Sen's daily

2011-04-07

The archive stops on July 11, because I went on holiday then and could not update the blog for many weeks

Hoshang Fana’ayan’s sentence reduced

RAHANA, July 11

Hoshang Fana’ayan ( هوشنگ فنائیان ), a 48-year old Bahai living in Amol, has had his sentence reduced by the review court from four and a half years in prison, to four years. He was charged with acting against national security, membership of the Bahai community and of Facebook, and writing letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader.

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

One arrest in Kota

Bahai News Service (Persian)

Mrs. Parvaneh Behamin (پروانه بهامین), a Bahai resident of Kota, was arrested recently by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence.

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

Two further arrests in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 7

On June 27, Rezvan Husayni, Ayeh Anvani and Noura Danehgir(رضوان حسینی، آیه انوری و نورا دانشگر), all Bahai women living in Isfahan, were arrested after being summoned for interrogation at the office of the Ministry of Intelligence. Note that I previously reported that Ayeh Anvari, along with Farhud Ishtiyaaq ( فرهود اشتیاق), who as also arrested on June 27, had been transferred from jail in Isfahan to prison in Mashhad. Thus it appears there were at least four Bahais arrested in Isfahan that day, two of which I had not previously reported.

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

Four arrests in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 7

Recently four Bahai residents of Isfahan were arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. Their names are Nika Baraazandeh, Thamin Bahin-A’in, Behnush Daadgar (all ladies), and Mr. Kayamarth Bahin-A’in (نیکا برازنده نیا، ثمین بهین آئین، بهنوش دادگر و کیومرث بهین آئین).

Source (in Persian)
Update, July 11: Khabarnavard reports that the four are all young people, and that it is still not known where they are being held.
~~~~~~~~~

Behrouz Behmani arrested in Shiraz

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 7

Mr. Behrouz Behmani (بهروز بهامین),a Bahai resident of Shiraz, was recently arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence.

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

Siamak Iqani and Ali Ahsani on prison leave

Bahai News Service (Persian),

Mr. Siamak Iqani (سیامک ایقانی ), a Bahai resident of Semnan, who began serving a three-year sentence in November 2010, and Mr. `Ali Ahsani (علی احسانی), also from Semnan, who began serving a two-year sentence in September 2010, were granted 10 days of leave from prison beginning June 24. Mr Ahsani was arrested on April 6, 2009, and freed on bail on May 2. He was sentenced to two years in prison followed by two year’s exile in another city, and a fine of 5 million rials (about 333 euros). Mr. Iqani was arrested on April 27, 2009 and released on bail on May 2 that year.

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

One arrest in Evaz, Fars province

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 7

Recently, Mrs. Ruhiyyeh Ruzkhush(روحیه روزخوش), a Bahai resident of Ewaz, in the south of Iran, was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence.

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

Two Bahais arrested, bailed, in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 3

The home of Mr. Danishvar Amini and Mr. `Amaadi, (دانشور امینی و آقای عمادی), Bahai residents of Isfahan who held exhibitions of young people’s art in their home, was searched on June 15. They were then summoned to the office of the Ministry of Intelligence and arrested, but were later released on bail.

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

Farhud Ishtiyaq re-arrested

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 3

Farhud Ishtiyaq (فرهود اشتیاق), a Bahai resident of Isfahan who was detained on February 28, and released on bail on April 25, has been re-arrested.

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

All Bahais of Sanandaj summoned, warned

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 3

During June this year, all the Bahais of Sanandaj, except for three who were ill or travelling, were summoned to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence and warned they should not participate in the Bahai “Feast” (a religious meeting, held once every 19 days), or work with non-Bahais.

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

Optometrist’s in Nazarabad closed for the second time

Bahai News Service (Persian)

An optometrist’s practice run by Mr. Payam Vali (پیام ولی), of Nazarabad (on the road between Karaj and Qazvin), which was closed down by the local government on December 25, 2008, along with four other shops run by Bahais, was recently re-opened in new premises following Mr. Vali’s extended efforts using legal means. It has been closed down again, by the local supervisory office. On February 1, 2010, Mr Vali was arrested, and freed on bail on April 8.

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

Farough Mostafui and Marve’eh Zar`eyan free on bail

Bahai News Service (in Persian), July 3

Mrs. Farough Mostafui and Mrs. Marve’eh Zar`eyan ( فروغ مصطفوی و مروئه زارعیان ), two Bahai residents of from Rafsanjan who were teaching reading skills to Afghan children, and were arrested for “contacts with foreigners,” have been released on bail of 20 million tuman each (about 13,000 euros).

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

Unusual “day leave” sentence for a Yasuj Bahai

Bahai News Service (Persian)

Mr. Ali Baksh Bazr-afkaan (علی بخش بذرافکن), a Bahai from Yasuj who was arrested on October 31 2009, and sentenced on December 7 2009 to two and a half years in prison and five years of internal exile, has been told he can leave prison every morning to work, but must return to prison every evening. In addition, he must pay a cash fine of 750,000 rials (about 50 euros). It is not clear from the report whether this is a daily fee, or a one-time administration charge. This is the first time that such a judicial decision has been taken for a Bahai prisoner in Iran.

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

One arrest in Isfahan: Nahid Mostaqim

Bahai News Service (Persian), July 3

Mrs. Nahid Mostaqim (ناهید مستقیم), a Bahai resident of Isfahan, was recently arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence.

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

Four new arrests

HRANA, July 7

Four more Bahais have been arrested in various parts of Iran recently. Malihe Ruzbeh (ملیحه روزبه ), a resident of Avaz Lar, in Southern Fars, was arrested by security agents in the afternoon of July 2. Her whereabouts are unknown, and there has been no contact with her.

On July 6, security agents searched the home of Zhinous Gholampour (ژینوس غلامپور) in Ramsar, and arrested her. Her whereabouts are unknown. On the same day, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched the home of two Bahai residents of Mashhad, Zhila Rezvani and Sa`ideh Faroughi ( سعیده فروغی و ژیلا رضوانی), seizing some personal effects and religious materials, and arresting the two Bahais. Their whereabouts are unknown.

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

Afif Naeimi transferred to hospital

CHRR, July 7

Afif Naeimi (49), one of the the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators) who are now entering the fourth year of 20-year sentences for their Baha’i beliefs, was transferred to hospital on July 6 because of the seriousness of his physical condition. He has suffered ill health for a long time, relating to his lymph nodes and a throat inflammation, and goiter. This has been acerbated by lack of good medical care in prison.

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

Anisa Dehqani freed

RAHANA, July 6

Anisa Dehqani Mahmudi ( انیسا دهقانی محمدی ), a Bahai from Isfahan who was arrested in Mashhad on June 1, has been released on bail. The report does not indicate the amount of bail.

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

Ayeh Anvari and Farhud Ishtiyaaq transferred to Mashhad

CHRR, July 6

Ayeh Anvari and Farhud Ishtiyaaq (آیه انوری و فرهود اشتیاق), two Bahais of Isfahan who were arrested on June 27, have been transferred from jail in Isfahan to prison in Mashhad.

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

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s death sentence suspended, lawyer sentenced

AFP, via Yahoo News, July 3

Iran’s supreme court has overturned a death sentence handed down to Yusef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor accused of apostasy for having converted from Islam, his lawyer told AFP on Sunday. “The supreme court has annuled the death sentence and sent the case back to the court in Rasht (his hometown), asking the accused to repent,” Mohammad Ali Dadkhah said. Mr. Dadkhah himself was sentenced on Sunday by a Tehran court to nine years in jail and a 10-year ban on practicing law or teaching at university for “actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime.”
[This appears to be a delaying tactic, not the overturning of the sentence for Mr. Nadarkhani: once it has been established that he has had the required number of opportunities to recant his conversion to the Christian faith, the original death sentence will be valid again ~~Sen]
Full story (in English)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Behnam Mot`aarefi free

Bahai News Service (Persian), June 30

Mr. Behnam Mot`aarefi (بهنام متعارفی), a Bahai of Semnan was free recently. He was arrested on 17 May 2009 following a search of his home, and held until 30 May when he was released on bail. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and began serving his sentence on January 31, 2010.

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

Iqan Shahidi

RAHANA, JULY 2

Iqan Shahidi ( ایقان شهیدی ), a Bahai student excluded from education, from Kermanshah, was tried in Tehran on July 2 (the RAHANA report says, June 28, but this appears to be a mistake). The charges were activities for human rights, and propaganda against the regime. He is the last to be tried of four Bahais who, together with many human rights activists, were arrested in Kermanshah on March 2, 2010. He was held for 71 days in Tehran’s Evin prison where he was subjected to prolonged interrogation and physical and psychological torture. He was released on bail of 50 million tuman (about 35000 euros) on May 11.

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

Rozita Vaseghi sentenced again

HRANA, July 1

Rozita Vaseghi ( رزیتا واثقی ), who is already serving a five-year sentence for her faith in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad, was taken to the court in Mashhad yesterday and given a new sentence for “teaching the Bahai Faith.” The report does not specify how long the new sentence is. Eight other Bahais of Mashhad were tried along with her, in December and January. One of them, Nahid Qadiri, was already serving a prison term, like Mrs. Vaseghi.

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

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s death sentence confirmed

RAHANA, June 30

Pastor Joseph (or Yousef) Nadarkhani ( یوسف ندرخانی ) and his wife are residents of Rasht, and participate in a Christian house church. Mr. Nadarkhani was previously sentenced to death, and this sentence was appealed to the Iran’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has now upheld the death sentence. According to the Human Rights House of Iran, Naderkhani who has converted to Christianity at the age of 19, has allegedly engaged in Christian propaganda. He has been sentenced to death for apostasy and advertising the Christian faith to Muslims. Nadarkhani, 35, is a father of two children. His wife Fatemeh Pasandideh was also arrested and later acquitted of the charges.

Source; Persian article
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bahai candidates excluded from university entrance exams

PCED, June 30

Officials investigating complaints about Iran’s university entrance examination, the Concour, have stated that Bahais have no right at all to sit the examination.
Source (in Persian)

~~~~~~~~~~

Two more BIHE staff released

PCED, June 28

Emanullah Mostaqim and Shahin Negari (امان الله مستقیم و شاهین نگاری), two of the Bahais arrested in the raids targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), were free on bail on June 28. Six of those arrested in these raids remain in detention after more than one month.

Source
~~~~~~~~~

Two students expelled from Qeshm University

HRANA, June 28

Noura Sahrangi (نورا سهرنگی), a Bahai resident of Bandar Abbas who was studying accountancy at the University of Qeshm, has been denied access to the final exams and expelled by university officials, who gave as the reason that she is a Bahai. Another student at the same university, Ava Tavakoli (آوا توکلی), who was studying practical anaesthology, has been told that she has been expelled and will not be allowed to enroll for another term. The University of Qeshm lies on the island of the same name, near the straits of Hormuz.

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

Two arrests in Isfahan, one in Mashhad

PCED, June 28

Ayeh Anvari and Farhud Ishtiyaaq (آیه انوری و فرهود اشتیاق), two Bahais of Isfahan, and Saanaaz Tafazzuli (ساناز تفضلی), of Mashhad, were arrested on June 27. The home of Mrs. Anvari was searched by security agents on June 25, at a time when she and her husband were not home. The officers entered by breaking the door, and seized all their documents, including the car papers and their certificates, and any books relating to the Bahai Faith. They left behind in the house a summons for Mrs Anvari, the Bahai, to appear at the Isfahan’s court as soon as possible.

Mr. Ishtiyaaq was previously arrested on February 28 this year, and released with a bail set at 50 million tumans (about 32,000 euro) on April 25.

Mrs Tafazzuli, arrested in Mashhad, is the mother of two small children, and her husband already has a suspended sentence.

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

Three BIHE staff freed

PCED, June 25

Afruz Farmanbardari, Navid Asadi and Fu’ad Moqaddam ( افروز فرمانبرداری، نوید اسدی و فواد مقدم ), three of the Bahais arrested in the raids targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), were free on bail on June 15. The three are residents of Karaj, Sari, and Isfahan respectively. They were arrested during raids on Bahai homes conducted by security forces on May 22. Ms. Farmanbardari and Mr. Asadi were transferred to Tehran’s Evin prison after their arrest. Eight of those arrested in these raids remain in detention. They are Shahin Negari, Ramin (Harpag) Ziba’i, Kamran Morteza’i, Nushin Khadem, Mahmud Badevam, Emanullah Mostaqim, Farhad Sadeqi and Vahid Mahmudi (شاهین نگاری، هارپاگ(رامین) زیبایی، کامران مرتضایی، نوشین خادم ، محمود بادوام، امان الله مستقیم، فرهاد صدقی و وحید محمودی).

Source (in Persian)

Update, July 10: The Bahai News Service in Persian states that the bail set for Mr. Farmanbadari was 100 million tumans, or about 66,500 euros.
~~~~~~~~~

Mona Reza’i arrested in Mashhad

PCED, June 25

Mona Reza’i (مونا رضایی), a Bahai resident of Mashhad who has been excluded from tertiary education because of her religion, was arrested on June 25. She was not at home when security agents arrived to arrest her, but was arrested when she came home.

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

Majid Majidi and other Achilan Doors staff begin 6th month of detention

CHRR, June 25

Majid Majidi ( مجید مجیدی ), a Bahai resident of Mashhad, has now been detained for five months by the Ministry of Intelligence in Mashhad, without any decision being taken. He was arrested on January 31. Mr. Majidi was the manager of a daughter company of Achilan Doors, which made automatic opening doors. Achilan Doors was shut down in January and senior staff in Mashhad and Tehran were arrested, after the Fars News Agency had reported that Achilan Doors had a Zionist background and was linked to the Bahais, that its products were used in sensitive places and in government buildings, and that the company spied for Israel. Three hundred employees of the company lost their jobs. Mr. Majidi is said to be accused of disrupting the economy, benefiting from illegitimate income, and participating in the Bahai organisation. These are among the newly-fabricated charges that have been used against a number of Bahais. There has been decision, the reason given being that investigations are incomplete, and that he adheres to the Bahai religion.

Among the other senior staff arrested in the Achilan doors case, Farzad and Farnud Muhammadzadeh and Behrang Mahusni (بهرنگ محسنی، فرزاد و فرنود محمدزاده و حسین محمدزاده) are still being held, and who have been denied the basic rights of prisoners.

Mr. Majidid is the father of two young children. He has been allowed a single meeting with his family, for 20 minutes, and some short telephone calls.

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

Two arrested, then bailed, in Gorgan

HRANA, June 22

In Gorgan, a town lying close to the Southeast corner of the Caspian Sea, two Bahais who were engaged in community work with school students in one of the neighbourhoods were arrested by security forces. Their names are given as Marjan Amri and Pegah Sana’i(مرجان امری و پگاه سنائی). They were teaching courses on coping with examination stress, but they were charged with propaganda against the regime. After the arrests, their homes were searched and their religious books and images were seized. They were held for 48 hours before being released on bail of 10 million tumans (about 7000 euros).

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

Behfar Khanjani begins sentence in Semnan

CHRR, June 22

Behfar Khanjani (بهفر خانجانی)has been taken to prison in Semnan to begin his four-year sentence on charges of membership of the Bahai Faith and participating in prayer meetings and the 19th-day Feast. He was arrested on January 6 2010, after a search of his home by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. He was held for 57 days, of which 25 were in solitary confinement. He has also been the target of two arson attacks on his home using Molotov cocktails.

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

Two free in Isfahan

PCED, June 22

Thamin Emani and Zhayna `Enayati (ژینا عنایتی و ثمین ایمنی ), two of the three Bahais arrested in Isfahan on June 20, have been released. The third Bahai who was arrested, Katayun Nik-a’in(کتایون نیک آئین ) is still being held. Zhayna `Enayati is a Bahai student excluded from education, she was released on bail in the past few hours. Thamin Emani, who is sixteen, was released on June 20. Both were said to have been subjected to emotional and psychological abuse during their detention. The three unnamed Muslims who were arrested with them are expected to be released tomorrow. Sources, including representatives of the Baha’i Baha’i International Community at the UN, believe that at present nearly 100 Bahais are being held in prison.

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

Bashir Ehsani summoned

PCED, June 22

Bashir Ehsani ( بشیر احسانی ), a Bahai student excluded from education, and an educational rights activist, has received a written summons to a court in Tehran on July 19. His trial was first scheduled for February 19, but was postponed because the lawyer for the case questioned the court’s jurisdiction. The charges in the indictment are disturbing public order and the possession of satellite equipment. He has been acquitted of charges of assembly and conspiracy, acting against national security and propaganda against the regime. Mr. Ehsani is one of the Bahais arrested after the Ashura protests of 2009, which the regime tried to blame on a Bahai conspiracy. He was arrested on 10 February 2010, and held for 27 days in Evin prison in Tehran before being released on bail. In March of 2010 his home was again searched by security agents.

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

30 days without word from two BIHE staff

RAHANA, June 20

Thirty days have passed since the arrest of Afruz Farmanbardari and Nushin Khadem ( افروز فرمانبرداری و نوشین خادم ), two of those arrested in the raids targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), but they still have not had any contact with their families. They were arrested in Karaj and Tehran, respectively, along with 14 other Bahais involved in the BIHE. Two of those arrested have since been released on bail.

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

Three released in Babolsar

HRANA, June 20

Three Bahais who were arrested for attending the Bahai ‘Feast’ (religious meeting) on June 4, in Babolsar, have been released. Their names are ( میثاق لقائی، مهوند لقائی و نادیا فرهادی ) of Babolsar. The release of two Bahais arrested for the same reason in Babol, Peijman Nikoonejad and Sharareh Kashaninejad (پژمان نیکو نژاد و شرارهکاشانی نژاد) has already been reported.

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

Three Bahais, 3 Muslims arrested in Isfahan

CHRR, June 20

Katie Nik-a’in, Thamin Emani (16 years old) and Zhayna `Enayati ( کتی نیک آیین، ثمین ایمنی و ژینا عنایتی), three Bahais living in Isfahan, were arrested today along with three unnamed Muslims. The charges and their whereabouts are unknown.

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

One arrest in Mashhad

HRANA, June 19

Dari Amri ( دری امری ), a Bahai resident of Mashhad, was arrested by officers of the Ministry of Intelligence on June 18. The officers first searched his home and confiscated some personal and religious items. They then went to the home of his father-in-law and searched that. Mr Amri’s place of detention is not known. Anisa Dehqani Mahmudi ( انیسا دهقانی محمدی ), a Bahai from Isfahan who had travelled to Mashhad to visit friends, has been held by the Ministry of Intelligence in Mashhad for more than two weeks. Nine other Baha’i residents of Mashhad (5 women and 4 men), are serving sentences of two to five years in prison.

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

Message to the Bahais of Iran, June 19 2011

Bahai Press Watch, June 19

The Universal House of Justice, the head of the world-wide Bahai community, has addressed a new message to the Bahais of Iran following the arrests and interrogations of staff at the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE. The message calls on the Bahais of Iran to continue to focus on education, and to work with Iranian citizens of good will to develop the country. A translation is beyond my capacity, but feel free to use the comments section to post the URL of any official translation that becomes available, or a more complete summary of contents.

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

Expelled student loses appeal

Bahai News Service, June 13

On February 7, 2009, Mr. Farzad Ahmadi ( فرزاد احمدی ), a Bahai of Tabriz who was studying medical engineering at Sahand University there, was expelled from university, because he was accused of being a Bahai. His appeal against that has now been denied by the review court. The court’s decision is in accordance with a decision of the Supreme Council for the Revolution on “the Bahai Question,” February 25 1991, that “They must be expelled from universities, either in the admission process or during the course of their studies, once it becomes known that they are Baha’is. It is therefore evident that the 20-year-old policy is still being enforced.

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

Three released in Babolsar

Bahai News Service (Persian), June 18

Mithaq Laqa’i, aged 78, his daughter Mahvand Laqa’i, and Nadia Farhadi ( نادیا فرهادی میثاق لقائی و مهوند لقائی ), who were arrested at the Bahai Feast in Babolsar on June 4, have been freed.

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

Two arrested in Rafsanjan

Bahai News Service (Persian), June 18

Recently two Bahai women from Rafsanjan, who were engaged in teaching reading skills to Afghan children, were arrested for “contacts with foreigners.” The women are named as Farough Mostafui and Marve’eh Zar`eyan ( فروغ مصطفوی و مروئه زارعیان ).

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

Two freed in Babol

Bahai News Service (Persian), June 18

Peijman Nikoonejad and his wife Sharareh Kashaninejad ( پژمان نیکو نژاد و همسرش شرارهکاشانی نژاد , who were arrested on the evening of June 4 when security forces raided the Bahai Feast, have been released.

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

Child abused for refusing congregational prayer

RAHANA, June 16

A Bahai child in Shiraz was physically abused by her teacher because she refused to participate in the congregational obligatory prayer (a Muslim practice, not to be practiced by members of other religions). Anahita Zahra’i ( آناهیتا زهرائی ) is a beginning pupil at a state primary school in Shiraz. She was physically abused by her own teacher, first striking her hand hard, then putting a spoon on the heating stove and pressing it into her hand. When her mother protested, the teacher, in the presence of the school director and other teachers, said he was proud of what he had done. Mr. Zahra’i has taken legal steps and has also obtained a certificate from a government-appointed doctor confirming the injuries. As a result, the teacher has been censured.

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

Bahai centre in Lapwai, Idaho, lost to fire

Lewiston Tribune, June 15

Charred walls and a sunken roof were all that remained of a building in Lapwai that was being used by members of the Baha’i Faith. Lapwai is a town of about 1100 people, and is the seat of government of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. The converted home caught fire on Monday evening, June 13. Nez Perce County Fire Chief Ron Hall said the fire is believed to have been caused by children playing with bottle rockets.

Thanks to Brad W Garry of the Tribune. Another source (video of newscast)
~~~~~~~~~

Soheil Qanbari and Sadaf Thabetayan freed

PCED, June 15

Soheil Qanbari of and Sadaf Thabetayan ( سهیل قنبری و صدف ثابتیان ), two of the Bahais arrested in the raids targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), have been released on bail. Soheil Qanbari was released in Tehran on June 14, while Sadaf Thabetayan was released in Sari today.

Source (in Persian) – site currently inaccessible
~~~~~~~~~~

Marriage registration difficulties in Hamadan and Shiraz

Bahai News Service (Persian), June 13

Recently a Bahai couple went to the office of personal status registration in Hamadan to have their marriage certificate entered in the records. They were told by officials that, under a new directive, those wishing to register their marriages should go to a court. They went to the court, where they were arrested. They were later freed on bail.

Recently an announcement was sent to the office of marriage registration in Shiraz, informing them that henceforth they were not allowed to register marriages in which one of the couple is Muslim and the other a Bahai. The office was threatened with closure if it failed to follow these instructions.

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

Riaz Sobhani arrested

PCED, June 14

Riaz Sobhani ( ریاض سبحانی ), a Bahai living in Tehran, was arrested at 6.30 a.m. today (June 14) by six agents, who arrived at his house, searched it and filmed proceedings, without showing a court order. They took him to Evin prison. Mr. Sobhani’s daughter, Zhinous Sobhani ( ژینوس سبحانی ), a former secretary of the Organisation for the Defense of Human Rights, has been arrested twice, held in Raja’i Shahr prison, and released on bail. She is accused to actions contrary to national security, and has been sentenced to two years in prison. Her husband, the Bahai news photographer Artin Ghaznafari ( آرتین غضنفری ) is one of several Bahais arrested after the Ashura protests of 2009, which the regime tried to blame on a Bahai conspiracy. He was held in Tehran’s Evin Prison, and is now serving a one year sentence on charges such as blasphemy, propaganda against the regime and disturbing public order.

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

Samir Yousefi begins his sentence

Bahai News Service (Persian), June 13

On May 29, Samir Yousefi ( سمیر یوسفی ), a Bahai living in Sari, was taken to prison to serve his one-year sentence.

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

Report of Tanaz Akbari’s arrest retracted

CHRR, June 13

A previous report from HRANA that Tanaz Akbari ( طناز اکبری ), a member of staff at the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), was arrested on Sunday, June 12 has been denied. The Committee of Human Rights Reports says that, according to its sources, her family are aware only of a threat to arrest her.

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

Mass interrogations in Sanandaj

CHRR, June 12

Since May 2, a number of Bahais living in Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Kermanshah, have been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence in the city for interrogations. At least 13 Bahais have been questioned, primarily about how Sanandaj’s Bahai community is managed. One of those questioned, Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), has served a one-year term in prison for teaching the Bahai Faith, which he served in Sanandaj and in Touysarkaan.

Source (in Persian), including the names of the 13 Bahais questioned.
~~~~~~~~

Another BIHE arrest in Tehran

HRANA, June 12

Tanaz Akbari ( طناز اکبری ), a member of staff at the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), was arrested on Sunday, June 12, after responding to a summons. She is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison. Her home was searched by security agents on May 22, and her computer, some personal items and some of her own writings were seized. The agents had an arrest warrant for her at that time, but she was not home.

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

Iqan Shahidi trial date announced

PCED, June 7

Iqan Shahidi ( ایقان شهیدی ), a Bahai student excluded from education, from Kermanshah, has been informed via his lawyer that his trial will begin on June 28. The charges are “membership in and activities for an illegal grouplet opposed to the security under the guise of human rights activities” and “extensive propaganda against the regime.” The prosecution file is said to run to 2000 pages. Iqan Shahidi was one of many human rights advocates who were arrested on March 2, 2010. He was held for 71 days in Evin prison where he was subjected to prolonged interrogation and physical and psychological torture. He was released on bail of 50 million tuman (about 35000 euros) on May 11. He is the last of four Bahais who pressed for the right of access to tertiary education to face sentence. The others are Navid Khanjani, Sama Nourani and Dorsa Sobhani ( نوید خانجانی، سما نورانی و درسا سبحانی ). Mr Khanjani was sentenced to 12 years in prison, Mr. Nourani to one year in prison, and Ms Sobhani received a 1-year suspended sentence.

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

One arrest in Mashhad

HRANA, June 7

Anisa Dehqani Mahmudi ( انیسا دهقانی محمدی ), a Bahai from Isfahan who had travelled to Mashhad to visit friends, has been arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence there. On the evening of June 1, the car in which a friend was taking her to the bus terminal was stopped on the highway by officers of the Ministry of Intelligence, who presented an arrested warrant in her name and took her with them to the Ministry. The entire arrest was filmed [by the agents apparently]. The agents did not have a woman with them to accompany Anisa when she was transferred to detention. The relevant authorities have thus far not given her parents any explanation for the arrest, but have allowed her to telephone twice.

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

Feast raided in Babol: two arrests

KhabarNavard, June 6

On the evening of June 4, security forces of the city of Babol searched the home of Peijman Nikoonejad and his wife Sharareh Kashaninejad ( پژمان نیکو نژاد و همسرش شرارهکاشانی نژاد ). The security officers pretended to be utilities workers. When Peijman Nikoonejad went down to open the door for them, about 10 security and police officers entered the couple’s home and began a search and insulted those present. One of the officers was the interrogator for the Ministry of Intelligence in Mazandaran province. Since it was the evening of the Feast of Nur, in the Bahai religious calendar, a number of Bahais from Babol had gathered there. The officers beat and abused one of those present, and forced the others to sign a promise that they would not again attend illegal Bahai events. One of the officers asked a guest “are you a Bahai?” “Yes” he replied. “Then you are not even entitled to draw breath,” replied the officer, and slapped the guest. The intruders seized books and pictures relating to the Bahai Faith, a satellite receiver and some household effects, and arrested Peijman Nikoonejad and Sharareh Kashaninejad. Their whereabouts are unknown.

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

Three arrests in Babolsar

RAHANA and KhabarNavard, June 5

At 10:30 in the evening of June 4, which in the Bahai calender is the Feast of Nur, Bahais were gathered for a religious meeting when the house was raided by four officers from the Ministry of Intelligence, accompanied by police armed with pistols and batons. They had no proper warrant, but had some handwritten instructions bearing no authentication. They seized all the books and pictures relating to the Bahai Faith, and arrested Mithaq Laqa’i, aged 78, and his daughter Mahvand Laqa’i ( میثاق لقائی و مهوند لقائی ). Meanwhile, the police officers required those present to sign a confession regarding the “crime of attending the [Baha'i] Feast.”

At the same time, six Intelligence agents travelling in 3 cars arrived at the home of Nadia Farhadi (نادیا فرهادی), an administrator for the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). They confiscated religious books and pictures relating to the Bahai Faith and arrested him. The whereabouts of those arrested are not known.
~~~~~~~~~

BIHE declared “illegal”

RAHANA, June 5

Iran’s Ministry of Science and Technology has announced that the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), a Bahai-run distance learning university that provides internationally accredited university education to Iranian Bahais, who are excluded from tertiary education in Iran, “has no permit from this office, and all its activities are illegal.” The diplomas awarded by the BIHE “have no legal standing.”

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

Three freed on bail in Kerman

HRANA, June 5

Sahar Beyram Abadi and Saman Astuvari ( سحر بیرم آبادی و سامان استوار ), two of the five Bahais arrested in April in an operation targetting Bahais working for children’s rights, childcare or education in the city of Bam, in Kerman province, were released on bail on June 1 and 2, respectively. `Ali Divsalar (علی دیوسالار), a member of the board of a child protection organisation in the town of Shush was also released on bail on June 1.

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

Harassment of the Sobhani family

HRANA, June 4

Officers from the Ministry of Intelligence in Sari have summoned Zhila Reza’i (ژیلا رضایی ), the mother of Dorsa Sobhani ( درسا سبحانی ), a student excluded from tertiary education who has received a one-year suspended sentence. On March 1, officers from the same Ministry arrested and beat up her father, after raiding their house and finding Dorsa was not present. The family has been raided on two other occasions this year.

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

Ruhollah Ziba’i sentenced: 1 year

PCED, June 3

Ruhollah Ziba’i ( روح الله زيبايي ), a Bahai resident of Karaj who was arrested on May 11 has been sentenced to one year in prison for “propaganda against the system and acting against national security.” He is appealing the decision. His brother Ramin Ziba’i is one of those still detained following the raids and arrests targetting the BIHE.

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

Samira Sami`a begins her sentence

HRANA, June 3

Samira Sami`a ( سمیرا سمیعی ), a Bahai living in Sari, was detained on May 28, after reporting to the prison to begin her six-month sentence. She was initially arrested on December 15, 2009, following a search of her house, and was held for 6 weeks before being released on bail of 50 million tuman (30,000 euros).

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

Hushang Mithaqiyan arrested

Khabarnavard, June 1

Hushang Mithaqiyan ( هوشنگ میثاقیان ), another member of staff at BIHE, was arrested in Shiraz on May 29, after he had presented himself to Interrogation Centre 100 in Shiraz. His arrest apparently relates to the raids and arrests targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), a Bahai-run distance learning university that provides internationally accredited university education to Iranian Bahais, who are excluded from tertiary education in Iran. Two of those arrested in these raids, Amir Hushang Amirtabar ( امیر هوشنگ امیرتبار ) and Vahid Mokhtari ( وحید مختاری ) have been released. Daniel Ouji ( دانیال اوجی ), who was abducted and tortured, has also been released. Thirteen arrestees remain in prison, and have thus far had no contact with their families. Their names are Ramin Ziba’i, Shahin Negari,Kamran Morteza’i, Nushin Khadem (not previously reported on this blog), Mahmud Badevam, Afruz Farmanbardari, Emanullah Mostaqim (Shiraz), Sadaf Thabetayan (in Sari), Fu’ad Moqaddam, Soheil Qanbari, Farhad Sadeqi, Navid Asadi, and (newly reported) Hushang Mithaqiyan:
رامین زیبایی،شاهین نگاری، کامران مرتضایی، نوشین خادم ، محمود بادوام، افروز فرمان برداری، امان الله مستقیم، صدف ثابتیان، فواد مقدم، سهیل قنبری، فرهاد صدقی، هوشنگ میثاقیان و نوید اسدی

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~

Pressure on Hoshang Fana’ayan in prison

HRANA, May 31

Hoshang Fana’ayan ( هوشنگ فنائیان ), a 48-year old Bahai living in Amol, was recently sentenced to four and a half years in prison, among other things for facebook activities, and is being held in prison on Amol. HRANA reports he is being put under various pressure by the Ministry of Intelligence. On Sunday, May 29, his daughter Golareh Fana’ayan ( گلاره فنائیان ) was summoned to the Ministry in a telephone call. She asked that the summons be put in writing. On Monday, officers from the Ministry at the prison went to Hoshang Fana’ayan and told him that, since his daughter had not reported to the Ministry of Intelligence, to answer questions about a letter written before the Festival [of Naw Ruz], his prison sentence was being implemented. Today, May 30, officials from the Ministry again went to the prison in Amol to pressure Honshang Fana’ayan. They gave him 10 minutes to write his written defence [for the review court]. He was not willing to do so, pointing to the legal requirement that 20 days should be allowed for preparing a defence, and saying that he wished to consult with a defence attorney.

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

Sama Nourani, sentence confirmed

PCED, May 27

The sentence of one year in prison for Sama Nourani ( سما نورانی ) has been confirmed by the review court. Sama Nourani is one of the 54 Bahai youth of Shiraz who were arrested in May, 2006, for giving lessons to underpriviledged youth. In October 2008 he enrolled for a course in Medical Engineering in Tabriz, but was expelled after 3 semesters when he was accused of “propaganda against the regime.” He rejected those charges, and said all his activities were completely legal and in support of his own legal rights, and those of other students excluded from education. He was arrested in Shiraz on the evening of March 3, 2010, and later transferred to Tehran’s Evin Prison, from where he was released on bail in late April 2010.

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

Hoshang Fana’ayan’s crime: over 500 FB friends

BBC Persian, May 27

Two days ago, it was reported that Hoshang Fana’ayan ( هوشنگ فنائیان ), a 48-year old Bahai living in Amol, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison: three years for membership of groups and organisations opposed to the regime of the Islamic Republic in Iran, one year for propaganda in favour of these groups, and six months for insulting the office of the Beloved Leader. The BBC is now reporting that the written charges included “participation in illegal Feasts [Bahai religious gatherings] and sect meetings in Amol, and participating in cyber space for teaching purposes relating to the goals of the sect, membership of the anti-revolutionary site Facebook, having more than 500 friends on facebook, intellectual efforts on facebook to promote his own sectarian and anti-religious teachings and persuade people to adopt his ideas using changing and intellectual jargon.” [~ ? is اصطلاح used in the sense of 'jargon here? ~ Sen]

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

Daniel Ouji tortured, released

PCED, May 25

Daniel Ouji ( دانیال اوجی ) is a student excluded from tertiary education, who went on to study computer science at the BIHE. At 11 p.m. on May 21, the car he was traveling in was stopped by an unmarked car. Armed officers whose identity is unknown beat him and took him away to detention in a place that whose identity is unknown. He was detained in what is described as a stinking toilet for three days, during which he was handcuffed and subjected to psychological and physical torture, including burning his body with cigarettes, the consumption of the purgative hellebore ( شوکر [? perhaps a misspelling for thorns?]) and being hung by the feet and beaten. His torturers said they were “officers not affiliated to the intelligence [ministry]” and that, in accordance with an authorization, they intended to kill him by “revolutionary execution.” To mock and terrify him, they shouted “God is Great” and shot in the air. He was interrogated especially about his links with the BIHE and with Navid Khanjani ( نوید خانجانی ), a Bahai and a member of two Iranian human rights organizations, who was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment on 31 January 2011. Daniel Ouji was released on the afternoon of May 25 “at the end of the Hemmat highway.” The city where this occurred is not stated, but Hemmat is a suburb of Mashhad.

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

Two free, in Sari and Tehran

HRANA, May 25

Amir Hushang Amirtabar ( امیر هوشنگ امیرتبار ), a Bahai of Sari, one of those arrested in raids aimed at the Bahai Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) on May 22, has been released after 3 days in custody. In Tehran, Vahid Mokhtari ( وحید مختاری ) has been released, after 24 hours in detention. In the latter case, it appears that the arrest warrant was for Vahid Mahmoudi ( وحید محمودی ), and Mr. Mokhtari was arrested by mistake.

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

Masrour Fazli sentenced

RAHANA, May 24

Masrour Fazli (مسرور فضلی), a Bahai living in ‘Orumiyeh, was arrested on December 31, 2010, soon after the arrests of Shiva Karimi, Hamira Parvizi and Navid Maraghi ( شیوا کریمی، حمیرا پرویزی و نوید مرغی ) in that city. The four Bahais were released on bail on January 19. On Wednesday [presumably, May 18 ~ Sen] he was sentenced to 6 months in prison and a 6-month suspended sentence.

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

Farmanbardari home raided again

a href=”http://www.hranews.info/1389-01-27-05-24-07/8279-1.html” target=”_blank”>HRANA, May 25

On the morning of May 24, security agents again raided the home of Afruz Farmanbardari, ( افروز فرمانبرداری ) in Karaj. Ms. Farmanbardari is one of the 14 Bahais associated with the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) who were arrested on May 22. She is being held in Gohar Dasht prison, in Karaj. This time, the agents seized 20 cartons of books, folders, CDs, and photographs.

Source (in Persian)
May 26: RAHANA reports that she is now being held in Evin prison in Tehran.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoshang Fana’ayan sentenced: four and a half years

PCED, May 24

Hoshang Fana’ayan ( هوشنگ فنائیان ), a 48-year old Bahai living in Amol, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison. He was arrested at his work by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on March 13, and his detention was extended on April 4. At the time of his arrest, and several months previously, his home and workplace and the home of his father were searched, and books and a computer were seized. He has been sentenced to three years in prison for membership of groups and organisations opposed to the regime of the Islamic Republic in Iran, one year for propaganda in favour of these groups, and six months for insulting the office of the Beloved Leader. Before his arrest, he had written several letters to the Beloved Leader and other religious authorities.

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

Another teacher at BIHE summoned

RAHANA, May 24

Enayat Bargi ( عنایت برگی ), a member of staff at the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence. The RAHANA report does not specify the city. According to the report, he received the summons on Monday afternnon, and is to report to the Ministry today (Tuesday).

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

Summons in Tehran

HRANA, May 23

Peyman Ruhani ( پیمان روحانی ), a Bahai living in Tehran whose house was searched on Sunday as part of the campaign against the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), has been summoned by telephone. Some of the BIHE personnel who were arrested are said to have had the charges against them explained, in Tehran’s 5th Revolutionary Court, but the charges are not specified in the HRANA report.

For further details see the previous report

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

Student expelled from Mazandaran University

PCED, May 24

Delara Darabi ( دلارا دارابی ), a Bahai student in the 8th semester of a degree in Physics at Mazandaran University, was recently summoned to the University’s security department and banned from entering the university’s classrooms. Despite following up on this, she has not received any notification that she has been expelled. An acquaintance said that Ms. Darabi had “wrote “Bahai” in all the forms received during these four years, but she recently faced these questions again, from the University’s administration, and she said that she was a Bahai. She was told not to actually attend classes, and then a series of summons to the university’s security department began, and in the end she was expelled.” Five other Bahai students have been expelled from Mazandaran University in recent years, because of their religion.

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

Vahid Mokhtari freed

PCED, May 23

Vahid Mokhtari, one of those arrested in yesterday’s raids on BIHE faculty members, was freed this afternoon. Mr Mokhtari’s home in Gohardasht, Karaj, was searched at 8.45 a.m. on May 22 by three officers, who seized a laptop, mobile telephone and modem belonging to his wife, and then took his wife with them as they went to Mr. Mokhtari’s work place, where they seized a laptop, modem and hard drive, and shut down his work place. Then they returned to his home to pick up some pamphlets on the Bahai Faith.

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

BIHE student arrested

CHRR, May 22

Following the arrest of at least 12 faculty at the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) yesterday, Daniel Ouji ( دانیال اوجی ), a student of computer science at the BIHE was arrested in the evening of May 21.

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

Many searches and 15 arrests of BIHE faculty

PCED, May 22

Today, officials from the Ministry of Intelligence have been entering the homes of many of the academic staff of the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), a Bahai-run distance learning university that provides internationally accredited university education to Iranian Bahais, who are excluded from tertiary education in Iran. The officials have been seizing books, computers and personal effects, and have arrested at least fifteen of the university’s staff. Arrests appear to be ongoing. [Update: Bahai News Service reports 30 arrests now.] Some of those arrested have been transferred to Evin prison. The buildings used as laboratories and for academic purposes in Tehran have also been closed. The PCED names 30 faculty members whose homes have been searched, without indicating which of them were arrested, or which cities they live in. [Later reports indicate searches or arrests in Tehran, Zahedan, Sari, Isfahan and Shiraz.]

Source (in Persian)

Update, May 22: The PCED has the names of thirteen of those arrested:
Mahmud Badevam, Kamran Morteza’i, Ramin (Harpag) Ziba’i, Vahid Mokhtari, Emanullah Mostaqim (Shiraz), Fu’ad Moqaddam, Afruz Farmanbardari, Shahin Negari, Navid Asadi, Amir Hushang Amirtabar, Soheil Qanbari, Sadaf Thabetayan and Farhad Sadeqi
( محمود بادوام، کامران مرتضایی، رامین (هارپاگ) زیبایی، وحید مختاری، امان الله مستقیم، فواد مقدم، افروز فرمانبرداری، شاهین نگاری، نوید اسدی، امیر هوشنگ امیرتبار، سهیل قنبری، صدف ثابتیان و فرهاد صدقی. )
HRANA reports that two Bahais of Shiraz have been summoned to the Ministry of intelligence tomorrow. They are Mehran Behmardi ( مهران بهمردی ) and Mr. Tala`i ( آقای طالعی )
Khabarnavard adds Wahid Mahmudi ( وحید محمودی ) to the list of those arrested, giving 14 arrestees known by name.
~~ with apologies to those whose names I have misspelled.

Government-sponsored media in Iran are reporting the arrests, without details. Jahan News says that ““This so-called virtual university was in fact a cover for the promotion of the wayward Baha’i sect, extending espionage work among fellow-citizens, and gathering intelligence from inside of Iran.” This appears to indicate that the charges — as in the case of the Yaran — will focus on spying for foreign powers.

May 23: PCED has photographs of the aftermath of security agents’ search of the home of Emanullah Mostaqim in Shiraz. The agents took away almost 20 rubbish bags of documents and possessions, largely related to the Bahai Faith but also including birth certificates, a marriage contract, and mobile phones. RAHANA has an English report of the searches in Shiraz and the arrest of Mr. Mostaqim.

RAHANA reports (in Persian) that Navid Asadi, one of three Bahais arrested in Sari, is a graduate from the BIHE, where he studied accounting. When his home was searched, at 7.30 am on May 22, the officers seized a laptop and religious books and images. Sadaf Thabetayan, another of those arrested in Sari, is a student who was at first accepted for a course in English translation at the University of Mashhad, but did not have that place confirmed. Instead, he studied accounting at the BIHE, and is in the seventh semester of the course. When his home was searched, the officers seized a computer and a laptop and religious books and pictures. The officers said the charge against him was being a Bahai. Amir Hushang Amirtabar is the third arrestee in Sari. He is 67 years old. He suffers from heart disease and low blood pressure, and poor vision. Nothing has been heard of him since his arrest. When his home was searched, the officers seized religious books and pictures, a computer and a laptop belonging to his son. Soheil Qanbari is an administrative worker at the BIHE, and was arrested in Tehran. Her husband said that their home was searched at about 11 a.m., by 7 or 8 officers, who seized a computer and a laptop.

Another RAHANA report from Shiraz says that the home of Noghme Mostaqim ( نغمه مستقیم ), daughter of Emanullah Mostaqim, was turned upside down in a search. The officers seized a computer and a mobile phone, and she was told to appear at “pelak 100″ [a detention centre run by the Ministry of Intelligence?] on Wednesday, but this was later revoked: she will be informed later when she is to report. The homes of Mehran Behmardi, Amin Tala`i and Shehnza Sami`i ( مهران بهمردی، امین طالعی و شهناز سمیعی ) in Shiraz were also searched, and items such as PCs and laptops were seized, but nobody was arrested. Enquiries were made after Nazila Hashemi ( نازیلا هاشمی ), wife of Hushang Mithaqiyan ( هوشنگ میثاقیان ), another member of staff at BIHE, but their home was not searched.

Vahid Mokhtari, one of those arrested, lives in Gohardasht, Karaj (site of the infamous prison). RAHANA reports that his home was searched at 8.45 a.m. on May 22 by three officers, who seized a laptop, mobile telephone and modem belonging to his wife, and then took his wife with them as they went to Mr. Mokhtari’s work place, where they seized a laptop, modem and hard drive, and shut down his work place. Then they returned to his home to pick up some pamphlets on the Bahai Faith. [It's astonishing how keen Iranian security officers are to learn about the Bahai Faith, considering that they are officially supposed to be searching for an espionage network] Mr. Mohtari was then taken to Evin prison.
~~~~~~~~~~~

One expulsion from university in Tehran

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 20

Ms. Bita Taklifi ( بیتا تکلیفی ), a Bahai student in the last semester of a degree in accounting at Damavand campus of the Payam Nour University in Tehran, was expelled on December 13, 2010, because of her Bahai identity.

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

Prison leave for Houman Bakhtavar

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 20

Mr. Houman Bakhtavar ( هومن بخت آور ), one of the imprisoned Bahais of Mashhad who had long been denied prison leave, has now been granted five days leave. He was imprisoned on 3 August 2010, and is serving a two year sentence for his faith. He is one of nine Bahais who were arrested in Mashhad in 2005, freed on bail, and tried on October 25, 2009. He was initially sentenced to five years, reduced to two years in prison by the review court.

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

Rozita Vaseghi’s new trial postponed

RAHANA, May 21

Rozita Vaseghi ( رزیتا واثقی ), who is serving a five-year sentence for her faith in Mashhad, has been awaiting another trial on further charges. The trial was scheduled for May 17, but was postponed on the day, although her lawyer had come from Tehran, and Rozita had been taken from prison to the court and was held there for two hours. A new date, June 27, was then announced. Rozita Vaseghi was first arrested on March 15, 2010.

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

Ruhollah Ziba’i free on bail

PCED, May 19

Ruhollah Ziba’i ( روح الله زيبايي ), a Bahai resident of Karaj who was arrested on May 11 on charges of “acting against national security” has been freed on bail from Qezelhesar prison. The bail was 50 million tuman (about 32,000 euros).

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

Dorsa Sobhani’s sentence suspended

Daneshju News, May18

The recently-announced one-year sentence of Dorsa Sobhani ( درسا سبحانی ), a Baha’i student excluded from tertiary education, and an activist for the ‘One Million signatures’ campaign (for equal rights for women), has been suspended for five years by the review court in Tehran. She was arrested in Sari in March 2010, and held for 45 days in Evin prison, of which 27 days were in solitary confinement. She was released on bail in April 21, 2010.

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

Dorsa Sobhani sentenced

RAHANA, May 17

Dorsa Sobhani ( درسا سبحانی ), a Baha’i student excluded from tertiary education, and an activist for the ‘One Million signatures’ campaign (for equal rights for women), has been sentenced to one year in prison. The charges are propaganda against the regime, by means of a petition against the system, sending anti-regime emails, and propagating the Baha’i Faith. The case was presumably heard in Sari, where she was arrested in March 2010. She was held for 45 days in Evin prison, of which 27 days were in solitary confinement. She was released on bail in April 21, 2010.

In addition, the Bahai News Service reports that her home in Sari was again searched by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, on April 9. She was not at home at the time.
Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~

Sentence of Naghme Hafezi reduced

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 15

The sentence of Ms. Naghme Hafezi ( نغمه حافظی ), a Bahai living in Sari, has been reduced by the court of review. Her sentence is now four months imprisonment and a fine of 400,000 tumans (about 260 euros). Ms. Hafezi was arrested on October 10, 2010, and released on bail on October 18.

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

Family visit for five of the Yaran

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 15

The five men among the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators), who are serving 20-year sentences for their Faith, received visits from their family members, at Gohardasht prison to the East of Tehran, on May 5. The two women among the Yaran, Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet, were transferred to a prison at Gharchak, 40km south of Tehran, on May 3.

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

Interrogation and release in Babol

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 15

On May 1st, Mr. Rezvanollah Eshqi ( رضوان الله عشقی ), a Bahai resident of Babol (a town on the Caspian coast, in the Iranian province of Mazandaran), was summoned — the report does not indicate whether it was by the Ministry of Intelligence or some other security organ — and interrogated. He was then released on parole.

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

Omid Qaderi sentenced

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 15

Mr. Omid Qaderi ( امید قادری ), a Bahai resident of Tenakabon, on Iran’s Caspian coast, was arrested on October 16 2010, and freed on November 9 after providing the licence of his business as bail. He has now been fined 5 million rials (over 300 euros). His shop was closed down on February 10.

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

One arrest in Karaj

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 15

On April 23, three agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched the home of Mr. Zayullah Reza’i ( ضیاءالله رضائی ), in the Baghestan suburb of Karaj (a few streets from Reja’i Shahr prison). They confiscated some personal effects and objects relating to the Bahai Faith, and arrested him.

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

Sari: Fayzullah Rowshan sentenced

HRANA, May 15

Fayzullah Rowshan ( فیضاله روشن ), a Bahai resident of Sari, has been sentenced to five months in prison, on charges of propaganda against the regime, and fined 3 million tumans (about 2100 euros) on a charge of the possession of religious images. Because of his advanced age, the sentence has been suspended, on the condition that he reports to the Ministry of Intelligence every month. The judge’s sentence is remarkable, in that it gives the name of a person who was supposedly converted to the Bahai Faith through the religious teaching activities of Mr. Rowshan, but this person does not live in Iran, and Mr. Rowshan has never met him.

He had previously been released on bail of about 14,000 euros on January 26, after 12 days in detention.

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

One arrest in Karaj

HRANA. May 14

Ruhollah Ziba’i ( روح الله زيبايي ), a Bahai resident of Karaj, was arrested on May 11, after being summoned to a hearing at the revolutionary Court in the city. Karaj lies just East of Tehran. He was taken to Qazil Hesar prison. His home was searched in December, and he was told not to leave Karaj until the hearing. The charge is “acting against national security.” A bail of 50 million tuman (about 32,000 euros) was asked, and has been guaranteed, but there has been no further mention of his release.

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

Nahale Shahidi free on bail

HRANA, May 12

Nahale Shahidi ( نهاله شهیدی ), one of the five Bahais accused of working in the child care sector in the earthquake-affected region of Bam, was freed on bail on May 11, after 66 days in detention. She had been teaching children in and around the city to read and write. Two other Bahai childcare workers from Bam, Saman Astuvari and Sahar Beyram Abadi ( سحربیرام آبادی و سامان استوار ), remain in detention. Another two who were tried with them, Sara Hajj-Behrami and `Ali Divsalar ( سارا حاج بهرامی و علی دیوسالار ), are not mentioned in this HRANA report, and may be accused of employing or associating with Bahais, rather than being Bahai themselves.

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

Burundi elects NSA after 17 years

Bahai News Service (English), May 11

The Baha’is of Burundi are celebrating after their National Spiritual Assembly was elected for the first time in 17 years. The Baha’i Faith was first established in the landlocked, Eastern African republic in the 1950s. But civil war and unrest during recent decades made it difficult for the Baha’i community to administer its affairs.

Full story (in English)
~~~~~~~~~

Vesal Mahbubi free on bail

CHRR, May 10

Vesal Mahbubi ( وصال محبوبی ), a Bahai student excluded from higher education, living in Sari, was arrested on the morning of April 25. He was released on May 10, after posting bail of 12 million tuman, or 8,000 euros. He is the sister of Sara Mahbubi, who was also freed on bail on April 26, on a bail of 10 million tuman (about 6500 euro).

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

Gohardasht Bahai detained, disappears

CHRR, May 9

Ziyullah Reza’i ( ضیالله رضایی ), a Bahai from Gohardasht, in Karaj, was arrested at his home on April 23 by agents from the security forces. he suffers from diabetes and rheumatism. At the same time, the agents, acting without a judicial order, confiscated all his household effects relating to his Bahai beliefs, and cash, handwritten documents, two walkmen, two computers, two briefcases, documents and a satellite receiver. In the 16 days since his detention, he has made one short telephone call to his home, but did not say where he is being detained. Inquiries by his family at the court in Karaj and at Gohardasht prison in that town have thus far produced no response.

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

Ahsanullah Ishtiyaq and Soroush Puzeshki free on parole

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 9

Two Bahai men of Isfahan, Ahsanullah Ishtiyaq and Soroush Puzeshki ( احسان الله اشتیاق و سروش پزشکی ), were freed on parole on April 27, after serving half of their one-year sentences. They began their formal imprisonment only on January 29, but must presumably have served another 3 months in detention before and during their trials.

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

Two Semnan Bahais interrogated

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 9

Zhinous Nourani and Zahra Nik-A’in ( ژینوس نورانی و زهره نیک آئین ), two Bahai women among a group of six Bahais of Semnan who as previously reported were released on bail on April 3, were interrogated by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence for four hours on April 16. This report also confirms that the bail for these six Semnan Bahais was exceptionally high: 100 million tuman or about 68,000 euros / 96,000 US dollars.

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

Another student expelled in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 9

Mr. Sana Eshraghi ( ثنا اشراقی ), a Bahai student of accountancy at the Institute of Industrial Management in Isfahan, was expelled from the university on April 9.

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

3 Bahais fired in Kerman

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 9

In mid-March, four Bahai employees of a private company in Kerman were fired, on the basis of an instruction issued by the Ministry Security Office. No further details are provided.

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

Vajiollah Mirza Golpour free on bail

RAHANA, May 9

Vajiollah Mirza-Golpour ( وجیه الله میرزا گلپور) was released from prison in Tonekabon today, on a bail of 10 million tuman (about 6500 euros). The bail was set and paid yesterday, but his release was delayed because of a lack of expertise in dealing with bail in Tonekabon. This 71-year old Bahai had been held for 11 days, during which he was interrogated with torture and on one occasion led around the town of Tonekabon in shackles for two and a half hours, for the purpose of public ridicule.

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

Sahba Rezvani transferred to Gharchak prison

Khabar Navard, May 7

As previously reported, a number of women prisoners have been transferred from Rajai Shahr prison (Gohar Dasht prison), to another prison at Gharchak Varamin, 40km south of Tehran, where conditions are particularly inhumane. Two Bahai women, Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet, were among those transferred. In recent days they were joined by another Bahai woman, Sahba Rezvani ( صهبا رضوانی ), who was serving a sentence of 3 years and 8 months in Tehran’s Evin prison. She was arrested on December 15, 2008, and held for some time in prison in her home town of Semnan without access to legal representation, including 20 days of incommunicado detention, before being transferred to Evin prison. She was accused of propaganda against the regime, and membership of an illegal group. The judgement cited opinions issues by Ayatollahs Khomeni and Khamanei regarding the religious status of Bahais. She suffers from health problems, which worsened in May last year, but the prison clinic refused to treat her.

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

Vajiollah Golpour moved to harsh detention

HRANA, May 7

Vajiollah Golpour ( وجیه الله گلپور ), a 71-year old Bahai who, following his arrest, was tortured and led around the town of Tonekabon in shackles, in a medieval display of pubic cruelty, has now been transferred to a cell holding a number of prisoners sentenced to death. Despite his age and a heart ailment, he is required to sleep on the floor. In his most recent meeting with his family, he said that the interrogator had told him to expect severe interrogation in the coming days.

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

Two students expelled

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 2

On January 22, Ms Sahra Rouhani ( سحر روحانی ), a student of photo-journalism at the University of Applied Sciences in Yazd, was expelled because she is a Bahai. On May 2, Ms. Maryam Rahmani ( مریم رحمانی ) a student of Industrial Management at the Institute of Technology, in Isfahan, was expelled for being a Bahai. She had completed her studies for the qualification, but the university refused to issue a diploma or to return the High School diploma which she was required to submit when she registered.

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

Vajiollah Golpour tortured, humiliated

RAHANA, May 5

Vajiollah Golpour ( وجیه الله گلپور ), a 71-year old Bahai from the village of Safrabad-Sari in Mazandaran province, was arrested by security forces on April 28. Following his interrogation he was led around the city of Tonekabon in shackles, by security officials, in order to humiliate him. His nephew, Navid Golpour, said that Mr. Golpour’s wife was allowed to see him on May 3, and found him in a very bad physical condition. He said that the purpose of the severe physical torture and beatings had been to extract a confession. He was kicked in the sides of his body, and his head was banged against the wall. Then at noon on Tuesday his legs were shackled and he was led around the city for two and a half hours. A magistrate who was present asked the security officers to beat him again, in view of the public. They did not do so, but did constantly taunt and insult him.

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

Marvdasht: cemetery attacked, shop closures threatened

Bahai News Service (Persian), May 2

Recently, the Bahai cemetery in Marvdasht was attacked again. Parts of the cemetery were destroyed. In previous attacks, over a hundred trees were uprooted and some graves were damaged. In addition, Bahais who run optometrist practices in Marvdasht have been threatened with closure.

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

Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet transferred

Unity4Iran, May 3

Two of the Bahai women prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison (Gohar Dasht prison), and a number of other women prisoners, were transferred to a prison at Gharchak, 40km south of Tehran, on May 3. Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet are among the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators) who are serving 20-year sentences for their Faith. Recent reports indicate that the conditions in the prison at Gharchak are extremely harsh, due to overcrowding.

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

Saman Astuvari: now 48 days in solitary

HRANA, May 18

Saman Astuvari ( سامان استوار ) is one of the Bahai childcare workers arrested recently, in an apparent move to make child care a no-go sector for Bahais (they are already excluded from working in numerous other sectors, such as food preparation, education, civil service and armed forces, law, strategic industries, etc..). He was arrested in Kerman on March 2, and taken to the prison in Bam. He has now been there, incommunicado and in solitary confinement, for 48 days, under severe psychological pressure. His wife has had no contact with him. The judicial authorities have not told his family what sort of charges he may be facing, although it is claimed he himself was told of the charges on April 4, in the prison of Bam. His family have requested that he be released on bail, but the prosecutors have opposed this, claiming “we have obtained new evidence.”

On the morning of March 2, five members of the security forces ( three from Kerman and two from Tehran) went to Mr Astuvari’s home and searched it, seizing a laptop, a computer, a mobile telephone and numerous books and CDs relating to the Bahai Faith. Mr. Astuvari worked for a charitable institution which cares for between 100 and 120 orphans who lost their parents in the 2003 Bam earthquake.

Source (in Persian)
18 May: A letter by Mr Astuvari’s wife is online, in Persian, on the Freedom of Pen blog. Contrary to the HRANA report, this indicates that Mr Astuvari’s wife has met him.
May 21: Iran Press Watch has a fuller English translation
~~~~~~~~~~

Bahai cemetery vandalised in Sangsar

Bahai News Service, May 2

On March 19 and 20, a recently established Bahai cemetery in Sangsar, and a small room built by the local authorities and given to the Bahais, was destroyed by unidentified intruders. Graves were covered with soil, trees were uprooted, and two small buildings built by the Bahais were destroyed. The local Bahais intend to pursue the matter with the authorities.

Source (in Persian)

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 240 other followers

%d bloggers like this: