week in the open, and are not allowed to purchase items from the prison shop, but other prisoners are allowed to buy for them. They have also been told that the regulation allowing prisoners to accumulate one day per week of prison leave does not apply to them: they will only be granted leave when they have served half of their sentences.

Nasrin Qadiri and Sima Rajabiyan are sentenced to two years in prison, on charges of propaganda against the regime, endangering national security, membership and activity in the Bahai Faith, advocating contact with foreigners after traveling outside the country, participating in illegal organisations, producing and distributing Bahai CDs and books.

Nahid Qadiri and Rozita Vasseqi face charges of “teaching the Bahai Faith” and “blasphemy” and have five year sentences, apparently for traveling (legally) to Turkey. Earlier in their detention, they were held in solitary confinement for four and six months respectively.

Source
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Shop of a Bahai in Sari raided

HRANA, 24 October

On 20 October, security agents carrying a warrant searched a mobile telephone shop run by Omid Qanbari ( اميد قنبري) a Bahai in Sari, Iran. The “warrant” however was handwritten and had no seal or signature. After searching the shop, they went to Mr. Qanbari’s home, where they confiscated religious books and images and other personal effects. Mr. Qanbari had previously been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry three times, for interrogations.

Source (in Persian)
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Joseph Nadarkhani: execution scheduled

Assist News, 18 October

Following earlier reports regarding the imprisonment of Pastor Joseph (or Yousef, or Youcef) Nadarkhani ( یوسف ندرخانی ) and his wife, residents of Rasht in Iran who have been charged with apostasy, the current situation is that Joseph is scheduled to be executed on Sunday this week (24 October), but that his wife has been released.

Update, 26 November: The pastor is still being held in prison in Lakan, and the method of execution has been specified as hanging, but the verdict is being appealed. (Source)

Source
~~~~~~~~

Mas`ud `Ata’yan: sentence confirmed

Mas`ud `Ata’yan ( مسعود عطائیان ), a Bahai from the Qaemshahr region in Iran, was sentenced to 10 months in prison in March this year, following more than three months detention in solitary confinement. The review court of Mazandaran has confirmed this sentence.

Source
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Two more Mashhad Bahais prepare for prison

CHRR, 20 October

Jalayar-Wahidat and Sima Ishraqi ( جلایروحدت و سیما اشراقی ), two Mashhad Bahais already sentenced to prison, were told by telephone this morning to report to begin their sentences. The two requested a brief respite in relation to their employment, which was refused. They were told that if they failed to present themselves by tomorrow morning, they would be arrested, but further reports indicate that a 3-day respite had been granted them, as an act of Islamic compassion.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Khamanei: mystics, Bahais and house churches main threats

IRNA, 19 October

Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Wise Leader, Magnificent Leader (etc… ad nauseam), spoke in Qom today about the threats facing Iran, which apparently all originate from outside forces which, on this occasion, were not specified. He cited The Satanic Verses, a Hollywood anti-Islam film, some cartoons and a Quran burning as examples of the terrible problems facing the country. The enemies, he said, were trying to gain a foothold within the country as well, and especially to undermine the faith of young people, through spreading imitation mysticism, the Bahai Faith, and Christian house churches.

The speech indicates that the intensifying persecutions of Sufis, Bahais and Christians in Iran over the past months have his support, whether or not he initiated them.

Source (in Persian)
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Naghmeh Hafezi freed

RAHANA, 19 October

Naghmeh Hafezi ( نغمه حافظی ), a Bahai of Sari, was freed on 18 October after one week’s detention. The couple’s home was raided on 7 September. The raid was violent and uncouth, and the couple wrote a letter of complaint to the Public Prosecutor in Sari. A week ago, Naghmeh’s husband was summoned to main office of the Ministry of Intelligence, and she accompanied him there. At the meeting, the officers of the Ministry showed an arrest warrant for Naghmeh Hafezi.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~

Two Bahais arrested in Tenakabon

HRANA, 17 October

Wahid Salim Iqani and Mr. Qadri ( وحيد سليم ايقاني و آقاي قادري ), two Bahai residents of Tenakabon, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, were arrested on the morning of 16 October by officers of the Ministry of Intelligence in the town. After interrogations, they were transferred to prison in Sari. Their families have no further news of them.

Source (in Persian)
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Economic shut-down on a Bahai family

HRANA, 17 October

The optometry practice belonging to Sohrab Laqa’i ( سهراب لقایی ), in Qaemshahr in the northern province of Maxandaran, Iran, was shut down by local authorities 14 months ago. Mr. Laqa’i is a Bahai. Now a shop belonging to his wife has also been sealed, without any reason. Mr Laqa’i and his family have repeatedly had to change their occupations, each time facing hindrances from officers of the Ministry of Intelligence. On 8 July 2009, Mr Laqa’i was arrested and held for six months in administrative detention (detention without trial).

Source (in Persian)
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Sama Nourani summoned

HRANA, 14 October

Sama Nourani ( سما نورانی ), a Bahai expelled from university for his religious beliefs, and a member of the Organisation to Combat Discrimination in Education, has received a written summons to appear in court in Tehran on 1 November.

Source (in Persian)
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New charges against Nahid Qadiri, Rozita Vasseqi

HRANA, October 4 (?)

On 3 October, two of the Bahai prisoners in Mashhad’s Vakil Abad prison, Nahid Qadiri and Rozita Vasseqi( اهيد قديري و رزيتا واثقي ), who are both serving 5-year sentences for their faith, were confronted with new charges. They were unexpectedly transferred, in shackles, to the court in Mashhad and charged with “teaching the Bahai Faith” and “blasphemy” and told to present their final defence against these charges. They were then returned to the prison.

On the same day, Sonia Ahmadi ( سونيا احمدي ), another Bahai of Mashhad, who was held in administrative detention for 3 months last year, was summoned to the court and told to present her final defence. At present, seven Bahais of Mashhad are being held in Vakil Abad prison.

Source (in Persian)
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Mahin Khanjani arrested

HRANA, 8 October

Mahin Khanjani ( مهین خانجانی ) is reported to have been arrested by security officers at her home in Tehran on the morning of 7 October. The officers first searched her home and seized a computer. It is not known where she is being held.

Source (in Persian)
Update 9 October: She is reported to have been released at noon today, having been held for 48 hours.
~~~~~

Execution threatens for an apostate Pastor

HRANA, 6 October

Pastor Joseph (or Yousef) Nadarkhani ( یوسف ندرخانی ) and his wife are residents of Rasht, and have been in prison for the past twelve months, originally for holding church services in their home. They have since been charged with apostasy in Court 11 in Gilan, and the death penalty has been requested for the Pastor. His wife has been sentenced to life imprisonment. According to one report, a death sentence for Joseph has been issued orally, as a way of gauging public reaction.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~

Three Bahais of Yasuj get prison leave

HRANA, 7 October

Mr Ali Asghar Ravanbakh, his wife Zalija and Mrs Ruyiyyah Yazdani ( علی اصغر روانبخش و زلیخا روانبخش و روحیه یزدانی ) have been granted 10 days’ leave from prison. They were arrested on 26 October 2008. They were sentenced to three years in prison for propaganda against the Islamic Republic and one year for participating in the establishment of illegal groups.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Sentence confirmed for Siamak Iqani

HRANA, 7 October

The review court of Semnan has confirmed the sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment for Siamak Iqani ( سیامک ایقانی ). He was charged with propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith.

Source (in Persian)
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Husayn Shayegan sentenced

RAHANA, 6 October

On 24 August we reported that Husayn Shayegan ( حسین شایگان ), a Bahai shopkeeper well known in Shahin Vila in Tehran, was asked to present himself at court with documents relating to his business. When he appeared, both he and his lawyer were arrested and taken to Gohardasht prison in Karaj (outskirts of Tehran). Today he was sentenced to one year in Gohardasht prison, one year in exile in Saravan (in the South, near the Pakistani border) and a ban on employment (no period stated). According to the RAHANA reporter, his court session was held on October 2nd and the verdict was issued today.

29 November: the sentence has been confirmed by the review court. (Bahai World News Service, in Persian)

Source
~~~~~~~~~

Final defence from two Mashhad Bahais

HRANA, 6 October

Noora Nabilzadeh and Behman Yazdani ( نورا نبیل زاده و بهمن یزدانی), two Bahai residents of Mashhad in North-East Iran, were summoned to court on 6 October for the final defense in the religiously-motivated cases against them. Noora Nabilzadeh was arrested on 21 June while playing music for children (see the previous item, 21 June). She is charged with propaganda in support of the Bahai Faith and blasphemy. Behman Yazdani was arrested on January 25th and has been free on bail. He is charged with propaganda in support of the Bahai Faith.

Source
~~~~~~~~~

Navid Khanjani summoned

Persian2English, 3 October

Navid Khanjani ( نوید خانجانی ), a Bahai human rights activist, presented his final defense in the Evin magistrate court, Tehran, on 21 June, and has since been free on bail. He was charged with acting against national security, propaganda against the regime, disturbing public opinion, publishing lies, forming illegal groups (a committee to defend the educational rights of Bahais), and active membership in the illegal group Committee of Human Rights Reporters.

He has now been summoned to appear in court tomorrow, 5 October. The reason was not stated.

Source
Update: Committee of Human Rights Reporters, 5 October
The sitting has been postponed until 13 November.
~~~~~~~~

Vigilante attack on a Bahai in Eqlid

RAHANA, 4 October

Fo’ad Na’imi ( فواد نعیمی ) is a Bahai from Sari who was sentenced to internal exile in Eqlid ( اقلید ), a town in Fars province, lying off the beaten track some 350 km north of Shiraz. His exile follows a two-year prison sentence. On Sunday, 3 October, two unidentified individuals entered his home in Eqlid and assaulted him, using electric cattle prods and what is described as an electric whip.

Mr. Na’imi has been imprisoned for his faith several times, in 1998, 1999, and 2005. He was arrested for the fourth time in 2009, and sentenced to two year’s exile in Eqlid. Vigilante attacks on Bahai cemeteries, property and individuals in Iran have been increasing over the past year.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~

Wahid Qadrat arrested in Yazd

HRANA, 3 October

On Saturday 25 September, Wahid Qadrat ( وحيد قدرت ), a Bahai aged 54 living in Yazd, was arrested by security officers. It was not until four days later that he was transferred from private detention to the prison of Yazd. So far there has been no clear explanation, but one official said the detention was in relation to a private citizen’s complaint. Wahid Qadrat was arrested in 2005 and received a one-year suspended sentence. Another Bahai, Soheil Ruhani ( سهيل روحاني ) is imprisoned in Yazd, while Mehran Bandi ( مهران بندي ), a Bahai of Yazd, is serving a 3 year sentence in the prison of Zabul.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~

Ruhollah Qadrat expelled from university

National Iranian News (site), 1 October

In a week in which numerous official propaganda sites of the Iranian government have been citing “unofficial sources” as stating that 700 Bahai students are enrolled in public universities (without mentioning any names of course), one of the few Bahai students who had slipped past the entrance restrictions has been detected and expelled. Ruhollah Qadrat ( روح الله قدرت ) was a student at Rafsanjan Medical University. Following a letter from the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, to the University’s education office, he was summoned to meet the Director of Education, Dr. Mohammed Mohsen Taqavi 22 September. The Director told him he was barred from classes until further notice. The Director said that he (the Director) was obliged to ensure no Bahais attended the university.

Source (in Persian)

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