Sen's daily

2011-09-12

Vahid Mahmoudi’s prison sentence suspended

PCED, December 28

Vahid Mahmoudi (وحید محمودی), one of the staff at the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has been given a suspended sentence of four and a half years in prison by a review court in Tehran. He was also sentenced to six months in prison, which is less than the time he has already served since his arrest. He had previously been sentenced to five years in prison. The review court’s ruling means that he should be released.

Source (in Persian)
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Fakhr ad-Din Samimi released

RAHANA, December 20

Mr. Fakhr ad-Din Samimi (فخرالدین صمیمی), a Bahai resident of Qaemshahr in Iran’s northerly Mazandaran province, was released from prison on December 19 after serving half of his six-month prison sentence.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai homes raided in Sanandaj

RAHANA, December 20

At 6 a.m. on December 19, Ministry of Intelligence officers raided a number of homes belonging to Bahais in Sanandaj, searching them and seizing books, CDs, computers and many personal items. Many of the officers were said to have been armed.

Source (in Persian)
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Two BIHE teachers tried

PCED, December 19

Kamran Rahimiyan and Faran Hesami (کامران رحیمیان و فاران حسامی), a Bahai couple who are among those arrested during the recent crackdown on the Bahai Open University (BIHE), were tried on December 14 and 15. They were accused of membership of the Bahai community, and meeting and colluding to harm national security. Seven other teachers at the university have already been given lengthy prison sentences. The couple have a two-year old child. Faran Hesami was freed on bail in late November; her husband was held in Evin prison in Tehran, but was transfered to Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, after his trial.

Source (in Persian)
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Anvar Moslemi begins his sentence in Sari

Bahai News Service, December 5

On November 12, Mr. Anvar Moslemi (انور مسلمی), a Bahai from Sari, was transferred to Sari prison to begin his one-year sentence. He was first arrested on November 22, 2008, and released on bail in December that year. In June, 2009, he was sentenced for “propaganda against the regime.” He was also fined 300,000 tuman (just over 200 euros).

Source (in Persian)
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Four Bahai prisoners in Shiraz held in poor conditions

RAHANA, December 16

Four Bahais are being held under very poor conditions at Pirbenoy (Pir Banu) prison in Shiraz. In recent days, Wahdat Dana, Afshin Ehsanian, Farham Ma`sumi and Keyvan Kerami were transferred to Block 1 of Shiraz Pirbenoy prison, where they are being kept in a very cold cell with 30 other prisoners. Although prison officials assured the prisoners that conditions would improve, they have become much worse. They are prohibited from leaving the cell, depriving them of any movement in the wing. They are not allowed to receive visits or to contact their families. Although their families have delivered their medications, the prisoners have not received them due to the prison infirmary being closed. These conditions are especially dangerous for Wahdat Dana who is suffering from heart disease. They are serving 10-month prison sentences for “propaganda against the regime.”

Full report (in English)
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Iran delaying decision on Yusef Nadarkhani

World Net Daily, December 17

An Iranian court has said it will delay for one year a final verdict on the case of imprisoned Christian pastor Yusef Nadarkhani, who is accused of apostasy for having converted from Islam, and could face a death sentence. Previous reports said that Nadarkhani’s case would be decided in mid-December by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah ali Khamenei. Iranian authorities also have arrested and detained other pastors.

“Three church leaders were told to report to prison to begin serving long-term sentences on November 29. Another pastor, Behnam Irani, is currently being tortured in prison and is in poor health, according to Present Truth Ministries. Others, like Ehsan Behrouz from Mashhad, have recently been arrested,” according to Aidan Clay Clay of International Christian Concern.

Full report
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Business licence revoked in Karaj

Bahai News Service (Persian), December 5

Recently the Office for the administration of public places in Tehran wrote to the Department of Culture in Karaj, instructing them to withdraw the operating licence of Mr. Sa`id Mirza-Zadeh (سعید میرزا زاده), a Bahai artist living in Karaj who is the owner of the Parsa Institute of Sound Arts in Tehran.

Source (in Persian)
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Zahra Nik-A’in sentenced: 7 years

Khabar-Navard, December 13

Zahra Nik-A’in (زهره نیک آیین), one of a number of Bahais in Semnan who were arrested in March and released on exceptionally high bail in April, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. She is charged with initiating Bahai children’s classes (similar to Sunday school classes), membership of a Ruhi study circle (similar to a catechism class), and attending the Bahai 19th-day “feast” (a meeting for Bahai worship and fellowship), as well as “propaganda against the regime in the form of receiving messages from the International House of Justice (the highest administrative body of the world-wide Bahai community), and implementing these messages.” She was arrested on March 12, 2011, and interrogated for 23 days. She was released on bail on April 3.

Source (in Persian)
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Three free on bail in Qaemshahr

RAHANA, December 13

Mrs. Simin Gorji, Mrs. Parisa Baba’i and Mr. `Ali Ahmadi (سیمین گرجی، علی احمدی و پریسا بابایی), all Bahai residents of Qaemshahr, have been freed on bail. At the time of their arrests, the accusation against them was participation in Bahai administrative activities. Following searches of the three homes on October 23, Parisa Baba’i was arrested on November 3. Mr. Ahmadi was arrested on November 18 and held in solitary confinement from the time of his arrest. Mrs. Gorji was arrested on November 19.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai student expelled from Mazandaran University

PCED, December 13

Negar Salahi (نگار صالحی), a Bahai student in her first year of a course in Information Technology, has been expelled from the University of Mazandaran. On December 10, university officials informed her that she had been expelled, giving the reason as “adherence to the Bahai Faith.” Thus far, more than 20 Bahai students have been expelled this academic year. Dozens of others were refused enrollment, on the grounds that their forms were incomplete.

Source (in Persian)
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Farhud Ishtiyaq free on bail

PCED, December 10

Farhud Ishtiyaq ( فرهود اشتیاق), a Bahai from Isfahan who has been imprisoned in Mashhad for the past five months, has been released on bail. He was arrested on June 27, 2011, and then transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence’s jail in Mashhad in June. For some time he was held in very bad conditions, and he was also deprived of some prisoners’ rights such as regular visits and phone contact with his family. He had also been arrested previously, on February 28, 2011, and was released on bail of 50 million tuman (about 34,500 euros) on April 25.

Source (in Persian)
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Nader Kasani to begin serving his sentence

HRANA, December 4

Nader Kasani (نادر کسایی), a Bahai living in Semnan, was arrested on December 1 to begin serving a three-year sentence for his religious beliefs.

Source (in Persian)
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PCED, December 7

Shima Ranjbar ( شیما رنجبر), a first-year Bahai student of mechanical engineering for agricultural machinery at Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has been expelled from the university because of her religious beliefs. In November she found that her name was not in the list of students, and on enquiring at the university administration, she was told that her file had been lost. Later she was told her file was with the University’s security department, who in turn said it was with the Ministry of Education. On November 21 she was informed that she had been expelled because of her belief in the Bahai Faith.

Source (in Persian)
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Farham Ma`sumi and Wahdat Dana transferred

RAHANA, December 4

Farham (Hadi) Ma`sumi and Wahdat Dana(افرهام معصومی و وحدت دانا), two Shiraz Bahais who were summoned to begin serving their 10-month sentences on November 30, have been transferred to another prison on the Southeastern edge of Shiraz, the Pir Banu prison. There is no information about conditions in this prison.

Source (in Persian)
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One arrest in Shiraz

CHRR, December 1

Keyvan Kerami (کیوان کرمی), a Bahai of Shiraz, was arrested by security forces on November 30 and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s No. 100 detention centre. The agents went to his home in the morning, where his wife and 11-year old daughter were also present, and arrested him after confiscating his computer and mobile phone.

Source (in Persian)

Khabarnavard adds that this arrest, like that of Ma`sumi, Wahdat Dana, and Afshin Ehsanayan (وحدت دانا، فرهام معصومی و افشین احسنیان), also arrested in Shiraz, is in connection with Mr. Kerami beginning to serve a 10-month sentence.

Iran Press Watch adds the name of Haleh Hushmandi (هاله هوشمندی), making five Bahais of Shiraz who are beginning their sentences.

Source (in Persian)
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Passing of Ian Semple

Bahai News Service, December 1

Mr. Ian C. Semple, a noted Bahai speaker and a member of the Universal House of Justice from the time of its first election in 1963 until his retirement in 2005, passed away today in Switzerland. He was 82 years old. He is married to Mrs. Louise Semple (nee Gloor) and leaves three children.

Born in 1928 in England, Mr. Semple did his national service in the British Army from 1947-50, earning a commission in the Royal Corps of Signals. He became a Bahai in 1950. He studied at Pembroke College, Oxford, obtaining a BA in German and French Language and Literature in 1952 and an MA in 1955. He subsequently studied accounting and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

In 1956, he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the British Isles in 1956, and served on it until he was elected to the International Baha’i Council at Ridvan in 1961. From 1957-61 he also served as a member of the Auxiliary Board for the propagation of the Baha’i Faith in Europe.

Message from the Universal House of Justice
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Three Shiraz Bahais begin their sentences

RAHANA, November 30

Farmam (Hadi) Ma`sumi and Wahdat Dana,(افرهام معصومی و وحدت دانا), two Shiraz Bahais, were summoned to begin serving their 10-month sentences today. Another Bahai of Shiraz, Afshin Ehsanayan (افشین أحسنیان) is due to report tomorrow to begin his 10-month sentence. They were arrested about two years ago and detained by the Ministry of Intelligence for some time before being released on bail.

Source (in Persian)
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One-year suspended sentence for a Bahai in Babolsar

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 23

Mrs. Shorareh Kashani-nezhad (شراره کاشانی نژاد) and her husband Pezhman Niku-nezhad ( پژمان نیکونژاد), Bahai residents of Babolsar, were arrested on June 4, 2011. She has now been sentenced to one year in prison, the sentence to be suspended for five years.

Source (in Persian)
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Warning: no flowers permitted on Bahai graves

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 23

Recently officials of the Ministry of Information in Tabriz summoned Mr. Mithaqi (میثاقی ) and his wife for interrogation. Mr. Mithaqi is the son of Mr. Allahvardi Mithaqi (الله وردی میثاقی), who was executed in 1981 on charges of being a Bahai. After discussing community activities, the officials said that putting flowers on the graves of [Bahai] martyrs was considered a form of propaganda, and asked him not to lay flowers on the grave of his father and not to maintain the grave stone. The couple refused to comply, saying that the request was improper.

Mr. Allahvardi Mithaqi was an educator, and a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tabriz. He was married, and had five children. He was executed on July 29, 1981.

Source (in Persian)
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One arrest and release in Karaj

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 23

Recently Mr. Mi`ad Mahdizadeh (میعاد مهدی زاده), a resident of Shiraz presently serving in the armed forces and deployed in Karaj, was arrested on charges of teaching the Bahai Faith, and was later released on a bail of 20 million tumans (almost 14,000 euros).

Source (in Persian)
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Another BIHE arrest

Khabarnavard, November 22

On November 19, Mr. Mazidi (آقای مزیدی), a teacher of agriculture at the Bahai Open University, was arrested. For an overview of the repression of Bahai educators in Iran, see the Bahai News Service report from November 7, and its links (in English).

Source (in Persian)

November 26: RAHANA adds that he was arrested in Isfahan, and that his present whereabouts and status are unknown.
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Faran Hesami freed on bail

PCED, November 29

Faran Hesami (فاران حسامی), one of those arrested during the crackdown on the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has been freed on bail. Her husband Kamran Rahimian (کامران رحیمیان) was arrested at the same time, on September 13, 2011, and remains in prison. The couple have a two-year old child.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai student expelled from Mazandaran University

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 15

Del Aradarabi (آرا دارابی), a Bahai in the last semester of her studies in Physics at the Babolsar campus of the University of Mazandaran, has been expelled.

Source (in Persian)

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Bahai home said to be destroyed in Abarkuh

Nedaye Enghelab, November 20

The home of Mirza Hassan Shams (میرزا حسن شمس) in the village of Isfandabad, in Abarkuh district, in central Iran, has been demolished. Mr. Shams is described in the report — by a quasi-official news agency close to the Revolutionary Guards – as the leader of the local Bahai assembly, which is impossible since these assemblies were dissolved following the 1979 revolution. According to the report, the house was destroyed by government authorities, and its destruction was welcomed in a petition from the people of the village, which cites the destruction of the home of the Bab in Shiraz as a precedent. The petition states the the villagers are pious Shiah Muslims, and had driven numerous Bahais out of the village even before the 1979 revolution. They had tried to destroy the house several times, but had unfortunately failed, and were now happy that it had been destroyed.

Given that the source is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, it is possible that the villagers’ petition, may be fictional.

Source (in Persian)

November 27: Iran Press Watch reports that the home was a historic building from the Qajar area, and had been razed to the ground.
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Music maestro Russ Garcia dies at 95

The Northern Advocate, November 22

A man described as a musical legend – whose 70-year career in jazz and film saw him work with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Walt Disney and Clint Eastwood – has died at his home in Kerikeri, New Zealand, aged 95.

Russ Garcia died on Sunday morning, with his wife Gina at his side, after a short illness. He had been in good health until a few weeks ago, when illness forced him to cancel a series of concerts in the US…

Full story

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Majid Majidi and Keyvan Dehqani free on bail

PCED, November 21

Mr. Majid Majidi (مجید مجیدی), a Bahai from Mashhad, and Mr. Keyvan Dehqani (کیوان دهقانی), a Bahai from Isfahan who was living in Mashhad, have been released on bail. Mr. Majidi is one of the staff of Achilan Doors, who has been detained since January 31 this year. On November 20 he was freed on a bail of 500 million tuman (34,000 euros). He spent much of his time in prison in solitary confinement, and was denied the usual rights of prisoners such as contact with a lawyer and his family. The charges which have previously been cited were “causing economic disruption,” “earnings from illegal sources” and “participation in the Bahai administration.” Some other employees of Achilan Doors remain in prison, including Behrang Mahusni, and Farzad and Farnud Muhammadzade ( بهرنگ محسنی، فرنود محمد‌زاده، فرزاد محمد‌زاده).

Keyvan Dehqani was arrested in Isfahan on June 29 and transferred to prison in Mashhad. His sister, Anisa Dehqani (انیسا دهقانی) was also imprisoned in Mashhad from some time, early this year. Mr. Dehqani is said to have been released on bail recently.

There is still no clarity about the case of Farhud Ishtiyaq ( فرهود اشتیاق), another Bahai from Isfahan who is imprisoned in Mashhad, after being transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence there in June. He has been denied contact with his family for some time past. RAHANA reports that he is suffering from heart problems and Guuillain-Barre Syndrome.

For previous reports on the arrests and dismissals of Bahai employees at Achilan Doors, see the news summary for February and March 2011 on this blog.

Source (in Persian)
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Two Bahais arrested in Qaemshahr

PCED, November 19

On November 18, Mr. `Ali Ahmadi (علی احمدی) was arrested after reporting to the ‘news’ service of the Ministry of Intelligence in Qaemshahr. The next day, Mrs. Simin Gorji (سیمین گرجی) was arrested in the same way. On November 16, officers from the Ministry had visited their homes and asked them to go to the Ministry office to answer some questions, but after their arrest they were transferred under a 10-day temporary detention order to Kochu’i prison in Sari.

This is the third time Mr. Ahmadi has been arrested. On the first occasion he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, and on the second occasion he was acquitted. Mrs. Gorji has also been arrested previously, spending six months in solitary confinement in Kochu’i prison. The homes of Mr. Ahmadi, Mrs Gorji, and Saman Thabeti ( سامان ثابتی), in Qaemshahr, had been searched by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on a previous occasion. Following those searches. Mrs. Gorji wrote a letter to Iran’s Attorney General to protest the illegal searches.

Source (in Persian)

Update, November 27: HRANA reports that the pair are still being held in prison.
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Four accused of Veira shooting acquitted

GFC News, November 19

The four men accused of involvement in the shooting of John Veira, a Bahai and the Director of Civil Aviation in Suriname, have all been freed. Two were acquitted entirely, and two received sentences equal to the time they had already spent in prison. A fifth man is still being sought in the case. John Veira’s family indicated that they were deeply disappointed but would leave the matter in the hands of God.

Source (in Dutch)

December 3: NoSpang reports that The state prosecutor has announced he will appeal the acquittals. A fifth man, suspected of being the assassin, has been extradited to Surinam, and is expected to appear in court in December.

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Iranian government taps a Dutch Bahai’s telephone

Nieuwsuur, November 7

A spokeswoman for the Bahai community in the Netherlands has told Nieuwsuur, a Dutch television news programme, that the Dutch government has informed her that Iran has been tapping her telephone. The interview is due to be broadcast at 22.00 local time (GMT +1) on Nederland 2. Other topics will include the persecution of the Bahais in Iran, and a contribution from Nobel prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

Source (in Dutch)
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Three Bahais interrogated in Semnan

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Mrs. Elham Ruzbehi, Mr. Sepehr Sobhani and Mr. Puya Tabayaniyan (الهام روزبهی (متعارفی)، آقای سپهر سبحانی و آقای پویا تبیانیان), all residents of Semnan, were summoned to the local office of the Ministry of Intelligence and interrogated for two hours before being released. Elham Ruzbehi was arrested on March 12 this year, following a search of her home and the seizure of some of her personal effects. She is the sister in law of Mr. Behnam Mut’arefi (بهنام متعارفی), who has been in prison since July, 2010. Mr. Tabayaniyan was arrested on March 8, 2009. He was later sentenced to two years in prison, and was granted a conditional release on April 29, 2010. It is not known how long he remained in prison, however it appears he was again detained, on March 12 this year, and that he was released on June 21.

Source (in Persian)
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Vahid Mukhtari summoned in Karaj

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Mr. Vahid Mukhtari (وحید مختاری) has been released in Karaj, after refusing to promise not to work with the Bahai Open University (BIHE). He had previously been detained in connection with his work for the BIHE, and was later summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence in Karaj, subjected to an interrogation, and put under pressure to make a written commitment not to work with the BIHE in the future. He declined to do so and was released after two hours.

Source (in Persian)
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Fakhr ad-Din Samimi begins his sentence

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

On October 4, Mr. Fakhr ad-Din Samimi (فخرالدین صمیمی), a Bahai resident of Qaemshahr in Iran’s northerly Mazandaran province, began serving his six-month prison sentence. He was arrested on May 31st, 2010, and released on bail on June 25 that year. On September 13, 2010, he was found guilty of propagating the Bahai Faith and sentenced to six months in prison.

Source (in Persian)
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Home searches, 22 detained in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

On September 29, the homes of four Bahais in Isfahan were raided, and 23 people were detained. Two of these were friends of Bahais, who were present at the time in the home of Mr. Dariush (داریوش). They were taken away blindfolded. Numerous photos, Baha’i books and other materials were confiscated. One of the two who were friends of the Bahais was also arrested. The full story on Bahai News gives the names of those arrested, which I will not transliterate here: one is a 14-year old girl.

Later that evening, several officers accompanied Mr. Ata’ollah Daneshgiri (عطاءالله دانشگر) to his home, where they confiscated Bahai materials including books, and his computer. Then they took him back to the prison, where he was interrogated for four days.

On the same evening, officers forced an entry to the home of Mr. Farzad Ruhani (فرزاد روحانی), ignoring the objections of his son. They seized materials relating to the Bahai Faith. At about same time, government officers raided the home of Mr. Husayn Ruhani (حسین روحانی), the father of Farzad Ruhani. They seized all books and other items relating to the Bahai Faith, including a Bahai ring taken from the hand of Mrs. Ruhani. They insisted that those present should contact Mr. Husayn Ruhani, and when he returned home, he was arrested.

The next day, six of those detained were released. A seventh, Mrs Anisa Daneshgar (انیسا دانشگر) was released and then arrested again and taken to prison. On October 1, four more of the detainees were freed.

Source (in Persian)
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Concern for Mehran Bandi’s health in prison

RAHANA, November 3

The health of Mehran Bandi (مهران بندی), a Bahai from Yazd who has been serving a prison sentence in Khash prison is very poor, due to a series of heart problems. He was arrested in Yazd on August 15, 2008, and has been held in prison since then. He was first held in temporary detention for more than 3 months, of which more than 40 days were in solitary confinement. He has been admitted to an intensive care unit several times, with heart and respiratory problems. While in the general wing of Yazd prison, he had a heart attack. The coroner and several other qualified doctors have said that his health is not good enough for him to serve his prison sentence, but the judiciary and the Ministry of Intelligence have declined to suspend his sentence. His family were told that he would not be eligible for this.

Source (in Persian)
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Further information regarding the denial of a Bahai burial for Fatimeh Sultan-Za’ri

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Further information has become available about the refusal to permit the burial of Fatimah Sultan Za’iri (فاطمه سلطان زائری) in Tabriz according to Bahai rites. The day after her death, Tabriz cemetery officials said the burial could take place next day, and designated a plot. Officials did not say that permission for burial according to Bahai religious practices (in a coffin) had not been granted until the family and guests had already gathered at the cemetery. The burial ceremony did not take place, and those who had gathered left the cemetery. Mrs. Za’ri’s son, Iraj Cherakhi ( ایرج چرخی) went to various government offices, including the Mayor’s Office, City Hall, the Office of the Governor, the Governor General’s office, the Islamic Council of Tabriz, and the Friday prayer leader of Tabriz, but he was told that the decision was final. Following his appeals, the Friday prayer leader of Tabriz wrote to the cemetery officials to say that, if the family did not remove the body, the cemetery officials should do this. When the family members heard this, they went to Miandoab, identified the body, and buried it according to Bahai rites.

Source (in Persian)
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Wajiheh Golpour freed in Sari

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Mrs. Wajiheh Golpour (وجیهه گلپور), a Bahai resident of Sari, was freed from Sari prison on September 29. She was arrested on August 20.

Source (in Persian)
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Hannana Kana`ani expelled from Mashhad University

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Hannana Kana`ani (حنّانه کنعانی), a Bahai student at Mashhad University, was expelled recently. Her efforts to obtain a hearing have thus far been fruitless.

Source (in Persian)
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Five year sentences for four Mashhad Bahais

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Rozita Vaseghi and Nahid Qadiri (رزیتا واثقی و ناهید قدیری), two Bahai women from Mashhad who are already serving 5 year prison sentences for their faith, have been sentenced to five additional years in prison. They were first arrested in August 2005. Before being transferred to Mashhad prison, Mrs. Vaseghi spent more than six months in solitary confinement in the hands of the Ministry of Intelligence in Mashhad.

Two other Bahai women from Mashhad, Noura Nabilzadeh and Sonya Ahmadi ( نورا نبیل زاده وم سونیا احمدی), who had been free on bail, have both been sentenced to five years in prison. They were among eight Bahais who were tried in a closed court in Mashhad on December 20, 2010. Two friends of these Bahais were also tried. They appealed the verdict. Mrs. Nabilzadeh was arrested on June 22, 2010, and freed on bail on September 19. She was granted a new trial. Mrs. Ahmadi was arrested on November 2, 2009, and released on bail on February 2, 2010.

Source (in Persian)

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In Bojnord, authorities ban a Bahai from contact with others

Bahai News Service (Persian), November 1

Mr. Houshmand Sana’i (هوشمند ثنائی), a Bahai resident of Bojnord (capital of Iran’s North Khurasan province), was recently summoned to the local office of the Ministry of Intelligence and told, with threats, that he must not associate other Bahais or work with them. Mr. Sana’i had provided documents for Mr. Mas`ud Mahmudi (مسعود محمودی), a Bahai resident of Shirvan, who was freed from prison on September 12 after bail of 100 million tuman (about 69,000 euros) had been paid. Mr. Mahmudi was arrested on August 29 in relation to participation in the Bahai Open University (BIHE)

Source (in Persian)
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Sahba Muttahedin expelled from Qazvin University

PCED, November 3

Sahba Muttahedin (صهبا متحدین), a Bahai student of industrial engineering at the University of Qazvin, was expelled on September 19.

Source (in Persian)
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Parisa Baba’i arrested in Qaemshahr

RAHANA, November 3

Parisa Baba’i (پریسا بابایی), a Bahai resident of Qaemshahr, was arrested this morning and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence facilities in Sari. Yesterday, security officials came to her home and asked her to report to Ministry offices at 8 a.m. today, November 3. When she presented herself, she was arrested. Her home had been previously been searched by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence.

Source (in Persian)
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Student expelled from Sirjan University

Samira Gholami (سمیرا غلامی), a Bahai student in the second year of a course in mechanical engineering, was expelled from the University of Sirjan, in Kerman province, on October 30. A few days earlier, university officials had summoned her for interrogation regarding her religious beliefs.

Source (in Persian)
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Homes and business searched in Sari

HRANA, November 2

Early on November 1, security forces arrived at the home of Dhatullah Akbari (ات الله اکبری), a Bahai resident of Sari. They searched it and seized religious literature and photographs, as well as family CDs and photo albums, and a certificate. Then two of them left the home and searched Mr Akbari’s work place, taking him with them. On the same day, security forces went the home of Kamal Akbari («کمال اکبری), another Bahai resident in Sari, and searched it. They seized books and CDs relating to the Bahai Faith.

Source (in Persian)
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Home search and seizures in Qaemshahr

RAHANA, October 31

On the morning of October 30, seven officials from the Ministry of Intelligence rang the bell on the door of the home of Ali Ahmadi (علی احمدی, a Bahai living in Qaemshahr. A boy answered, and told them from within that his mother was ill, and his father not at home, and he was not allowed to open the door. When they said that if he did not open the door, they would enter through the wall, the child opened the door. The officials had a search warrant, similar to the one used the previous week when the homes of three Bahais were searched. The accusation was “Bahai administrative activities after the closure of the Bahai administration.”

After entering the house with curses and threats, the officers searched the house very thoroughly, including even the refrigerator, and seized a computer, religious CDs and tapes, car papers and a users manual, religious books and leaflets, scientific books, especially books on the law, all the posters and pictures relating to the Bahai Faith, including even a wall clock with a picture of the Lotus Temple on its face, and educational diplomas and other documents. At 1 p.m., Ali Ahmadi came home and discovered what had happened.

Source (in Persian)
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Business closures and economic pressure in Semnan

Khabar Navard, October 31

Three more businesses associated with Bahais in Semnan have been closed. An industrial tool shop managed by Ali Tabiyaniyan (علی تبیانیان) was closed by local authorities on October 27, on instructions from the Ministry of Intelligence. The reason given was failure to comply with clause 28: no further specifics were given. Similarly, on October 26, stores belonging to Leydar Tabiyaniyan and Sepher Sobhani ( لیدر تبیانیان و سپهر سبحانی) were closed, without any specified reason. A store belonging to Afrasiyab Sobhani (افراسیاب سبحانی), which local authorities had previously threatened with closure unless he was present in the shop at all times, was closed definitively on October 24. These closures are a new stage in a sequence of government actions against the Bahais of Semnan, beginning on September 3 when, in a large-scale operation, local government officials inspected all the stores belonging to Bahais in the city. According to one of these officials, they were told to search every corner to find a pretext for closure.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai businesses and cemetery targetted in Sanandaj

PCED, October 30

Staff from the Ministry of Intelligence have telephoned a number of Bahais in Sanandaj, demanding that they completely cease all commercial activities. Mrs. Shohreh Ra’ufi, Sudabeh Moudati and Parvaneh Rahmani (شهره رئوفی، سودابه مودتی و پروانه رحمانی) were accused of promoting the Bahai Faith through their commercial activities. They were told that, if they did not close their businesses, more serious steps might be taken against members of their families. There was even an explicit warning that Shohreh Ra’ufi’s young daughter might suffer the consequences. Such threats against the Bahais of Sanandaj have been made previously. When Mr. Sama Ra’ufi (سما رئوفی) was being interrogated, he was threatened with unpleasant consequences. In the event, he was arrested and then transferred on October 5.

For the past several months, efforts are being made to seize the Bahai cemetery in Sanandaj. First the Ministry of Intelligence, and then the city’s department for the environment have pressured the Bahais to hand over the land.

Source (in Persian)
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Bahai refused burial in Tabriz

HRANA, October 29

Government officials in Tabriz have refused to issue a permit to bury the body of Khalil Nourmuhammadi Shisheban (خلیل نورمحمدی شیشوان), who died in hospital in Tabriz on October 25, in the Wadi Rahmat cemetery. The asked his children either to bury his body according to Islamic rites in the Wadi Rahmat cemetery, or to take his body to the city of Miandoab, which lies about 160 km south of Tabriz. Bahai teachings do not allow either moving a body long distances for burial (more than one hour’s travel), or burying the body of a Bahai in ways contrary to the Bahai burial rites. On October 27, Mr. Shisheban’s body was transported to Miandoab mortuary without his family’s consent. The report notes that a similar situation has occurred once in the past, and that HRANA has heard reports of another case in recent days. Bahais have been buried in the Wadi Rahmat cemetery, according to Bahai rites, since 1969, and the Bahais of Tabriz share in the cost of construction and maintenance of the cemetery.

Source (in Persian)
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Three Bahais bailed in Isfahan

PCED, October 26

In Isfahan, three Bahais were released on bail on October 23, after more than 100 days in detention. They are Navid Parvini, his wife Negar Sobhaniyan, and Farshid Badakhsh (نوید پروینی، نگار سبحانیان و فرشید بدخش). The bail was set at 50 million tumans (33,000 euros). They were among a number of Bahais arrested in Isfahan on July 12, 2011, at a Bahai celebration — the Feast of Words — held at the home of Navid Parvini. The interrogations of these three were completed on August 20, yet their detention continued for almost two months. Keyvan Dehqani (کیوان دهقانی), one of those detained at the time, was transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence’s facilities in Mashhad several weeks ago, and remains in detention there. Farhud Ishtiyaq (فرهود اشتیاق), another Bahai from Isfahan who was transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence in Mashhad, in July this year, is still held there, in a state of uncertainty.

Source (in Persian)
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Azizullah Samandari sentenced: 5 years

PCED, October 25

Azizullah Samandari (عزیزالله سمندری), a Bahai from Tehran, has been sentenced to five years in prison. He was arrested on January 14, 2009, along with eleven other Bahais in Tehran, and held for some time for interrogation in solitary confinement. The charges against him were “participating in the Bahai sect,” “attempting to establish and run a computer programme” (presumably, an educational programme), and “technical support for the Bahai Open University (BIHE). However KhabarNavard reports the charges as membership of the Bahai Faith, “endangering national security” and “copying CDs.” KhabarNavard explains, “At his trial he was acquitted of all charges, but with the security forces conducting a widespread campaign against the Bahai Open University (BIHE), and the arrest of seven of its staff, it was announced that his case would be re-opened, with new accusations.” Presumably, supporting the BIHE and running a computer course were among the additional charges.

Source (in Persian)

23 November: the Bahai News Service states that his sentence has been confirmed by the review court.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Iran Press Watch (Persian), October 27

Farnud Jahangiri (فرنود جهانگیری), a Bahai student of English language and literature at the University of Babolsar, was expelled from university on October 12. He is a resident of Hamdan. In recent months 10 Bahai students have been expelled from this university because of the religious beliefs. The names of the other 9 are given in the IPW report (in Persian). In addition, many Bahai students this year have had their enrollment applications refused on the grounds that they are “incomplete.”

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

Extensive searches, interrogations and arrests in Rasht

RAHANA, October 23

Security officials have searched dozens of Bahai homes and work places in Rasht and have interrogated the Bahais. Thus far it is known that they have arrested Nadia Asadiyan, Shiva Kashani and Susan Badevam (نادیا اسدیان، شیوا کاشانی نژاد و سوسن بادوام). Several other Bahais have been temporarily detained in recent days, and more have been told they will be arrested shortly.

Source (in Persian)
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Searches and 3 arrests in Qaemshahr

HRANA, October 24

Officers from the Ministry of Intelligence in Qaemshahr, Iran, searched three Bahai homes there on October 23. They had warrants for the searches. The homes belong to Dhikrullah Baba’i, Simin Gorji and Saman Thabeti (ذکرالله بابایی، سیمین گرجی و سامان ثابتی). The officers seized computers, and religious books and photographs, and took the three Bahais away. Their whereabouts is unknown. The officers said that the accusation was participation in the administration of the Bahai community. This was dissolved after the 1979 revolution, and the informal facilitators who later assisted the Bahai community in dealings with authorities on matters such as burials also ceased their work in 2008, following the arrest of seven national facilitators (‘Yaran’). Simin Gorji has written a letter of protest which is available in Persian on the HRANA site.

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

One arrest in Omidiyeh

RAHANA, October 22

On October 17, intelligence agents and police in the town of Omidiyeh, in Khuzestan province, searched the home of Mr. Shokrollah Azizi (شکرالله عزیزی) and Mrs. Nasrin Sha’erzadeh ( نسرین شاعرزاده), and arrested the latter. They first went to her place of work and asked her to accompany them to her home, for which they claimed to have a search warrant. When she refused, saying she could not go with them without her husband present, they telephoned her husband to come home. When Mr. Azizi arrived, he found that the officers had already forced an entrance. When Nasrin Sha’erzadeh arrived, in the company of other officers, she and her husband were kept outside while their home was searched. The search was exceptionally unrestrained, resulting in total disorder. The officers seized a computer, all religious books, CDs, and satellite equipment. The couple were detained and questioned, and freed on bail to appear in court next day. Nasrin Sha’erzadeh was charged with propaganda against the Islamic Republic and possessing satellite equipment. She is free on bail, awaiting trial.
Source (in Persian)

~~~~~~~~~~

Report on Iran’s anti-Bahai propaganda

Bahai News Service (English), October 21

In a report released today, the Baha’i International Community documents and analyzes more than 400 press and media items over a 16-month period, that typify an insidious state-sponsored effort to demonize and vilify Baha’is, using false accusations, inflammatory terminology, and repugnant imagery.

“This anti-Bahai propaganda is shocking in its volume and vehemence, its scope and sophistication,” said Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Bahai International Community to the United Nations. “It’s all cynically calculated to stir up antagonism against a peaceful religious community whose members are striving to contribute to the well-being of their society.” The report’s main conclusions are:

• anti-Bahai propaganda originates with – and is sanctioned by – the country’s highest levels of leadership, …
• the campaign spurns international human rights law and norms, including a precedent-setting resolution passed earlier this year at the United Nations Human Rights Council that specifically condemns and combats the negative stereotyping and incitement to hatred of religious minorities;
• Baha’is are branded as “outsiders” in their own land and as enemies of Islam …
• the campaign aims to deflect attention away from calls for democracy in Iran [and] to smear those who oppose the government as well as human rights campaigners as Bahais, “as if that were the most heinous crime.”
• the authorities disseminate ludicrous conspiracy theories including that foreign broadcasters, in particular the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America (VOA), are controlled by or under the influence of Baha’is because they report stories about human rights violations in Iran;

“The diverse content of these attacks demonstrates tremendous effort and commitment of resources by the Islamic Republic,” says the report. “Many attacks are built on gross distortions of Baha’i history; some attempt a strategy of guilt by association through lumping Baha’is together with completely unrelated groups – such as ‘Satanists’ or the Shah’s secret police; … The campaign makes extensive use of the World Wide Web, and often uses graphic images that portray Baha’is as fiendish ghouls or agents of Israel.”

The full report is available here in pdf format, but is rather heavy for those with slower connections. You can get a good idea of the type of vilification and images involved from ‘Quirky and worse’ on my Bahai studies blog, and from “The blood libel : Qom variant” and “Gold merchants and Iran’s self-reinforcing anti-Bahaism” on this blog.

Full story
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Student expelled in Isfahan

PCED, October 8

Houman Rahmanian (هومن رحمانیان) has become the latest Bahai student to be expelled from university in Isfahan. He was a student of computer science at the Technical University of Isfahan. He was summoned to the university and questioned about his religious beliefs, and told to return the following week. He was then told that he would be expelled unless he declared himself a Muslim. He is the third Bahai student to be expelled from this university this term. Five other Bahai students have been expelled from other universities in Iran this term.

Source (in Persian)

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Didar Ra’ufi begins his sentence

CHRR, October 17

Mr. Didar Ra’ufi ( دیدار رئوفی ), a Bahai resident of Tehran, began serving his 3-year sentence on October 16. His detention had been delayed for a month because of health issues. He has been convicted for membership of the Bahai community of Iran and propagating the Bahai Faith. He was one of 12 Bahais arrested in Tehran on January 12, 2009, and released on bail in March 2009. The bail was unusually high, at about 49,000 euros.

Source (in Persian)
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BIHE staff sentenced

CHRR, October 17

Seven members of staff and assistants at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran have been sentenced over the past two days. Mr. Kamran Morteza’i and Wahid Mahmudi(کامران مرتضایی و وحید محمودی) were sentenced to five years in prison. Mr. Riaz Sobhani, Mahmud Badevam, Ramin Ziba’i, Farhad Sadeqi and Mrs. Nushin Khadem (ریاض‌ سبحانی، محمود بادوام، رامین زیبایی، فرهاد صدقی و خانم نوشین خادم) were sentenced to four years in prison. Last week, all those named were transferred to Rajai Shahr prison, near Tehran, except that Mrs. Nushin Khadem was taken to Evin prison for women, in Tehran.

Over the past few months more than 20 people have been arrested in connection with their work for the University, which offers education to those who are excluded from public institutions because they are Bahais. Close to 50 people have been summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence, and some premises affiliated with the University have been closed down.

Source (in Persian)

October 19: the Bahai News Service now has a report in English.
~~~~~~~~~~~

September 2011

I was working in Istanbul for most of September, so the coverage is patchy

Bashir Ehsani sentenced: 5 years

Khabar Navard, September 28

Bashir Ehsani ( بشیر احسانی ), a Bahai student excluded from education, and an educational rights activist, has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by a court in Tehran. He is at present free on bail, following his trial.

He was charged with gathering and colluding contrary to national security (he is a member of the PCED, an educational rights organisation), and with disturbing public order and possessing a satellite dish. However another report from his trial said that he was acquitted of charges of assembly and conspiracy, acting against national security and propaganda against the regime. It is unclear whether the five year sentence is levied soley for “disturbing public order and possessing a satellite dish,” or the court has sentenced him for things it has found him not guilty of.

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

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Pastor Nadarkhani’s execution appears imminent

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, September 26

Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has twice refused to recant his Christian faith during two court hearings held in Rasht, Gilan Province on 25 and 26 September. Sources indicate that recanting will again be demanded at sessions scheduled for 27 and 28 September, and that if he continues to refuse, he will be executed thereafter.

Pastor Nadarkhani was tried and found guilty of apostasy (abandoning Islam) in September 2010 by the court of appeals in Rasht. At the appeal in June 2011, the Supreme Court of Iran upheld Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s sentence, but asked the court in Rasht to re-examine whether or not he had been a practicing Muslim adult prior to converting to Christianity. The Supreme Court’s decision included provision for annulment of the death sentence if Pastor Nadarkhani recanted his faith.

Following investigation, the court in Rasht has ruled that Pastor Nadarkhani was not a practicing Muslim adult before becoming a Christian. However, the court has decided that he remains guilty of apostasy because he has Muslim ancestry.

Full report
~~~~~~~~~~

Raha Sabet freed after 4 years

HRANA, September 28

Raha Sabet (رها ثابت), a Bahai and social development activist, has been freed after serving a four-year sentence, most of it in solitary confinement in “Detention centre 100″ in Shiraz. She was arrested on May 19, 2006, and held for a while before being released on bail. On November 19, 2007 she was summoned along with two colleagues, Sasan Taqva and Haleh Rouhi (ساسان تقوا و هاله روحی) to court to answer some questions, and without further ado taken to prison to serve sentences. She, and more than 50 other youth from Shiraz, had been active in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Shiraz, helping to get children to school and giving classes in morals, health, drawing, storytelling and music. They also worked with the mothers of these children in the fields of health and literacy. She and her two colleagues were sentenced to 3 years for participating in an illegal group, and to 1 year for propaganda against the regime. Sasan Taqva and Haleh Rouhi were released last year.

Source

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Two Bahais sentenced in Qaemshahr

Radio Kucheh, September 20

In recent days, Shahnaz Ranjbar and Farhad Sana’i (شهناز رنجبر و فرهاد سنایی), two Bahai residents of Qaemshahr have been sentenced. Mr. Sana’i was sentenced to five months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime, while Mrs. Ranjbar was fined 300,000 tuman (about 200 euros).

Source

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another Bahai student expelled in Shiraz

RAHANA, September 24

Mona Mo`meni (منا مومنی), a student who has reached the seventh semester at the Medical University in Shiraz, has been expelled because she follows the Bahai religion.

Source

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In Yazd, 4 Bahai youth arrested, free on bail

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 25.

Four Bahai men in Yazd were arrested on August 26. They are named as Shamim Etehadi (25 years old, Milad Aqdasi (23), Adib Maqimi (17) and Vafa Bandi (15) ( شمیم اتحادی، میلاد اقدسی، ادیب مقیمی، وفا بندی). They had gone tramping in a mountainous area near Yazd. All four were freed on bail on August 31.

Source

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Two Bahai students barred in Isfahan

Bahai News Service, September 25

Ruhollah and Bashir Tashkir ( روح الله و بشیر تشکر), students at Isfahan’s technical university, have been told they cannot enroll for the coming term. They were also summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence in Isfahan.

Source

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Noura Daneshger free on bail

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 25

Mrs. Noura Daneshger (نورا دانشگر), a Bahai resident of Isfahan, has been freed after posting bail of 50 million tuman (about 35,000 euros) and pledging not to engage in activities against the common weal or the regime. She was summoned on June 27, and interrogated and arrested on the same day.

Source
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hushang Mithaqiyan freed

Bahai News Service, September 25.

Hushang Mithaqiyan ( هوشنگ میثاقیان ), a member of staff at the BIHE who was arrested in Shiraz on May 29, has been freed.

Source

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Harrassment and one arrest in Yasuj

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 25

On September 4, Mrs. Kuchek Rahim-Niya, Mrs. Nazeli Rahim-Munshi, Mr. Husayn-Ali Dalavar-Munshi, Mr. Sarvan Havasi and Mr. Nirumand Rastin (خانم کوچک رحیم نیا، خانم نازلی رحیمی منش، آقای حسنعلی دلاورمنش، آقای سروان حواسی و آقای نیرومند راستین), all Bahai residents of Kota, were summoned to court and asked to renounce ownership of their farms. When they refused to comply, Mrs. Kuchek Rahim-Niya, Mrs. Nazeli Rahim-Munshi and Mr. Husayn-Ali Dalavar-Munshi were imprisoned. The two women were later freed on bail, but Mr. Dalavar-Munshi was taken to prison in Yasuj.

It is not clear whether this account refers to the earlier report that a number of Bahais were imprisoned, and their farms seized, but were later released and their land returned, or is a separate incident in a campaign of harassment.

Source
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mas`ud Mahmudi free on bail

Bahai News Service, September 25

Mr. Mas`ud Mahmudi (مسعود محمودی), a Bahai resident of Shirvan, in Iran’s North Khurasan province, has been freed after providing bail of 100 million tuman (about 69,000 euros). He was arrested on August 29 and freed on September 12. His arrest apparently related to participation in the work of the Open University, the BIHE.

Source
~~~~~~~~~~~

Two BIHE staff free on bail

Khabarnavard, September 21

Keyvan Rahimiyan and Shakib Nasrutallah (شکیب نصرالله و کیوان رحیمیان), two teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, who were arrested on September 13, were freed on bail on September 21. This leaves nine Bahais still in prison in Iran for participating in the work of the university.

Source

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ramin Eydelkhani sentenced: 2 years

HRANA, September 20

Ramin Eydelkhani (رامین ایدلخانی), a Bahai from Parsabad, in the city of Ardabil, Iran, has been sentenced to two years in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime and insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader (Khamene’i). He was also barred from living in the Province of Ardabil for five years. He was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence in Ardabil on May 5, 2010. His wife, Ahdiyyeh Rashdi-Rad (عهدیه راشدی راد) was imprisoned when she enquired about the whereabouts of her husband, and was freed on bail after 10 days.

Source

~~~~~~~~~~

Five from Yasuj region free on bail

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 19

Five Bahai residents of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, in Iran’s Zagros mountains, were freed on bail on September 5. They had been held in Evin Prison, in Tehran. They were beaten and abused during their imprisonment. Their names are given as Mr. Behnevash Dadgir, Mrs. Meliheh Ruzbeh, Mr. Sina Ravankard, Mr. Shamim Behin-A’in and Mr. Keyvmurath Behin-A’in (آقای بهنوش دادگر، خانم ملیحه روزبه، آقای سینا روانکرد، آقای شمیم بهین آئین و آقای کیومرث بهین آئین). (Help with the transliteration of these names would be appreciated!)

Source (in Persian)

~~~~~~~~~~~

One arrest in Shirvan in relation to BIHE

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 19

On August 29, Mr. Mas`ud Mahmudi (مسعود محمودی), a Bahai resident of Shirvan, in Iran’s North Khurasan province, was arrested. The arrest related to the educational work of the Bahai ‘open university,’ the BIHE.

Source (in Persian)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One arrest in Sari

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 16

Mrs. Wajihat Golpour (وجیهه گلپور), a Bahai resident of Sari, was arrested on August 20, following a search of her home by three security officers. She is the wife of Wajeh-ullah Mirza Golpour (وجیه الله میرزا گلپو), who was arrested on April 28 and held in Tonekabon prison until he was freed on bail on May 9.

Source

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

House searches in Bojnurd, Qaemshahr

RAHANA, September 17

In Bojnurd, the capital city of North Khorasan province, Iran, officers from the Ministry of Intelligence have searched the homes of two Bahai residents, Mahmud Shahidi and Houshmand Thena’i (محمود شهیدی و هوشمند ثنائی). They seized video cameras, and CDs, books and images relating to the Bahai Faith.

Source (in Persian)
Update, Sept. 20: HRANA adds that there was a third house search, four days later, in the city of Qaemshahr, where the home of Feyrouzeh Hashemi (فیروزه هاشمی) was searched.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fakhr ad-Din Samimi’s sentence confirmed

HRANA, September 19

The review court has confirmed the six month sentence imposed on Fakhr ad-Din Samimi (فخرالدین صمیمی), a Bahai resident of Qaemshahr in Iran’s northerly Mazandaran province. He was charged with propagating the Bahai Faith.

Source (in Persian)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bahai employee dismissed for his beliefs

HRANA, September 19

Babak Sharifi-Niya (بابک شریفی نیا), a Bahai youth living in Qaemshahr, has been dismissed from his job in a pharmacy following the intervention of the Ministry of Intelligence. He was summoned to the Ministry’s offices in Mazandaran to answer some questions, and was supposedly dismissed for failing to cooperate with the Ministry.

Source
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Six to begin sentences in Shiraz

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 16

Mrs. Haleh Houshmandi (هاله هوشمندی) and Mssrs. Keyvan Karami, Farmam (Hadi) Ma`sumi, Wahdat Dana, Afshin Ehsanayan and Kavus Dahgham ( کیوان کرمی، فرهام (هادی) معصومی، وحدت دانا، افشین احسنیان و کاووس ضرغام), all Bahai residents of Shiraz, have been summoned to begin serving 10-month prison sentences which had previously been suspended. Mrs. Houshmandi, Mr. Ehsanayan and Mr. Ma`sumi were among the 54 young people arrested in Shiraz in 2006 for teaching underprivileged children there. Mr. Karami was arrested in February, 2009, after a search of his home, and Mr. Dana was arrested in April 2009. This is the first report of the arrest of Mr. Dahgham: no further details are available.

Source

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bahai student expelled in Hormozgan

RAHANA, September 18

Source

Ava Tavakoli, a Bahai student of Anesthesiology at Hormozgan University of Medical Science and a resident of Bandar-Abbas, has been expelled due to her faith after 4 semesters. She was informed verbally that she has been expelled due to her faith by the officials of the University Admission Organization. The written letter will be sent to her college. She will not receive the expulsion document herself but her account for class registration will be deactivated.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two Bahais begin their sentences in Urmia

Pars Daily News, September 16

Masrour Fazli and Farmoud Aqdasi (مسرور فضلی و فرهود اقدسی), two Bahai residents of Urmia (capital of the province of West Azerbaijan, in Northwest Iran) have been detained to begin serving their 6-MONTH sentences. They were charged with propaganda against the regime, and had been free on bail.

Source (in Persian)

~~~~~~~~~~~

Top student excluded from university

RAHANA, September 15

Sharheh Ruhani (شهره روحانی) scored 151 in Persian language in Iran’s university entrance examinations. But after the results had been announced, she was excluded from further participation because, as a Bahai, she had no right to attend university.

Full story (in Persian)

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Bahai businesses closed in Semnan

RAHANA, September 17

On September 7, a shop in Semnan belonging to Afshin Iqani and Peyman Shadman (افشین ایقانی و پیمان شادمان) was closed by the authorities because the owners are Bahais. A shop belonging to Peyman Shadman had previously suffered arson attacks three times, and is now being rebuilt. On September 12, Afshin Iqani was taken into custody at Semnan prison, to begin serving a prison sentence there. In the past few weeks, 3 other businesses belonging to Bahais in Semnan have been arbitrarily closed.

Source (in Persian)

Update, Sept. 24: HRANA reports numerous closures of Bahai businesses in Semnan, including Zeis optical equipment shop, plastic goods shops, hairdressers, filter element sellers, and stationary stores.
November 1: The Bahai News Service in Persian has its own list of the businesses closed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Four BIHE teachers arrested

Khabarnavard, September 14

On September 13, Faran Hesami, Keyvan Rahimiyan, Shakib Nasrutallah and Kamran Rahimiyan (فاران حسامی، کیوان رحیمیان، شکیب نصرالله و کامران رحیمیان)were detained after answering a court summons delivered by telephone two days previously. They were transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran. They had been voluntary teachers at the disbanded Bahai Open University (BIHE), in the field of behavioural sciences. All four were dismissed from their day jobs in NGOs, following threats from the Ministry of Intelligence to their employers.

Source (in Persian)

Update, September 26
The Bahai News Service (in Persian) states that they were told they were regarding as practicing psychology without a license.

Update, Sept 24: Iran Press Watch has an account in English, naming the four as Shakib Nasrollah, Keyvon Rahimian, Kamran Rahimian and Faran Hesami. IPW’s spelling is likely to reflect the pronunciation of the names correctly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Five Bahais freed on bail in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), September 10

On August 10, five Bahais who had been arrested in Isfahan for participating in social development work were released on bail. The five are named as Yeganeh Agahi, Matin Haqiri, Soroush Bayati and Matin Janmeyan ( یگانه آگاهی، متین حقیری، سروش بیاتی، متین جانمیان), all men, and Mrs. Parisa Muqaddas ( پریسا مقدس).

Source

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Seized farms returned to Bahais

Bahai World News Service (Persian), September 10

In the mountainous province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, in Iran, a number of Bahais were recently imprisoned, and their farms seized. They were later released and their land has now been returned to them. The authorities have given them permission to gather the harvest.

In addition, five other Baha’is who are all originally from Boyer-Ahmad, but now live in Lar, Isfahan and Yasuj, have been arrested. It was initially believed that the arrest of the five related to the issue of the farms. However, it later became clear that they have been accused of immorality. No further information is available.

Source
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sina Girshaseb’s sentence confirmed

Bahai News Service (Persian, September 10

The prison sentence of Mr. Sina Girshaseb ( سینا گرشاسبی ) has been confirmed by the review court. Mr. Girshaseb had recently returned from Canada to Tenakbon, in Iran’s northern province of Mazandaran. He was summoned to court and sentenced to six months in prison, on charges of leaving Iran without permission. It is not clear whether he is already serving this term in prison.

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

Bahai Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland: applications open

University of Maryland, September 14

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland is pleased to announce a search for the next holder of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace. The mission of the Chair is to study and apply innovative approaches to peace in fields such as human security, peace education, conflict resolution, international development, and spiritual awareness.

Inaugurated in 1993, the Bahá’í Chair conducts and publishes research, designs and teaches courses, organizes seminars and international conferences and serves as an interdisciplinary forum for the expression of a broad range of views.

There is no closing date for applications: the position is open until filled. However, for best consideration, a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the name and e-mail addresses for a minimum of three professional references should be submitted by November 30, 2011 to https://jobs.umd.edu.

Source
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Afshin Iqani begins sentence

Freedom Messenger, September 16

Afshin Iqani ( افشین ایقانی ) has reported to Semnan Prison after his 4 year, 3 month and 1 day prison sentence was upheld by the appeals court. He was arrested on January 5, 2010 and was released on bail on February 28, 2010. He was convicted on charges of disturbing national security and propaganda against the regime by supporting anti-regime groups. The verdict also indicated that all possessions of Mr. Iqani which are related to his charges will be confiscated.

On March 12, 2009, Ministry of Intelligence agents has visited Mr Iqani’s shops, confiscated half of his goods and asked him to sell the remaining items before the start of Iranian new year (March 21).

Full story
Persian source (September 15).
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BIHE prisoners’ defence lawyer imprisoned

ICHRI, September 12

On 10 September, Abdolfattah Soltani, human rights lawyer and a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center was arrested. Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani is a senior member of the legal team representing the BIHE prisoners: Bahai academics who face vague charges of threatening national security for teaching biology, engineering, architecture and other academic disciplines to young Bahais excluded from university education because of their religion.

Soltani’s wife, Massoumeh Dehghan, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that security forces also illegally entered his offices, and confiscated several of his personal and family documents. Abdolfattah Soltani has represented several political and human rights activists, including Akbar Ghanji, Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Baniyaghoub, and Haleh Esfandiari. He was earlier arrested in 2009 and released after two months.

Full story
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