Sen's daily

December 15, 2014

Neda Farsatipour and Farahnaz Moqadam begin their prison sentences


HRANA, December 14, 2014.

On December 10, Mrs. Farahnaz Moqadam (فرحناز مقدم) responded to a summons to the Revolutionary Court in Urumiyyeh (Urmia) and was taken to the city’s central prison to begin serving her three-year sentence. On December 4, her husband Fardin Aghsani (فردین اغصانی) began serving his own three-year sentence.

Neda Farsatipour (ندا فرصتی‌پور), another Bahai from Urumiyyeh, also began her sentence in the past week. She has been sentenced to 6 months in prison. In all, six Bahais have begun serving their sentences in recent weeks.

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December 11, 2014

Peyman Kashfi released from prison


HRANA, December 11, 2014.

Peyman Kashfi Nejafabadi (پیمان کشفی نجف‌آبادی), a Baha’i prisoner of conscience from Tehran who has served a four-year sentence in Evin and Raja`i Shahr prisons, has been released at the end of his sentence. He was summoned and arrested in Tehran on October 19, 2009, and held incommunicado in section 209 of Evin Prison for two months. He was later granted bail. In July 2010, Judge Muhammad Maqiseh (محمد مقیسه), presiding over branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, sentenced him to 4 years in prison on a charge of being part of an illegal assembly. When the written sentence was handed down, the charges had been changed to establishing a group seeking to disturb security. [This means that he was sentenced on a charge that he was not told about, and given no chance to see the evidence or provide a defence ~Sen] This sentence was upheld by the review court. He began his sentence on February 14, 2011, first in Evin prison and then, from August 5, 2012, in block 12 at Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, just west of Tehran, where most of the Yaran (Baha’i national facilitators), and a number of teachers from the Bahai Open University are also held.

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Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments warns against Baha’i threat

Daily News Egypt, December 11, 2014.

Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments organised a workshop on Wednesday and Thursday to raise awareness amongst imams on the “growing dangers of the spread of Baha’ism,” the Ministry said. According to the Ministry, this workshop comes in the context of “maintaining the Islamic constants and foundations in the face of deviant thoughts that destroy the minds of young people”.

The Baha’i faith is not recognised as a “heavenly religion,” in the Egyptian Constitution as Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are. Article 64 – the Constitution’s “freedom of belief” article – dictates that “practicing rituals and establishing places of worship for the followers of heavenly religions is organised by law”- an article that activists claim marginalises groups like the Baha’i.

The workshop, held in Abasseya’s Al-Nour Mosque, is also intended to maintain “national security and stability” as Baha’i thought “threatens Islam specifically and Egyptian society in general,” according to the Ministry. The workshop also aims to teach young imams how to respond to Baha’i thoughts and arguments.

The Baha’i faith is a monotheistic religion originating in 19th century Persia. Recent estimates suggest there may be between 500-3,000 Baha’is living in Egypt. On a number of occasions, including 2009 and 2011, Baha’is in Sohag were attacked and their homes were burned.

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December 8, 2014

5-year sentence of Hassan Momtazi confirmed

Campaign to stop harassment of Bahais (facebook), December 9, 2014.

Hassan Momtazi (حسن ممتازی) reports, on December 8, that he has heard via his lawyer that the review court has confirmed his five-year sentence for educational activities with the Bahai Open University (BIHE). He was one of ten Bahais associated with the BIHE who were heard at the Public Prosecutor’s office in Tehran on March 12, 2013. His sentence was handed down in Tehran Revolutionary Court branch 28 by Judge Maqiseh (مقیسه) on February 25, 2014, but was not communicated to his lawyer until April 2.

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December 7, 2014

Bahai home and business searched in Rasht

HRANA, December 7, 2014.

On the morning of November 17, one agent from the Ministry of Intelligence, accompanied by two staff members from the Revolutionary Court pretended that they were from the Post Office, to enter a Bahai home in Rasht. The house is home to four Bahais: Foad Yazdani (فواد یزدانی), Peyman Yazdani (پیمان یزدانی), Navid Yazdani (نوید یزدانی) and Nima Najafai (نیما نجفی). The intruders had a “search warrant” which proved to be a handwritten note without a judicial seal from the Court. The searched the house thoroughly and seized all the books, CDs, flash drives and any paper with handwriting on it. They then required the four Bahais to accompany them to their place of work, although the search warrant only referred to the home address. The business was searched, and items that included cutsomers’ appliances waiting to be repaired were seized. The officers then went to those non-Bahai customers whose contact information had been recorded, and interrogated them.

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December 4, 2014

Fardin Aghsani begins 3-year sentence


Campaign to stop harassment of Bahais (facebook), December 4, 2014.

Fardin Aghsani (فردین اغصانی), a Bahai from Urumiyyeh (Urmia) who was taken prisoner during the Iran-Iraq war, and held in Iraq for two and a half years, reported to the central prison in Urumiyyeh today to begin serving a 3-year sentence. His wife Farahnaz Moqadam (فرحناز مقدم), who has also been sentenced to three years in prison, is expected to begin her sentence in the next few days. The couple were among seven Bahais in Urumiyyeh who, in July this year, were given sentences ranging from six months to six years for teaching the Bahai Faith and propaganda against the Islamic Republic through hosting regular teaching classes in their homes, teaching minors and attracting Muslims. They were also charged with assembly and collusion in the form of membership of a Bahai Assembly, and having links to the Universal House of Justice (the elected body that heads the international Bahai community).

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December 3, 2014

Friday Prayer Leader in Rafsanjan proposes expelling all Bahais


FARS news agency, December 2, 2914.

In a December 2 meeting with provincial officials, the Friday Prayer leader of Rafsanjan, Hojjat-al-Islam Abbas Ramadanipour (حجت‌الاسلام عباس رمضانی‌پور) said that there were a number of “sects” in the province, and because people were ignorant they were able to live and work among ordinary people, without being recognized. He said that a number of Jews were also working in the city bazaar, but the difference between them and the Bahais was, that the Bahais are “unclean.” After outlining the history of the Shaykhi, Babi and Bahai religions, and claiming that the latter had Russian support, he repeated that the Bahais are “unclean” and business dealings with them are religiously forbidden (haram), and said “this sect has established many activities and programmes in our city, and the people’s legitimate demand that they should not be in the city should be implemented.”

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December 1, 2014

Soheila Aqdasi and Noushin Mithaqi begin 6-month sentences

HRANA, December 1, 2014.

On November 30th, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Noushin Mithaqi (نوشین میثاقی) and Soheila Aqdasi (سهیلا اقدسی), Bahai women living in Urumiyyeh (Urmia), in Iran’s Azerbaijan province, and took them to Urumiyyeh prison to begin their 6-month sentences. Ms. Mithaqi’s name has also been reported as Noushin Aqdasi (نوشین اقدسی). They were accused of “propaganda against the regime.” Not long ago they received telephone calls saying they should report to the prison, but did not do so as no official summons followed. They are among seven Bahais in Urumiyyeh who were sentenced early in July this year to terms ranging from six months to six years, on charges that included teaching the Bahai Faith, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, hosting teaching classes in their homes, teaching minors, attracting Muslims, membership of a Bahai Assembly, and having links to the Universal House of Justice (the elected body that heads the international Bahai community).

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November 26, 2014

Fariba Kamalabadi denied leave to attend daughter’s wedding


HRANA, November 25, 2014.

Fariba Kamalabadi (فریبا کمال آبادی ) one of the seven “Yaran” (National facilitators for the Bahai community) who are serving twenty-year prison sentences as prisoners of conscience, has been denied leave from prison to attend the wedding of her daughter. She is held in Evin prison in Tehran, and has now been imprisoned for seven years without any furlough. The prison authorities and the judicial authorities agreed to give her leave for the wedding, but state security officials not only prevented this, they also broke the custom of the prison service by refusing to allow Mrs. Kalamabadi to meet with her daughter, or for the wedding to be held in the prison.

It is said that God does not overlook the deeds of any oppressor. ٌ
We congratulate Mrs. Kamalabadi on the forthcoming marriage of her daughter.

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November 24, 2014

Home raids and closures in Najafabad and Vila Shahr

HRANA, November 24, 2014.

[Corrected, Dec. 4: the Vila Shahr in this report is not in Mazandaran, but a few kilomters from Najafabad.]

On November 22, agents in plain clothes staged simultaneous raids on the homes of several Bahais in the city of Najafabad, in Iran’s Isfahan province, and the nearby town of Vila Shahr. They seized laptops, computers, and religious books, images and CDs. They also went to a mushroom-growing facility in Vila Shahr, belonging to one of the Bahais there, Mr. Haqiri(حقیری), where they broke some windows, turned off the heaters, and sealed the doors. The business provided work for a number of Bahais. A message was left on the door, saying it had been closed because of unsanitary conditions. Agents also went to the home of Mr. Piruzmandi (پیروزمندی) in Vila Shahr and seized leather bags, leather, and leather-working tools. No reason was given for that action.

HRANA also reports that two more Bahai-owned shops in Nashtarud have been closed by authorities, because they were closed on Muharram 1 and 2 this year (this year, for the last time, Bahais in Iran celebrated the Births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah on these days. Calendar changes mean that it will be many years before the Bahai Holy Days again fall in the first days of Muharram). The officers said that the instructions to close these businesses came “from elswhere” and that local authorities had objected, but were told to close the Bahai-run businesses. The failure to open the shops on Muharram 1 and 2 is treated as a breach of local commerce laws, although those laws allow every trade to close for 15 days during the year, in addition to Fridays.

The two closures in Vila Shahr, and two more in Nashtarud, in addition to the four previous closures reported in that town, and the closures of 79 Bahai-run businesses in the southern region of Kerman, Rafsanjan, and Jiroft, on October 25, mean that close to 90 Bahai-run business have been closed in the space of four weeks, and at least as many Bahai households have lost their means of livelihood.

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November 22, 2014

Indian Bahais continue process of gaining minority status

Filed under: Bahai community — Sen @ 20:14
Tags: , , , ,

Indian Express, November 22, 2014.

On August 22, delegations representing the Bahais and Kashmiri Pandits met the Minority Affairs Minister of India, Mrs. Najma Heptullah, in New Delhi to ask that they be accorded minority status, which has been so far given to Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Jains. Following that meeting, the Minister referred the matter to the National Commission for Minorities. The matter was taken up by the NCM in several meetings in September and October, but the Commission felt that it did not have enough data on the socio-economic condition of the community to make a concrete recommendation. “We had asked for more information from the community and they did submit some … But, that was not enough for the commission,” said a source in the NCM. It is now up to the Ministry of Minority Affairs to take a call.

A spokesperson for the Bahai community, meanwhile, maintains that minority status is a matter of recognition, and the community is not looking for scholarships and other support from the government. “The Bahai community does not accept money from others. That is why we do not charge an entry fee at Lotus Temple where we get 16,000 visitors a day… Even Jains [who were granted this status in January 2014]] did not require the government support but they were granted the status,” said Nilakshi Rajkhowa, an official at the office of public affairs in the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais.

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/bahais-demand-minority-status/#sthash.6Uzsx8i9.dpuf

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One Bahai arrested in Hamadan

HRANA, November 21, 2014.

On the morning of November 20, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence in Hamadan arrested Atta Rajabi (عطاء رجبی), in his home. His present whereabouts are unknown.

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November 19, 2014

Four Bahai shops closed in Nashtarud, more closures expected


HRANA, November 18, 2014.

Early in the morning of November 18, the local officials who supervise public places closed four Bahai-run shops in Nashtarud, a district centre on Iran’s Caspian coast. There was no written explanation or prior notice. The four businesses were owned by two Bahais, Mr. Abu-Alfazli (ابوالفضلی) and Mr. Mohsennezhad (محسن‌نژاد). A witness said that the agents told him that businesses belonging to another 16 Bahais were to be closed during the day, and that they had been to close them, but the owners were already present and demanded that the officials should present written orders. Mr. Mohsennezhad and Mr. Abu-Alfazli had not yet arrived to open their shops.

The closures of Bahai businesses in Nashtarud follow the closures of 79 Bahai-run businesses in the southern region of Kerman, Rafsanjan, and Jiroft, on October 25.

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November 17, 2014

Two Bahais sentenced in Yazd for facebook postings


HRANA, November 17, 2014.

Ms. Tannaz Mohammedi and Mr. Iraj Lohrasb (طناز محمدی و ایرج لهراسب), who were arrested in their homes in Yazd on June 29, 2014, have been sentenced by the revolutionary court in Yazd, after more than four months in detention. Ms. Mohammedi was sentenced to one year in prison, and Mr. Lohrasb to two years. They were charged with reporting human rights violations using the facebook network.

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November 16, 2014

Arson destroys Bahai-owned houses in rural Hamadan

HRANA, November 16, 2014.

On November 3, which coincided with the day of Ashura on Muharram 10, a mob gathered at a cottage belonging to the Hemmati (همتی) family in the mountain village of Auj Tappeh (اوج تپه), which lies to the south of Qazvin. The cottage is used only seasonally, in relation to agricultural activities. The mob broke the windows, and spread oil on a balcony and in the yard, and set fire to the house, destroying it. When the fire had died down, they wrote anti-Bahai slogans on the walls [which were presumably of stone ~Sen], and departed.

On November 7, in the small town of Amzajerd (امزاجرد), which lies about 20km north of the city of Hamadan, and well south of Auj Tappeh, a house and agricultural buildings belonging to the Aqdasi (اقدسی) family were destroyed by arson. Many possessions, furnishing, and documents were destroyed, along with agricultural materials and some cash. A report by the fire and security services has found that the fire was caused by arson. The family were in Hamadan city at the time of the fire.

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November 14, 2014

Mahna Samandari and Narges Khatounbarqi buried in Miandoab

HRANA, November 15, 2014.

Mahna Samandari (مهنا سمندری) and Narges Khatounbarqi (نرگس خاتون برقی), two Bahais from Tabriz whose burial in the city has been blocked because of their religious beliefs, have been taken to Miandoab by local officials and buried in the Bahai cemetery there, without informing the families of the deceased. The burial took place on November 13. Mahna’s body had been held in a mortuary in Tabriz for 24 days, while the body of Mrs. Khatounbarqi had been held for 5 days. Bahai burials in Tabriz have been limited since early this year, and officials have been burying the bodies in Miandoab and Urmia (Urumiyyeh) without informing the families.

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November 11, 2014

`Adnan Rahmat-Penah begins one-year sentence in Shiraz


HRANA, November 11, 2014.

`Adnan Rahmat-Penah ( عدنان رحمت‌پناه ), a Bahai from Shiraz, reported to Adel-Abad prison on November 11, to begin serving a one-year sentence. He was arrested during a raid on his home on December 12, 2012, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Detention Facility 100 in Shiraz. He was held for 186 days without trial, before being freed on bail. He was later sentenced to one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime,” and the review court confirmed this sentence on May 22, 2014.

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November 9, 2014

Another Bahai denied burial in Tabriz

HRANA, November 9, 2014.

The family of Narges Khatounbarqi (نرگس خاتون برقی), an 85-year old Bahai who died in her home on November 7, have been barred from burying her in the general cemetery in Tabriz, the ‘Valley of Mercy’ cemetery. The family took Mrs. Khatounbarqi’s body to the cemetery on the day after her death, but the officials at the cemetery balked because she was a Bahai, saying she could only be buried there in accordance with Muslim rites. Otherwise, the body would be kept in the mortuary until Tuesday (November 11), and then would be taken for burial in Miandoab, along with the body of twelve-year-old Mahna Samandari (مهنا سمندری), which has been held in the mortuary for the past three weeks. The officials justified their decision first by reference to regulations and then on the basis of Islamic law and the wishes of the Shiahs. Yet two sisters of the deceased are Shiah Muslims, and they requested that their sister be buried in the “Valley of Mercy’ cemetery.

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November 8, 2014

Bahai student expelled in Miandoab

Jabari-Adhar
Campaign to stop harassment of Bahai citizens (facebook), November 9, 2014,

On October 7, a Bahai student whose name is variously given as Faran or Farab Jabari Adhar (فاراب( فاران) جباری آذر) was told verbally that he had been expelled from the Miandoab campus of the Payam-e Nour University because of his Bahai beliefs. He had completed four semesters of a degree in hydraulic and soil engineering. His family’s efforts to obtain written evidence of his expulsion have been fruitless, although there was a verbal announcement that his expulsion was on account of his being a Bahai.

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November 6, 2014

Indonesia to issue ID cards for Bahais and other minorities,

Jakarta Globe and Jakarta Post, November 6, 2014.

Following the July announcement of Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minster Lukman Hakim Saifuddin that “Baha’i is a religion, not a sect,” the Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said on Thursday that he intended to allow the followers of religions not formally recognized by the state to leave the religion field on their identity cards blank. Previously, Baha’is and followers of local and tribal beliefs had to enter one of Indonesia’s six recognized faiths if they wanted to receive an ID card. Indonesia recognizes only Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam and Protestantism. The Home Affairs Minister also said he will summon regional leaders whose administrations continue to ignore cases of injustice against people from minority faiths, and will work with Police authorities to seek a permanent end to religious discrimination. He had previously called for the scrapping of local ordinances used to justify discrimination against minority groups.

“Indonesia is not a country based on any one religion. It is a country that is founded on the 1945 Constitution, which recognizes and protects all faiths,” Tjahjo said during a meeting with representatives of minority groups, including the Bahais, at his office in Central Jakarta, on Wednesday. Speaking after the meeting, Sheila Soraya from the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly said she was convinced that Baha’is as well as members of religious minorities in the country could soon see an easing of their plight. “He [Tjahjo] was very attentive in listening to our stories. He was not defensive. That’s the most important thing,” Sheila told The Jakarta Post. She hopes that the new government will soon guarantee the civil rights of members of the Baha’i community, who still struggle to access basic social services.

“Birth certificates register our children as having been born out of wedlock. It only mentions the name of the mother and not the father. This has put us in a difficult situation when we have to register our children at school,” Sheila said.

Tjahjo’s position that the “religion” section may be left blank is a workaround that could allow practitioners of minority faiths to receive documentation without having to lie about their beliefs. But if Lukman and Tjahjo continue to advocate a looser policy on religious recognition, they could be on a collision course with some of Indonesia’s powerful Sunni Muslim organizations. Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) deputy secretary Amirsyah Tambunan has previously said that the Baha’i should not be granted official status, and few of the archipelago’s Islamic scholars have given any indication that they would accept recognition of the Ahmadiyah, whose Indonesian followers have been repeatedly subject to discrimination and, on occasion, murder by rampaging mobs. [The Shiah Muslims, not mentioned here, also suffer discrimination ~Sen]

A report in Kompas said that the Director General of Civil Registrations at the Home Affairs Ministry had opened discussions with the MUI and the country’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, on the issue of official recognition for other religions.

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November 4, 2014

Sentence of Susan Tabyaniyan confirmed


HRANA, November 5, 2014.

The review court has confirmed the sentence of Susan Tabyaniyan (سوسن تبیانیان), a Bahai from Semnan who was arrested on May 31, 2014. She was sentenced to one year in prison and the confiscation of all possessions connected to the Bahai Faith by Judge Amiri, sitting in Bench 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Semnan.

Susan Tabyaniyan (سوسن تبیانیان), a Bahai from Semnan who was arrested on May 31, 2014, has been sentenced to one year in prison. Her trial took place on August 7. After her arrest she was held for 45 days before being released on bail.

Mrs. Tabyaniyan had a shop in Semnan until her arrest in April, 2009. In May 2010 she was sentenced to 18 months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership of a Bahai organisation. After serving almost 14 months in Evin prison (some of them in the methadone user’s wing), she was one of the prisoners granted clemency to mark Eid al-Fitr, on August 27, 2011. She was rearrested on May 31, 2014, and released on bail 6 weeks later.

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November 3, 2014

Amir Maboudi begins 6-month sentence in Urumiyyeh

HRANA, November 2, 2014.

Mr. Amir Maboudi (امیر معبودی) began serving a 6-month prison sentence in Urumiyyeh (Urmia) in Iran’s Azerbaijan province, on October 9. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime in the form of propagating the Bahai Faith.” Instead of summoning him to the prison to begin his sentence, the authorities informed the guarantor of his bail that he must go to prison. Mr. Maboudi and six other Bahais were sentenced in July this year, to terms ranging from six months to six years. Mr. Fardin A`za’i (Aghsani) and Mrs. Farahnaz Moqadam and Ms. Gisou Sheikh-Hasan-Abadi (فردین اعضایی (اغصانی)، فرحناز مقدم و گیسو شیخ‌حسن‌آبادی) were sentenced to six years in prison. They were sentenced to one year for teaching the Bahai Faith and propaganda against the Islamic Republic through hosting regular teaching classes in their homes, teaching minors and attracting Muslims, and to another five years for assembly and collusion in the form of membership of a Bahai Assembly, and having links to the Universal House of Justice (the elected body that heads the international Bahai community). Another four Bahais, including Mr. Maboudi, were sentenced to six months in prison.

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November 2, 2014

No word of a Bahai arrested 11 days ago in Hamadan

HRANA, November 2, 2014.

Hamid Azizi (حمید عزیزی), a Bahai from Hamadan, was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence who came to his home on October 21. They searched his home for several hours and seized a computer, a laptop computer, and Bahai books and pamphlets. Mr. Azizi was taken away, and there has been no news since as to his condition and where he is being held, although his family has made enquiries at the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence. His home has been searched again during his absence. His son was summoned from school to go to the Ministry of Intelligence, where he was interrogated, and his wife and brother have also been summoned and interrogated.

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November 1, 2014

Deceased Bahai girl denied burial in Tabriz

ARAM, 1 November, 2014.

Over a week has passed since twelve-year-old Mahna Samandari died from an illness, on October 21, but her parents have not been allowed to bury her. Mahna’s parents, who suffer from physical handicaps, are not only grieving the loss of their daughter but are devastated by “regulations” that deny them the right to bury their child in the local cemetery of Tabriz. In a Persian report, HRANA attributes the refusal to pressure exerted by the Ministry of Intelligence. After her death in hospital, her parents wanted to take the body home for the ritual washing and Bahai prayers, but when the ambulance driver heard that she was a Bahai, he stopped the vehicle and insisted that she could only be taken to the Wadi Rahmat cemetery in Tabriz [where Bahai rites would be impossible ~ Sen]. Eventually he relented and took the body to her parents’ home. After the body had been washed and wrapped in a shroud, and the prayer for the dead read, in accordance with Bahai rites, it was taken to Wadi Rahmat cemetery [the Bahai cemetery in Tabriz having been confiscated, and barred to Bahais – Sen] and placed in the mortuary, where it remains.

Before the Islamic revolution the Bahai community in Tabriz acquired a cemetery that was later confiscated by government authorities. The community was able to bury their dead in the cemetery until August 2011, when the authorities announced that they no longer allow Bahai interments. In the past three years at least twenty Bahais have been denied burial in this cemetery. As an alternative, authorities are suggesting a burial ground in Urumia or Miandoab, located more than one hour from Tabriz. Common sense and Bahai religious laws prohibit remote burial grounds, and this is especially impractical for the Samandaris, who are physically disabled.

Mahna suffered from a form of paralysis that impaired the use of her hands. Despite her handicap, she pursued her passion for art and painted with her mouth. A gifted artist with determination, Mahna obtained the first prize in art in a national competition.

October 27, 2014

Fifty businesses closed down following Bahai Holy Day observances (updated)

HRANA, October 27, 2014.

Over fifty Bahai-run businesses in Iran were shut down on October 26, in Bandar Abbas, Kerman, Rajsanjan, and Jiroft (the city formerly known as Sabzevaran). These cities all lie in the South-east of Iran. October 25 and 26 this year corresponded to the first and second day of Muharram in the Islamic lunar calendar — days on which Bahais in the Islamic world celebrated the births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Those Bahais who were able would have closed their businesses for these Holy Days. Bahais in the rest of the world have used dates in the Gregorian calendar for these Holy days. However the international head of the Bahai community (the Universal House of Justice) announced on July 10, 2014, that from 2015 these Holy Days will be celebrated “on the first and the second day following the occurrence of the eighth new moon after Naw-Ruz.” These dates fall between mid-October and mid-November. [These changes are discussed on my Bahai Studies blog ~ Sen]

Updated, November 2: In an interview with Diane Ala’i, Radio Farda links the current closures to several cases of arson against Bahai businesses in Rafsanjan, and reports that some of the Bahais in Rafsanjan recently received letters stating that they are forbidden to have any contact with Muslims.

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October 22, 2014

Farhad Eqbali transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison


HRANA, October 21, 2014.

Farhad Eqbali ( فرهاد اقبالی ), a Bahai prisoner of conscience from Gorgan, has been transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison near Tehran, where he is currently in the quarantine unit. Mr. Eqbali was one of about twenty Bahais, and some Muslims accused of associating with Bahais, who were arrested in Gorgan in November, 2012. His 5-year sentence was confirmed by the court of review on August 27, and he began his sentence in Gorgan on the same day. At some stage he was transferred to Evin prison, in Tehran, and now to Raja’i Shahr prison.

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Jamaleddin Khanjani and Ali Salanpour transferred for medical treatment

HRANA, October 21, 2014.

As previously reported, on September 27, 2014, Jamaleddin Khanjani (جمالدین خانجانی), an 81-year old Bahai prisoner of conscience aged 81, and Ali Salanpour (علی سلان‌پور), another prisoner of conscience, were transferred to a medical centre outside Raj’i Shahr prison but returned to prison without treatment, apparently because officials demanded money from them. It is now reported that on October 20 they were both transferred to medical centres outside the prison. Mr. Khanjani, one of seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran), suffers from diverse ailments connected to his age. Mr. Salanpour has problems with his neck, back and testicles due to severe torture in prison.

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Four Bahais free on bail in Shiraz

Fariba Kamalabadi (public figure facebook page), October 21, 2014.

Mr. Farhad Sarafraz (فرهاد سرافراز), Mr. Sa`id `Ebadi (سعید عابدی), Mr. Shahram Mansour ( شهرام منصور) and Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh (ادیب حق پژوه) were freed on bail on October 21. They are the last of the recent detainees to be released. Adib Haqqpazhouh and Sa`id `Ebadi were among those arrested on August 5. Shahram Mansour and Farhad Sarafraz were detained in Shiraz on September 1.

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October 17, 2014

Judiciary moves to close the file on the killing of Ataollah Rezvani


HRANA, October 17, 2014.

Thirteen months after the execution-style killing of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani ( عطاءالله رضوانی ), a well-known member of the Bahai community in Bandar Abbas (on August 24, 2013), the judicial authorities are pressing the Rezvani family to accept the ending of the investigation. On October 14, the Rezvani family and the lawyer handling this case were summoned to a Revolutionary Court in Bandar Abbas where Judge Emani, the investigating magistrate, told them that thus far no clues had been found regarding the circumstances of Mr. Rezvani’s murder, so the investigation could go no further. He recommended that the Rezvani family should accept compensation from public funds so that the case could be closed. Under Iranian law, if a body is found in a street or public place and the killer or killers cannot be found, the family are entitled to compensation from a public fund. The Rezvani family did not accept this proposal, and insisted that the murder should be investigated. The investigating magistrate responded that, if they had evidence that Mr. Rezvani was killed by one or more persons, they should make a complaint. Otherwise, he would not be able to pursue the matter. He also referred to one ‘Karim,’ the last person known to have seen Mr. Rezvani alive. Karim was an Afghan labourer who worked at the home of a Bahai family who were out of the country, and Mr. Rezvani used to check on their house in Bandar Abbas occasionally. On the night of the murder, he had gone there and had given a ride to Karim in his car. “Karim” had not been heard of for the past eleven months, but Judge Emani said that he had been intercepted by Iranian border guards while trying to get to Syria [Iran and Syria do not have a border ~ Sen] and had been sent to Afghanistan. This contradicts a recent statement made by Mr. Reza’i, the officer in charge of the file, who told the Rezvani family that Karim had been seen in Shiraz and would be arrested once a warrant had been issued. Judge Emani asked the Rezvani family to sign a statement that they had no complaint against Karim: the family refused.

The following day, October 15, the family received a letter from the Court asking that Koroush Rezvani, the son of the murdered man who is registered as the “complainant” in this case, should provide any evidence regarding the murder of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani to the court, within one week.

Postscript, October 19: A reader has pointed out that the file of an unsolved murder is not ‘closed’ when the investigation is ended. There is nobody assigned to further investigations, but should new evidence emerge even years later, a new attempt may be made to identify the murderers.

The initial report of the killing of Mr. Rezvani is on this blog here.

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October 12, 2014

Bahai youth sentenced in Shiraz


HRANA, October 10, 2014.

Farhud Yazdani (فرهود یزدانی), an 18-year-old Bahai living in Shiraz, has been sentenced to one year in prison, for participating in social networks used to plan a mass water-fight in Be`sat Park in Shiraz. His arrest had not previously been reported on Sen’s Daily. The background to this is the use of social networks, last July, to organise water fights in Be`sat Park and Aram Park in Shiraz, and in other cities in Iran. The photograph below is from an event in Tehran. The water fight in Aram Park was cancelled when the security forces threatened to disrupt it, but the event in Be`sat Park led to clashes with security forces.

Farhud Yazdani, according to a relative, was not an organizer of these events, but was one of those invited to join in. His home was searched and he was arrested on July 15. He was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Facility 100 in Shiraz, where he was held until August 9, when he was transferred to Adel Abad prison. In the meantime his family had been seeking his release, and he was eventually released on bail, 10 days before his ‘trial.’ Judge Sadati (ساداتی ), who sits in Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz and is head of the Revolutionary Courts in Shiraz, issued a verbal finding condemning Mr. Yazdani to one year in prison. According to a relative, the Judge told Mr. Yazdani that, if the did not protest his treatment, he would be freed on bail after four months in prison. The relative felt that Mr. Yazdani was treated in this way only because he was a Bahai. [The report implies that other participants were not sentenced ~Sen]

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October 7, 2014

Detention orders of three Bahais in Mashhad extended


HRANA, October 6, 2014.

The temporary detention of three Bahais from Mashhad who have been held without trial since June 1 has been extended for another month. Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی), Dari Amri (دری امری) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی) were arrested in the home of May Khalusi, and were at first held in Ministry of Intelligence interrogation facilities in Mashhad. They were transferred to Vakilabad prison on August 2. Thus far the authorities have not given any specific reason for extending their detention. It would appear that Dari Amri and Shayan Tafazoli were initially arrested by accident, as there was no warrant for them, but after their arrest they were accused of “propaganda against the regime.”

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September 28, 2014

Wahid Dana free on bail in Shiraz: four still detained

wahid-dana
PCED (facebook), September 28, 2014.

Mr. Wahid Dana ( وحید دانا), a Bahai from Shiraz, has been released on bail. Bail was set at 500 million rials (15,000 euros, 19,000 US dollars). Mr. Dana was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on August 5, along with Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh, Mr. Sa`id `Ebadi, and Mrs. Bahiyyeh Ma`navipour (ادیب حق پژوه، سعید عابدی، و یهیه معنویپور). Mrs. Ma`navipour was released on bail on September 18.

On September 9, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence broke into the home of Mrs. Wahideh Dana (وحیده دانا) [perhaps a daughter of Mr. Wahid Dana? ~Sen], also in Shiraz, and searched it. On September 1, Mr. Shahram Mansour ( شهرام منصور) and Mr. Farhad Sarafraz (فرهاد سرافراز) were detained in Shiraz and taken to Detention Facility 100 in the city. They are still detained, as are Adib Haqqpazhouh, Mr. Sa`id `Ebadi.

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September 23, 2014

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab beaten in prison, again

HRANA, September 24, 2104

On September 20, Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab (میاندوآب شهرام چینیان ), a Bahai shopkeeper from Tehran who is serving an 8-year sentence, was beaten as he was being taken to a judge because he refuses to wear the standard prison uniform. Prisoners of conscience in Iran generally do not wear the prison uniform. Mr. Chiniyan is held in block 1 of Rajai Shahr prison, which is reserved for dangerous prisoners. One of the other prisoners told HRANA that he was summoned to a judge outside the prison, in relation to one of the cases against him that has not been concluded. At the prison gates, the prison guards demanded that he put on prison uniform, which he refused. The guards beat him and stripped him. He was bruised in many places, and was later treated at the prison clinic because of the severity of his injuries. He was also beaten on August 19, by Mr. Amirian, one of the Deputy Directors at the prison, and a number of prison guards, and his clothes were torn.

Mr. Chiniyan was first arrested in March 2009 and released on March 3, 2010, after using his business license as bail. He was sentenced to 70 lashes and 8 years in prison on a charge of insulting Islam, and began serving his sentence, first in Evin prison in Tehran and then in Raja’i Shahr prison, early in March, 2012. On May 28, 2014, he was transferred to section 1 of Raja’i Shahr, where dangerous criminals are kept. He was punished with one week in solitary from June 25 to July 1, and four days in solitary on August 20, following his first beating by prison guards.

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September 20, 2014

First approval given for a youth training building at the Lotus Temple

Press Trust of India, September 19, 2014.

The Delhi Development Authority has given initial approval for the construction of a separate building for youth training on the grounds of the ‘Lotus Temple‘ in Delhi. These activities are at present conducted within the House of Worship itself. The application had previously been dealt with in the DDA’s technical committees. The Indian Government uses the Lotus Temple as a symbol of communal harmony. In April, 2014, it placed the Lotus Temple on the “tentative list” for UNESCO recognition as a world heritage site.

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September 19, 2014

Bahiyyeh Ma`navipour free on bail

Bahiyyeh-Ma`navipour
‘Fariba Kamalabadi’ (public figure facebook page), September 18, 2014.

Bahiyyeh Ma`navipour (بهیه معنوی پور), one of three Bahais arrested in Shiraz on August 5, has been freed on bail.

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September 14, 2014

Bahai home raided in Shiraz


HRANA, September 14, 2014.

On September 9, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence broke into the home of Wahideh Dana (وحیده دانا) in Shiraz, searched it for about an hour, and confiscated religious books, images and CDs. Ms. Dana refused to open the door, but after the agents had forced their way in, they showed a search warrant.

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Saqi Feda’i rearrested in Mashhad


HRANA, September 14, 2014.

Saqi Feda’i (ساقی فدایی), a Bahai from Mashhad, has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence and arrested. She was first arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on July 8 this year, following a raid on a Bahai religious meeting in her home on June 1. She was released on bail about one month later (her release has not previously been reported on Sen’s Daily, and the date and amount of bail are not stated in the HRANA report). Her mother, Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی), was arrested during the raid on June 1, as were two other Bahais from Mashhad, Dari Amri (دری امری) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی). These three were transferred from the Ministry of Intelligence facilities in Mashhad to Vakilabad prison on August 2. They have now been held for three months without trial or charge.

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September 13, 2014

Numerous excluded students give the lie to Larijani

MJLarijani
Editorial, September 13, 2014.

This year, as in previous years, Bahai high school graduates who have achieved the necessary passes in Iran’s nationwide university entrance examinations are being refused entry to universities across the country because of their religious beliefs. However this year they are being excluded without documentation: their educational records have the message “write to PO Box so-and-so” or “refer to PO Box so-and-so” in place of examination grades. This phrase, inserted in their educational records, amounts to a coded message for educational institution, which will be understood as saying, “this is a Bahai, do not admit him or her.” An example of this was given on this blog on August 4. A similar procedure has been followed where a student who is already enrolled becomes a Bahai or is discovered to be a Bahai: they are told to make enquiries at an office, where they are informed verbally that they have been expelled because they are Bahais. The example of Yalda Na’imeyan ( یلدا نعیمیان) was reported on this blog on September 7

Another innovation this year is that Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the Human Rights Council of the Judiciary, has publicly stated that “The authorities have never discriminated against the followers of the Baha’i faith merely based on being Bahais, as they believe that based on the Iranian Constitution every individual has the same rights and cannot be deprived of constitutional rights.” “Those who claim to have been deprived of studying at university due to being a Bahai” should “send your documentation for follow-up.” (Translated by Iran Press Watch) Any Bahai who did have such documentation, from previous years when expulsions were sometimes announced in writing, would be very foolish to send it to the “Human Rights Council.” That would be inviting a prison term. Resilient as always, the Bahai students and human rights organisations have been documenting and publishing the stories of individual Bahai students, providing irrefutable evidence for those able to access human rights web sites that Mr. Larijani is lying. They may not say “lying” in as many words (Bahais generally are polite to a fault), but that’s what it amounts to. There are too many stories for me to translate them all, but I am collecting the names and photographs below: click on the photograph for the source in Persian.

Anahita Etahadi
(آناهیتا اتحادی)

Noura Sabet
(نورا ثابت)

Tara Houshmand
(تارا هوشمند)

Shadi Shirazi
(شادان شیرازی)

Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh (روحیه صفاجو)

Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh
(روحیه صفاجو)


Dorsa Dehqani (درسا دهقانی)

Dorsa Dehqani
(درسا دهقانی)

Nilofar Mazidi( نیلوفر مزیدی)

Nilofar Mazidi
( نیلوفر مزیدی)

Sarmad Shadabi
(سرمد شادابی)

 

Dr. Mohammad Maleki (محمد ملکی), former president of the University of Tehran, and Muhammad Nourizad (seated) meet some of the excluded students (photo Radio Yek Jahan)

Dr. Mohammad Maleki (محمد ملکی), former President of the University of Tehran, and Muhammad Nourizad (محمد نوری‌زاد, seated 3rd from right) meet some of the excluded students (photo Radio Yek Jahan)

 

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September 11, 2014

Susan Tabyaniyan sentenced: 1 year in prison


PCED (facebook), September 11, 2014.

Susan Tabyaniyan (سوسن تبیانیان), a Bahai from Semnan who was arrested on May 31, 2014, has been sentenced to one year in prison. Her trial took place on August 7. After her arrest she was held for 45 days before being released on bail.

Mrs. Tabyaniyan, who has two small children, had a shop in Semnan until her arrest in April, 2009. In May 2010 she was sentenced to 18 months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership of a Bahai organisation. After serving almost 14 months in Evin prison, she was one of the prisoners granted clemency to mark Eid al-Fitr, on August 27 2011.

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Kamran and Kayvan Rahimian and Faran Hessami refused prison furlough unless they recant

ICHRI, September 10, 2014

The brothers Kamran and Kayvan Rahimiyan ( رحیمیان ) and Kamran’s wife Faran Hessami ( فاران حسامی ), all imprisoned for teaching in the Bahai Open University (BIHE) have been refused prison furlough unless they recant their Bahai beliefs and promise not to teach students at the Open University.

Mrs. Afagh Khosravi-Zand, Mother of Kamran and Kayvan and mother-in-law to Faran, said, “I have written to authorities many times but I have received no reply. Kamran and Faran have a five-year-old son and Kayvan has a 14-year-old daughter and, unfortunately, he also lost his wife to cancer before he was arrested. These kids are living with me now. But I cannot do enough for a girl who’s going through puberty and a small child.”

Under Iranian law, if a prisoner has served a third of his sentence and maintained good behavior, he can be conditionally released, Khosravi-Zand noted. “But it has been ten months since Kamran and Faran submitted their request for a conditional release and every time we followed up they said it is being reviewed. I guess these reviews go on until their term ends. But the officials have said they would be released as soon as they repent and promise not to teach. And [my sons and daughter-in-law] have replied that as long as you don’t allow Baha’is to study in national universities, we have no choice but to educate them ourselves. We don’t want them to be illiterate.”

Baha’is are one of the most persecuted religious minorities in Iran and are routinely denied admission to higher education in the country.

Khosravi-Zand said the three have not been given furlough since their imprisonment and none of the officials had given a reason why. Faran Hessami, Kamran Rahimian and Kayvan Rahimian were professors at the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, an online university, when they were arrested on September 13, 2012. Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court found them guilty of “assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security” for teaching at the Baha’i university and sentenced Kamaran and Faran to four years and Kayvan to five years in prison.

“Every Tuesday I take the five-year-old boy to see his father in Rajaee Shahr Prison and his mother in Evin Prison on Wednesdays. Also Kayvan’s 14-year-old daughter, Gina, goes to see her father in Rajaee Shahr every week,” she said.

Khosravi-Zand added that the three were not being represented by a lawyer of their choice, because upon hearing the name of the lawyer they had hired, the Judge threatened a stiffer sentence if they were represented by him.

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September 10, 2014

Shadi Shirazi, with top university entry grades, denied admission


Alliance for Rights of All Minorities-ARAM, September 10, 2014.

Shadi Shirazi (شادان شیرازی), a math student with top tier ranks in her entrance exams was denied admission to university because of her religious beliefs in Baha’i faith, according Taghato News. A decision of Iran’s Supreme Council of Culture and Revolution effectively calls for the exclusion of members of Baha’i faith from employment and opportunities for higher education. The third section of this provision calls for an immediate removal of the student at any point upon the revelation of their religious identity, including post registration or during the academic year.

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Another student expelled from University in Shiraz


PCED (facebook), September 10, 2014.

On August 19, Farnaz Rouhani ( فرناز روحانی), who has completed four semesters of study in English translation at the Azad (“free”) University in Shiraz, was expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. She began her studies in October 2012. Her efforts to pursue the matter have been fruitless. No evidence or reason for the decision has been given in writing. She was told to direct her enquiries to Tehran, but again received no answers, except that the decision was taken by the University’s central security office in Tehran.

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Concerns for the health of Sa`id `Ebadi, detained in Shiraz

Hawkesbury Gazette, September 10, 2014.

A cousin living in Australia has expressed concerns for the health of Sa`id Ebadi ( سعید عابدی), one of four Bahais arrested in Shiraz on August 5. Mr. Ebadi’s cousin, Houshidar Etehad said that with no information available as to his whereabouts and status, the incident had caused his whole family major distress. Mr. Ebadi has a wife and child in Shiraz.

“The government soldiers ran in, destroyed the house and arrested him because they found out he was part of the Bahá’í association in Iran,” Mr Etehad said. “I worry a lot about his health because he is going blind in both eyes. He needs proper treatment or else he will never be able to see again. To make things even worse, his wife is dying from cancer and I’m a million miles away while the family that I love is falling apart.”

“My family took him in when we were children because both his parents had died. We were raised together and he is the closest person to me other than my immediate family. I feel like a part of me is missing now, and there’s not a minute that goes by where I don’t think about what he is going through at the moment.”

On September 1, Mr. Shahram Mansour ( شهرام منصور) and Mr. Farhad Sarafraz (فرهاد سرافراز) were detained in Shiraz, so at least six newly arrested Bahais are being held at present. On July 22 it was reported that fifteen Bahais in Shiraz had recently been sentenced to terms of up to three and a half years. The lawyer representing them, Guity Pourfazel, stated that she has decided to challenge these sentences in a court of appeals.

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September 7, 2014

High bail set for three Bahais in Tehran; four remain in prison (correction)


PCED, September 4; HRANA, September 6.

(Corrected: three of the four detainees for whom bail was set have not been released as the bail is excessive)

On September 3, Branch 4 of the court at Evin Prison set bail for three Bahais arrested in Tehran: Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر ), Nasr `Arshi Moqaddam (ناصر عرشى مقدم), and `Ata’ollah Ashrafi (عطاء الله اشرفى). The family of the three detainees were informed by telephone from Evin prison that bail for Babak Mobasher and Naser Arshi Moqaddam was set at 25 billion Rials (700,000 euros or 938,000 US dollars), while 20 billion Rials (560,000 euros or 750,000 US dollars) was demanded for `Ata’ollah Ashrafi’s temporary release.

These three have been charged with “subverting the economy of Iran,” and “membership in the Baha’i community of Iran.” Their family cannot afford to pay the bail, which amounts to 2.6 million dollars, or almost 2 million euros. They are being held in block 209 of Evin prison, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence. Alaeddin Khanjani (علا‌ءالدین خانجانی), known as ‘Niki,’ is also held in block 209: there is no word about his condition.

On August 11, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided the home and optician’s shop of the Khanjani family in Tehran, and arrested Babak Mobasher, his father-in-law Alaeddin Khanjani, and four employees: Naser `Arshi Moqaddam, `Ata’ollah Ashrafi, Ruhollah Monzavi (روح الله منزوى), and Javad Salehi (جواد صالحى). Javad Salehi was reported to have been released when it was discovered that he was a Muslim. Ruhollah Monzavi was released on bail of 1 billion rials (37,000 US dollars or 28,000 euros.) Iranian media reported this as the smashing of a big spectacle-smuggling network, and said there were eight arrests, without giving names.

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September 6, 2014

Bahai student expelled from university in Miandoab


PCED (facebook page), September 7, 2014.

Yalda Na’imeyan ( یلدا نعیمیان), a student at the Payam-e Nur University in Miandoab, has been expelled from the university after five semesters of study because of her Bahai beliefs. Her expulsion took place on May 17, 2014, but has only just been reported. Her efforts to obtain a written statement of the reasons for her expulsion have been fruitless. The University branch in Miandoab referred her to the head office in Tehran. She could not obtain a written statement there either. However a worker at the head office in Tehran told her that the head of the Payame-e Nur University of Azarbayjan province expelled her because of her Bahai beliefs.

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September 2, 2014

Two arrests in Shiraz


HRANA, September 1, 2014.

On the morning of September 1, security forces arrested Mr. Shahram Mansour ( شهرام منصور) at his home, and transferred him to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Facility 100 in Shiraz. They also searched his home and seized some personal items. They arrested Mr. Farhad Sarafraz (فرهاد سرافراز) in similar circumstances and took him to the same detention facility. The reasons for the arrests are not known.

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August 30, 2014

Farhad Eqbali begins 5-year sentence in Gorgan


HRANA, August 30, 2014.

Farhad Eqbali ( فرهاد اقبالی ), a Bahai resident of Gorgan, reported to prison on August 27 to begin serving his 5-year sentence. Mr. Eqbali was one of about twenty Bahais, and some Muslims accused of associating with Bahais, who were arrested in Goran in November, 2012. His sentence was confirmed by the court of review on August 27, and he began his sentence on the same day, although the enforcement unit [of the Ministry of Justice] had asked for his punishment to be postponed because Mr. Eqbali has heart problems requiring advanced medical treatment.

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Special conditions for allowing Bahai burials in Semnan

HRANA, AUGUST 29, 2014.

The recent burial of a Bahai in Semnan, in the section of the cemetery reserved for Bahais, has revealed that new rules have been drawn up. The family of the deceased was required to sign a commitment to follow six rules. These stipulate that the Bahai gravestones may only show a name and the dates of birth and death, that the Bahais may not beautify the area around the graves with plants or build a wall around the Bahai cemetery, or erect new buildings around the facility where bodies are washed, that they may not have any words or images on the graves or in the cemetery, and that the Bahai gravestones must be level with the ground, without any raised portions.

[Although the discriminatory conditions are regrettable, they do allow burials in accordance with Bahai rites. The situation in Tabriz is much worse. The bodies of Bahais have buried by the authorities, without being washed and without coffins, in the town of Miandoab, about 160 km south of Tabriz. ~Sen]

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Ruhiyyeh Qavami-nik free on bail


HRANA, August 30, 2014.

Ruhiyyeh Qavami-nik (روحیه قوامی نیک), a Bahai from Karaj, was freed on bail on August 29. She was arrested on August 17, following a telephone summons to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence. When she complied, she was arrested, and transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran. She has a four-year-old daughter. The charges against her are not known.

[August 30, possibly related: a news site based in Karaj reports that an unconventional fashion show was held at a clothing outlet in Karaj, which was shut down (citing ‘inappropriate dress’ and ‘undermining Islamic teachings’) when a team of inspectors found the organiser was a Bahai.]

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August 27, 2014

One arrest in Semnan


HRANA, August 26, 2014. (updated)

Noushadhar Khanjani ( نوش‌آذر خانجانی), a Bahai from Semnan who was visiting family in Semnan, was arrested by security forces this morning. He has been interviewed by the Ministry of Intelligence several times in the past months, on various pretexts, and is presently free on bail and having provided a surety. His father, Afrasiab Khanjani (افراسیاب خانجانی ) has been subject to pressure from the security forces for some time, and has had much of his property confiscated, including a factory for making spectacles. The family have been told that Noushadhar will be transferred to Tehran tomorrow.

On August 13, Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر ) and Alaeddin Khanjani (علا‌ءالدین خانجانی), known as Niki, two more members of the Khanjani family, and some of their Bahai employees, were arrested in Tehran and have been accused of smuggling spectacles [!]. They are being held in Evin prison. Noushadhar Khanjani’s grandfather Jamalludin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی) is one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (Bahai national facilitators) who are now in the seventh year of 20-year sentences, and his cousin Navid Khanjani (نوید خانجانی) is serving a 12-year sentence for promoting equal access to education. Both are in in Raja’i Shahr prison. Fo’ad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی) and Behfar Khanjani (بهفر خانجانی) are serving 4-year sentences in Raja’i Shahr and Semnan prisons respectively. Leva Khanjani and Omid Firuzeyan, two more grandchildren of Jamalludin Khanjani, have recently been released from prison. [And all this effort by the judiciary, intelligence services and prison authorities serves absolutely no purpose: they are Bahais when they go into prison and they are still Bahais when they come out. Hats off to a most illustrious family! ~sen]

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-252

Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


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