Sen's daily

August 30, 2014

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


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]

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


June 19, 2014

`Adel Fana’ayan freed unexpectedly


HRANA, June 19, 2014

`Adel Fana’ayan (عادل فنائیان), a Bahai from Semnan, has been freed on parole. He was serving a six-year sentence in Semnan’s central prison, which he began on June 11, 2012, meaning that he served just one third of his sentence. He was charged with propaganda against the regime and undermining state security. This was his sixth period of imprisonment. The license of his business in Semnan has also been revoked.

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


June 17, 2014

Susan Tebyaniyan’s irregular detention continues


HRANA, June 17, 2014

Susan Tebyaniyan (سوسن تبیانیان), a Bahai from Semnan, was arrested 17 days ago in her home, and has been held since then, without clarification of her status, in Semnan’s central prison. She is being kept separate from the other female prisoners. An informed source told HRANA that there is a policy of keeping Bahai women separate from other prisoners, and Susan Tebyaniyan is the only Bahai woman held in that prison, she is being kept in isolation. She was detained on a warrant allowing 7 days detention, but after 17 days she has neither been freed nor taken to court.

Mrs. Tebyaniyan, 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 prison, she was one of the prisoners granted clemency to mark Eid al-Fitr, on August 27 2011.

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


June 1, 2014

Susan Tebyaniyan arrested in Semnan

susan-t-2
HRANA, June 1, 2014

Susan Tebyaniyan (سوسن تبیانیان), a Bahai from Semnan, was arrested in her home on the evening of May 31st. Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched her home, seized a computer and religious books and images, and arrested her. Mrs. Tebyaniyan, 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. She began her sentence in Evin prison on July 1st, 2010. After serving almost 14 months in prison, she was one of the prisoners granted clemency to mark Eid al-Fitr, on August 27 2011. susan-tebyaniyan

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


May 19, 2014

Golrokh and Shidrokh Firuzeyan free


Yaran-Iran (facebook), May 19, 2014

Golrokh and Shidrokh Firuzeyan (شیدرخ و گلرخ فیروزیان), who began serving 6-month sentences in Semnan’s central prison on January 8, 2014, have been released. They send greetings to their families and to the long-suffering Bahais of Iran, and hope for the freedom of all those who are imprisoned for no crime. Ardeshir Fena’eyan (اردشیر فناییان), who was arrested and tried with them, was sentenced to 8 months in prison. They were charged with various offenses, but eventually sentenced for “propaganda against the regime.”

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


February 20, 2014

Five Bahai youth in Semnan sent to military service

HRANA, February 19, 2014

In the past two months, five young Bahais in Semnan have been arrested and sent to military service, on the orders of a judge (or in a previous report, an assistant prosecutor) known as Mr. Zaman. HRANA states that the military call-up law had been disused for some years, and that its application to the Bahais has been initiated by the Ministry of Intelligence.

click the pen


Al Monitor: Attack on Baha’i family in Iran raises questions of immunity
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/iran-bahai-attacks-accountability-police-discrimination

The names of the young Bahai men sent on military service in this way are given as follows:

Erfan Ehsani (عرفان احسانی): at the time of his arrest, he was made to promise that he would serve in the military after completing his time in prison. he was sentenced to one year in prison, which he began serving on October 30, 2012. After his release on parole, he was drafted into the army although his wife and their baby were in prison.

Soroush Firuzayan (سروش فیروزیان): after his home was raided, he was arrested and sent on military service.

Ardeshir Fana’ayan (اردشیر فناییان) was serving a 9-month sentence in Semnan prison. On completing his sentence, he was sent to do military service.

Omid Pirasteh (امید پیراسته): presently doing his military service.

Na’im Hedayati (نعیم هدایتی): presently doing his military service.

Another Bahai youth, Avarakhsh Hedayati (اورخش هدایتی), was reported among the Bahai youths who were arrested in November, 2013, but has been exempted from military service.

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

January 28, 2014

Punished for complaining: Hadjabr Firuzeyan begins his sentence


HRANA, January 26, 2014

On January 25, Hadjabr Firuzeyan (هژبر فیروزیان) reported to Semnan prison to begin serving a 40-day sentence. He is the father of Golrokh and Shidrokh Firuzeyan (شیدرخ و گلرخ فیروزیان), who began serving 6-month sentences in Semnan prison on January 8, 2014. His name has also been reported as Hadjir Firuzeyan (هژیر فیروزیان) and on this blog as Hadjbar Firuzeyan. He complained of the physical abuse of Golrokh by a Ministry of Intelligence interrogator. During one of her interrogations, the interrogators were harsh. One interrogator stood behind her and pulled her against the back of the chair, leaving her with severe back pains and a bleeding nose. Mr. Firuzeyan informed the officer handling the case, the Prosecutor and the Chief Justice. When there was no response from them, he wrote to the President of Iran, detailing the treatment of his daughter, and also tried to present this letter to the President when he was visiting Semnan. [From the dates, it would appear this refers to President Rouhani, who promised that human rights would be respected in Iran but has not been able to improve the situation at all.] Mr. Firuzeyan was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence and held in solitary confinement for some time. He was later fined 12 million rials (350 euros, $US 480), which was confirmed on appeal, for defaming the head of the Semnan office of the Ministry of Intelligence, Mohammad Reza Hashemian (محمد رضا هاشمیان). He has chosen to serve 40 days in prison rather than pay the fine.

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

January 12, 2014

Three Bahais begin their sentences in Semnan

HRANA, January 10, 2014

Ardeshir Fena’eyan (اردشیر فناییان) Golrokh Firuzeyan ( گلرخ فیروزیان ) and Shidrokh Firuzeyan ( شیدرخ فیروزیان ) were arrested on January 8, without prior warning, to begin serving their sentences in Semnan prison. The Firuzeyan sisters face 6 month sentences, and were arrested in their home, while Mr. Fenayan faces an eight-month sentence. He was arrested in the street. All three were tried on August 21, 2013. They were charged with various offenses, but eventually sentenced for “propaganda against the regime.”

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

January 1, 2014

One release, three sentences reduced in Semnan

HRANA, December 28, 2013

Mr. Akbarpour Hosseini ( اکبرپور حسینی ), who has completed half of his 18-month sentence in Semnan prison, has been released. He was arrested on May 14, 2012, and was initially sentenced to 28 months, reduced to 18 months by the review court. He was summoned
to serve his sentence in Semnan prison on February 17, 2013. He was charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of the Bahai community. His optician’s shop was raided by security forces on November 29, 2012. The authorities not only confiscated his entire stock, valued at 2 billion rials (125,000 euros, 162,000 US dollars), he was fined 3.6 billion rials (225,000 euro, 293,000 US dollars) after a secret trial.

The review court in Semnan has reduced the 12-month sentence of Ardeshir Fena’eyan (اردشیر فناییان) to 8 months. Golrokh Firuzeyan ( گلرخ فیروزیان ) and Shidrokh Firuzeyan ( شیدرخ فیروزیان ) who has been sentenced to 9 months in prison have had their sentences reduced to six months. All three were tried on August 21, 2013. They were charged with various offenses, but eventually sentenced for “propaganda against the regime.”

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

Bahai student expelled from Semnan University

PCED, December 29, 2013

Two years ago, Nilisa Yahyahvi ( نیلیسا یحیوی ), a graduate in Persian language and culture, was barred from university studies with the excuse “file incomplete” — a euphemism used to disguise religious discrimination in Iran’s education system. In this academic year she again applied, and was admitted to a Master’s course at Semnan University. She attended classes until one week before her expulsion, when university officials asked for her BA diploma and a few day later, contacted her by telephone to ask some questions about her religious beliefs. She was then told that she was barred from further study at the University.

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

December 16, 2013

Three Bahai women and two babies freed from Semnan prison


HRANA, December 11, 2013

Zohreh Nik-A’in ( زهره نیک آئین ) who has been in prison in Semnan along with her baby, was released on parole on December 4. A week later, Anisa Fana’ayan ( انیسا فناییان ) and Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ), also imprisoned in Semnan (the latter accompanied by her baby), were released on parole. Zohreh Nik-A’in was sentenced to 23 months in prison by the revolutionary court of Semnan on June 22, 2012. She began her sentence on September 24, 2012. Anisa Fana’ayan was originally sentenced to 4 years and 4 months, reduced to 22 months on October 14, 2012. She began her sentence on January 12, 2013. Taraneh Torabi was arrested on February 20, 2011, and sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison on charges of “setting up and running an illegal group” on February 23, 2012. This was reduced to 20 months on July 1, 2012. She began her sentence, accompanied by Barman Ehsani ( بارمان احسانی ), aged six months, on September 24, 2012. On December 26, Barman was taken to hospital suffering from a severe lung infection. Late in 2012, the women’s block at Semnan prison was reported to contain 70 prisoners and a number of babies, crowded into 50 square meters, which did not allow enough beds for all prisoners.

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

November 21, 2013

Home searches and arrest of Bahai youth in Semnan

HRANA, November 21, 2013

Security agents have raided homes and arrested young Bahais in Semnan, under the pretext of enforcing the military service law. They carried a letter from someone called Zaman, an assistant prosecutor. They raided the homes of Bahais who sons are eligible for military service. After a thorough search and turning the homes upside down, they seized religious books, computers and personal items, arrested the young men and handed them over to the police. Those arrested were held for one day and released after signing a form that they would present themselves whenever they are summoned. At the time of writing, those arrested and released are known to include Ardeshir Fana’ayan, Awrakhsh and Na’im Hedayati and Saroush Firuzayan ( اردشیر فناییان، اورخش هدایتی، نعیم هدایتی و سروش فیروزیان ). One of the Bahais went to the Police Office to ask the reason for this procedure and was told that the military call-up law had been disused for some years, and that its application to the Bahais had been initiated by other agencies.

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

October 13, 2013

Sentencing for 4 Bahai youth in Semnan: father awaits sentence


Yaran Iran (facebook), October 13, 2013

Following their trials on August 21, 2013, Ardeshir Fena’eyan (اردشیر فناییان) has been sentenced to one year in prison. Golrokh Firuzeyan ( گلرخ فیروزیان ) and Shidrokh Firuzeyan ( شیدرخ فیروزیان ) have been sentenced to 9 months in prison. All three were arrested in Semnan in February and March this year, and they have been free on bail since April. They were charged with various offences, but eventually sentenced for “propaganda against the regime.”

Mr Hadjbar Firuzeyan (هژبر فیروزیان), the father of Golrock and Shidrok Firuzeyan, who had complained of the physical abuse (ie torture) of his children by the Ministry of Intelligence interrogators, is still awaiting sentence on a charge of spreading lies.

Behfar Khanjani ( بهفر خانجانی ), a Bahai from Semnan who has served three years of a four-year prison sentence for membership of illegal Bahai groups and attending Bahai prayer meetings and the 19th-day ‘Feast’ has been interrogated by the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan prison, and his sentence has been extended by one year for “propaganda against the regime.” Mr. Khanjani suffers from an incurable medical condition which is at an advanced stage, and his condition is fragile. He was arrested on January 6 2010, after a search of his home by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. He has also been the target of two arson attacks on his home using Molotov cocktails. He was among the Bahais who were pressured by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence for more than four hours on December 4, 2012, to give “interviews” for television. While he has been in prison, his sister and wife have also been interrogated.

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

September 6, 2013

Updates on Bahai prisoners in Semnan

Zendani Bahai (facebook), September 3

“Zendani Bahai” has published a review of the past year’s events for the Bahai prisoners in Semnan, which includes some information not previously reported here.

Elham Ruzbehi (الهام روزبهی), a Bahai from Isfahan who began serving her 2 year sentence in Semnan prison, with her baby, on April 27, 2013, was later transferred to Isfahan prison.

The trial of Mrs. Golrokh Firuzeyan ( گلرخ فیروزیان ), who was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan on March 12, and released on bail on April 25, was held about August 21.

Shidrokh Firuzeyan ( شیدرخ فیروزیان ) who was arrested on February 12, 2013, was later freed on bail (not previously reported here), and her trial was also held about August 21.

Sho`eleh Nurani ( شعله نورانی ), a Semnan Bahai whose case has not previously been reported, is said to be living in exile. Internal exile from one’s home province is sometimes imposed in Iran, following a prison sentence.

`Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ) from Sangsar in Semnan province, who began serving his one-year sentence on October 30, 2012, was later been freed on parole.

Mr. Nader Kaza’i ( نادر کسائی ), whose arrest and detention have not previously been reported, was freed in August.

The trial of Ardeshir Fena’eyan (اردشیر فناییان), who was arrested in Semnan on February 12, and released on bail on April 10, was held about August 21.

Mr. `Ali Ehsani (علی احسانی), who entered Semnan prison in September 2010, has apparently completed his term since he is reported to be living in exile. This was previously reported by the CHRR but not on Sen’s Daily. Mr. Ehsani was sentenced to two years in prison, two year’s exile in another city, and a fine of 5 million rials (about 333 euros).

There are presently eight Bahai men, three women and two babies in Semnan prison. It appears that the harsh restrictions on the Bahai prisoners have been somewhat alleviated, but their telephone contacts are still restricted, and they have no access to professional and technical training. Prison officials blame this on the the regulations of the Semnan organisation for professional and technical training [presumably, the organisation does not allow its teachers to have contact with "unclean" people ~Sen]. Also, prison furlough for aged and ill prisoners has been denied to some of the Bahais, and furlough which should have been granted under new prison regulations has been denied without reason.

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


August 11, 2013

Siamak Iqani released


PCED, August 9, 2013

Siamak Iqani (سیامک ایقانی ), a Bahai from Semnan, has been released from prison at the end of this three-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime and Bahai propaganda. He was sentenced on July 11, 2009, and began his sentence in Semnan prison on November 6, 2009. [So he has actually served 3 years and 9 months ~ Sen]. He suffered three respiratory attacks in prison, and was hospitalised in February 2011. During his term in prison he had 10 days of prison furlough, in June 2011. His wife, Anisa Fana’eyan (انیسا فنائیان ) was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months on charges of adherence to and teaching the Bahai Faith, reduced by the review court to 22 months in prison. She began her sentence on January 19, 2013. The couple have two young children, who were taken from them when Anisa Fana’eyan began her sentence. Their business in Semnan has also been closed down.

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


July 30, 2013

Manizheh Nasrollahi released from prison

Iran Green Voice, July 26, 2013

Manizheh Nasrollahi (منیژه نصراللهی), a 60-year-old Bahai from Semnan who has been serving a sentence of three years in Evin prison, was released on July 26, at the end of her sentence. She was arrested during a raid on her house on June 17, 2009, and taken to Semnan prison, where she was held for about 6 weeks before being released on bail. She was initially sentenced to three and a half years [or three years and 8 months: reports vary], on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership of the Bahai community. This was reduced to three years by the review court. She began her sentence in Semnan prison on February 27, 2010, and was transferred to Evin prison in Tehran on March 11, 2010. While she was in prison in Tehran, her aged husband had to travel back and forth to meet her and take care of administrative matters. Since she was held for about six weeks before her trial, and was imprisoned from March 2010 to July 2013 (inclusive) she has in fact served 3 years and six and a half months in prison [thanks to Alison Marshall for this observation~ Sen]
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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


May 27, 2013

Semnan province attorney blocks leave for Bahai prisoners

Asyabi
100 letters for freedom (blog, editorial opinion), May 25

There are numerous Bahais in prison in Semnan, including women with small babies and. in the men’s wing, some Bahais who have serious illnesses. Despite the help given by the General Manager of prisons in Semnan province, Mr. Arab, and the promise that prison furloughs would be granted to prisoners without regard to their personal beliefs, and despite the cooperation of the head of Semnan’s central prison and other prison authorities there, to allow prison furloughs for Bahai prisoners, Mr. Haydar Asyabi ( حیدر آسیابی ), the Provincial Attorney, has refused to allow it. He has even refused Bahais early release at the end of their prison terms. At the Now Ruz holidays, even Bahai prisoners whose medical records were presented, with a recommendation for therapeutic furlough, were denied any leave. In each case, reference is made to the Medical Officer for the prison, Mr. Shateri ( شاطری ) who has knowingly contributed to the oppression of the Bahai community in Semnan. He is responsible for treating all the illnesses in the prison, and the Attorney has relied on his opinion in refusing leave to the prisoners. However the prison regulations specify that it is the Provincial Attorney who is responsible. In some cases, the medical conditions of Bahai prisoners have been exacerbated by lack of timely treatment. The Provincial Attorney’s duties and freedom to act are very broad, and prison regulations and the criminal procedure stress the importance of the physical and mental health of prisoners, which raises the question of why Mr. Asyabi has not used this power to grant leave to the Bahai prisoners? Why has he participated in the oppression of the Bahais, without regard for the rules and principles of Human Rights?

Update, May 27: IOPHRI reports that Sufi prisoners in Evin prison are being refused medical treatment, unless they can obtain permission from the Ministry of Intelligence.

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

May 25, 2013

32 agents raid the home of one 85-year old lady


PCED, May 25

On May 23, 32 agents from the Ministry of “intelligence” in Semnan raided the home of Maryam Khanjani ( مریم خانجانی ) in Semnan. They searched the house and cursed and insulted those present. Mrs. Khanjani’s daughter, Golbanu Khanjani ( گلبانو خانجانی ), lost consciousness as a result. The agents departed when an ambulance arrived for her. Maryam Khanjani is the sister of Mr. Khanjani, one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran) who are serving 20-year sentences as prisoners of conscience in Raja’i Shahr prison. Mrs. Golbanu Khanjani is the mother of Omid Firuzeyan ( امید فیروزیان ), who is serving a sentence of four and a half years in Semnan prison.

All 32 agents are reported to have emerged from the day’s action without injury, except to their manhood.

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

May 18, 2013

Father and daughter freed in Semnan

HRANA, May 16

Gudarz Bidaqi ( گودرز بیدقی ) and his daughter Roufiya Bidaqi ( روفیا بیدقی ) have been freed from prison in Semnan, after completing their one-year sentences. Mr. Bidaqi was arrested in March, 2011, and sentenced in September 2011 to one year in prison and two years of exile from the province, on the charge of “propaganda against the regime through teaching the Bahai Faith.” His exile is expected to begin soon. [While this HRANA reports states his exile is for two years, other reports and those of his trial state it is for 3 years ~ Sen] Mr. Bidaqi is in his sixties, and has already served one term in prison for his beliefs, after the 1979 revolution. His daughter, Roufiya Bidaqi ( روفیا بیدقی ) was sentenced to one year in prison, on charges of propaganda against the regime and participation in Bahai activities. The family’s business has also been closed by the authorities.

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

May 5, 2013

Three women and a baby freed in Semnan


Zendani Bahai (FB group), May 4

Three of the Bahai women imprisoned in Semnan have been set free. Zhinous Nourani ( ژینوس نورانی ) was freed on April 30, after serving a one-year sentence. Neda Majidi ( ندا مجیدی ) was released on the same day. She was sentenced to a fine of 40 million 40 rials (2,600 euros; 3200 US dollars) or a six-month sentence. Apparently she was not able to pay the fine. At the time of her arrest she had a nursing child. She has been released one month early because of the poor health of her baby, Sourna ( سورنا). Shohreh Azimi ( شهره اعظمی ) was released on April 28, about 50 days before the end of her 8-month sentence for membership of the Bahai community.

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


April 28, 2013

Elham Ruzbehi and baby begin their sentence


HRANA, April 28

Elham Ruzbehi (الهام روزبهی), a Bahai living in Isfahan, reported to Semnan prison with her baby on April 27, to begin serving her 2 year sentence. She is the fourth Bahai mother who is serving her prison sentence with her baby. She was arrested, with several other Bahais, on March 12, 2011, following a search of her home and the seizure of some of her personal effects. She was pregnant at the time. She was freed on bail one month later. She was sentenced to 3 years of prison, which was reduced to 2 years by the court of review. She has been living in Isfahan for more than one year, but has had to go to Semnan prison.

The names of the Bahai prisoners in Semnan were recently listed (in Persian) by the Bahai Azadi blog, along with photographs of the women prisoners.

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


April 26, 2013

Ardeshir Fena’eyan free on bail

IOPHRI, April 25

Ardeshir Fena’eyan (اردشیر فناییان), a Bahai who was arrested in Semnan on February 12, was released on bail on April 10. He was held for 68 days in the Ministry of Intelligence facilities in Semnan. Bail was set at 50 million tumans (31,000 euros, US$41,000).

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


April 20, 2013

Faramarz Firuzeyan begins a 1-year sentence


PCED, April 19

On April 15, Faramarz Firuzeyan ( فرامرز فیروزیان ), a Bahai from Semnan, reported to Semnan central prison to begin serving a one-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime.”

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


April 16, 2013

Bahai women prisoners in Semnan face harsh conditions

HRANA, April 14

The conditions in Semnan Prison’s special wing for women where Bahai prisoners are held are unbearable. The food is very bad, and since glass was found in some of the food, many of the prisoners have refused to eat prison food. Since they are not allowed to buy food directly from the prison shop, and have to make generally inferior purchases of leftovers from the men’s wing, many of the prisoners go to sleep hungry. Among those affected by the poor quality of the food are three women with nursing babies. In this prison — the Central Prison of Semnan — prisoners are not separated according to the charges against them, so the Bahai women are held with thieves, drug addicts, murderers and foreign nationals. The Bahai prisoners also have to sleep on the floor of the common area, due to lack of space, which gives a sense of insecurity, especially for those with infants. Recently, on Children’s day, the Women and Children’s Protection Society distributed a grant for children in prison, but the Bahai women with children were not included, because of their religion.

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March 31, 2013

Bahai prisoners in Semnan under pressure

PCED, March 31

The pressure on Bahai prisoners in Semnan prison has been increased recently. The efforts of the prisoners and their families to raise the issue with prison officials and the Ministry of Intelligence have been fruitless. The Bahai prisoners are denied access to the prison yard, the library, the gymnasium, the prison shop, the telephone and are separated from the other prisoners. Great care is taken to see that they have no contact with other prisoners. The Bahais have been denied the right to telephone their families, on the orders of security officials. Many restrictions are applied in a discriminatory way to the Bahai prisoners, to an extent that their families describe as violating their human dignity and civil rights.

In the past year, more than 25 Bahais have served all or part of their sentences in the central prison in Semnan. The full text of this report lists their names and current status (in Persian).

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March 29, 2013

Behfar Khanjani denied adequate health care in prison

Sad Nameh ta Azadeh (blog), March 24

Behfar Khanjani ( بهفر خانجانی ), a Bahai from Semnan who is serving a four-year prison sentence there, has been struggling with a medical condition for some years, but the Prosecutor and state-appointed doctor have refused permission for him to receive treatment. His condition has been exacerbated by the stress of the past 2 years in prison, and the lack of a suitable environment there. He has been allowed only a few days of leave from prison, too short for an observable improvement in his condition.

Behfar Khanjani is serving a 4 year sentence for membership of illegal Bahai groups and attending Bahai prayer meetings and the 19th-day ‘Feast.’ He was arrested on January 6 2010, after a search of his home by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. He has also been the target of two arson attacks on his home using Molotov cocktails. He was among the Bahais who were pressured by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence for more than four hours on December 4, 2012, to give “interviews” for television. While he has been in prison, his sister and wife have also been interrogated.

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March 12, 2013

Golrokh Firuzeyan arrested in Semnan

HRANA, March 12

Golrokh Firuzeyan ( گلرخ فیروزیان ) has been arrested, after having gone to the court in Semnan on March 9. She has been handed over to the Ministry of Intelligence. She is from Semnan, but has been living in Tehran. For some weeks the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan has been holding her sister Shidrock hostage, and threatening the safety of her family in Semnan.

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


March 8, 2013

Four Bahai school children arrested in Semnan

Iran Daily Brief, March 7

In an unprecedented step, security agents in Semnan, with the approval of the Ministry of Education in Semnan, arrested four Baha’i students without the knowledge of their families. The agents went to two high schools in Semnan, Shahid Beheshti and Amir Kabir, and arrested four high school students in the middle of the school day: Sina Fenaeyan (سینا فناییان), Armin Allah Vardi (ارمین الله وردی), Ramin Amiri ( رامین امیری) and Yunes Khanjani (یونس خانجانی). The four were removed from school in the middle of a lesson, arrested and taken to Intelligence headquarters. They were held and interrogated for several hours and interrogated. They were asked to tell the interrogators whatever they knew about Ardeshir Fenaeyan (اردشیر فناییان), a Bahai who was arrested in Semnan on February 12. They were also encouraged with threats and promises to spy on the Bahais of Semnan. When the children did not return home from school, their parents went to the school and the school principal, after some evasion, told them what had happened. The children were released following their interrogation.

Persian source: HRANA

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February 23, 2013

Akbar Por-hoseini begins his sentence

HRANA, February 19

On February 17, Mr. Akbar Por-hoseini ( اکبرپورحسینی ) a Bahai resident of Semnan (a provincial capital in North-eastern Iran which is a particular hot-bed of anti-Bahai bigotry) was summoned to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence. He was charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of the Bahai community. He was initially sentenced to 26 months in prison on these charges, but this was reduced by the court of review. However this is the same Mr. Por-hoseini whose optician’s shop, as previously reported, was raided by security forces on November 29, 2012. The authorities not only confiscated his entire stock, valued at 2 billion rials (125,000 euros, 162,000 US dollars), he was fined 3.6 billion rials (225,000 euro, 293,000 US dollars) after a secret trial (trial in absentia).

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February 17, 2013

Taher Eskandariyan begins his sentence

HRANA, February 14

Taher Eskandariyan, a Baha’i resident of Semnan who has previously been sentenced to 3 years in prison, was summoned to Semnan prison to begin his sentence on February 11. There are now 8 Bahais in the men’s section of Semnan prison. This is Mr. Eskandariyan’s second prison term. In 2010 he served 6 months in prison, on charges of “propaganda against the regime” (free speech).

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Two arrests in Semnan


HRANA, February 13

On February 12, security agents went to the homes of Ardeshir Fanaeyan and Shidrokh Firuzeyan ( اردشیر فناییان و شیدرخ فیروزیان ), searched them and confiscated a computer and religious books and some photographs and personal effects, and transferred the two to the Semnan Intelligence Ministry headquarters.

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January 12, 2013

Anisa Fana’ayan summoned to begin her sentence


HRANA, January 12

Anisa Fana’ayan ( انیسا فناییان ), a Bahai resident of Semnan, has been summoned to Semnan prison on January 19, to begin her sentence of 22 months. She was charged with propaganda against the regime and participation in the Bahai administration. Her husband, Siamak Iqani ( سیامک ایقانی ) has served over 18 months of a 3-year sentence in Semnan prison. The couple have two children, aged 4 and 9.

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


January 4, 2013

Shopkeeper in Semnan fined heavily, stock confiscated

PCED, December 27

It was previously reported that security forces raided the home and optician’s shop of Mr. Akbar Por-hoseini (اکبر پورحسینی) in Semnan, and took his entire stock. He was arrested, along with Afrasiyab Subhani ( افراسیاب سبحانی ), and was later released on bail. The court has now sentenced him to a fine of 3.6 billion Rials (225,000 euro, 293,000 US dollars) and the confiscation of all his stock, for not having a “green card” (permitting the entry of goods through customs). [This is curious, as green cards are required for importers, to obtain the release of the goods at customs. It is not clear why the authorities would expect a retailer to have such a card ~ Sen]

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


January 3, 2013

Two prison babies transferred to hospital in Semnan (updated)


HRANA, January 2

Rosam Nik-A’in ( سام تبیانیان ), a 12-month old child who is in prison in Semnan with his mother, Zahra Nik-A’in ( زهره نیک آئین ), was transferred to Emir al-Mumenin hospital on December 18, suffering from a severe ear infection and fever. Zahra Nik-A’in had repeatedly asked for prison furlough so that he could be treated, but this was denied, although she was taken to the hospital for two brief visits, under guard. Latest reports (January 2) are that she has now been given 5 days leave to be with Rosam in hospital. She is serving a 23-month sentence for propaganda against the regime, participating in the Bahai “19th-day feast”, participating in Ruhi classes and organising morality classes for Bahai children.

On December 26, Barman Ehsani ( بارمان احسانی ), a child of 6 months who is in prison in Semnan with his mother Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ), was taken to the Fatemiyyeh hospital in Sangsar, suffering from a severe lung infection. His mother is serving a 30-month sentence for propaganda against the regime and participation in Bahai activities.

The women’s block at Semnan prison contains 70 prisoners, crowded into 50 square meters, and does not have enough beds for all prisoners. It is very cold in the winter (as now), which is dangerous for the 7 infants who are with their mothers in the room.

Update, January 8
: Zahra Nik-A’in and Rosam have been returned to prison, as their five-day furlough for hospital care has not been extended, although doctors had recommended that Rosam should have 20 days rest at home, away from the contaminations of the prison ward. A letter to this effect was sent to the Prosecutor’s office.

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Mona Majidi and child begin six month sentence in Semnan

HRIRAN, December 27

Mona Majidi, a Bahai from Sangsar, was arrested at her home on December 18, 2012, and taken with her infant to serve her six month sentence in Semnan Prison. Mona Majidi is the third Bahai mother with her infant in Semnan prison, joining Zahra Nik-A’in and Taraneh Torabi ( زهره نیک آیین و ترانه ترابی ), sentenced to 24 and 20 months in prison respectively, who began their sentences in July 2012.

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December 24, 2012

Puya Tabiyaniyan begins his sentence


PCED, December 24

Puya Tabiyaniyan ( پویتبیانیانا ) reported to Semnan prison on December 22, to begin serving his sentence of six years and six months imprisonment. He is charged with acting against national security and propaganda against the regime. He was one of a number of Bahais arrested in Semnan in February 2011, and was freed on bail after 23 days in prison. He has been imprisoned for his faith previously. In the winter of 2008-9 he was arrested, and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after serving 14 months in prison. He joins five other Bahais who are serving prison sentences in Semnan’s central prison.

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


December 16, 2012

Four prisoners in Semnan pressured for televised confessions


PCED, December 9

[Update, December 21. Reports indicate that the film crew concerned also attempted to persuade other Bahais, not mentioned in this report, to participate. A fuller report in English was published by Rooz on December 21]

Afshin Iqani, Siamak Iqani, Behfar Khanjani and `Erfan Ehsani ( افشین ایقانی، سیامک ایقانی، بهفر خانجانی و عرفان احسانی ) who are serving their sentences in Semnan prison, were pressured by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence for more than four hours on December 4 to give “interviews” for television. They were taken to the prayer room at Semnan prison at 8 a.m. (more…)

November 29, 2012

Bahai shop looted in Semnan

PCED, November 29

On the morning of November 29, security forces raided the home of Mr. Akbar Por-hoseini (اکبر پورحسینی) in Semnan, and then went to his optician’s shop and took his entire stock of glasses out of the shop. At the time the report was written, they were still busy looting the shop and loading the goods onto a truck. Mr. Por-hoseini has been sentenced to 2 years and 2 months in prison for his Bahai beliefs, and this sentence has been confirmed by the review court. This is the second time this year that his house and shop have been raided by security forces.

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


November 1, 2012

`Erfan Ehsani begins his sentence in Semnan


CHRR, October 31

`Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ) an Iranian Bahai from Sangsar, Semnan province, was arrested yesterday and taken to the Semnan Central Prison to serve his sentence, although he is still waiting to hear from the review court whether his sentence has been upheld. He was arrested on March 21, and later freed on bail. He was tried in Semnan on May 27, on charges of propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith. His wife, Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ) is already in prion, serving a 20-month sentence for her religious beliefs: their young child is in prison with her.

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Today’s featured link:
Baha’i woman’s testimony at the “International Tribunal for Iran” at The Hague


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October 29, 2012

Shohreh Azemi begins 8-month sentence in Semnan

HRANA, October 29

On October 22, Shohreh Azemi ( شهره اعظمی ) a Bahai resident of Semnan, reported to prison to begin serving her 8-month sentence. She was initially sentenced to 5 years in prison, on the charge of membership of the Bahai community. This was reduced to 8 months by the court of review.

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


October 21, 2012

Akbar Pourhoseini sentenced in Semnan: 28 months

HRANA, October 21

Akbar Pourhoseini ( اکبر پورحسینی ), a Bahai from Semnan, has been sentenced to 28 months in prison. He was charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of the Bahai community. The sentence is subject to review by the Review Court. He was arrested in May 2012, and released on bail some time later.

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


October 15, 2012

Sentence reduced for Anisa Fana’ayan


HRANA , October 14

The review court has reduced the sentence of Anisa Fana’ayan ( انیسا فناییان ), a Bahai resident of Semnan, from 4 years and 4 months to 22 months. She was charged with propaganda against the regime and participation in the Bahai administration. Her husband, Siamak Iqani ( سیامک ایقانی ) is serving a 3-year sentence in Semnan prison. The couple have two children, aged 4 and 9.

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


October 11, 2012

Update on prisoners of conscience in Semnan

CHRR, October 10

A half-yearly report from the Committee of Human Rights Reporters contains news of a Bahai prisoner in Semnan whose imprisonment has not previously been reported here. Her name is Rofia Beydaghi ( روفیا بیداقی ), and she has served 6 months of a one-year sentence. Her father is also in prison. The report lists 13 Bahai prisoner and exiles from Semnan, but omits to note that `Adel Fana’ayan ( عادل فناییان), so in fact 14 of the 19 prisoners of conscience from Semnan who are listed, are Bahais.

Full list of prisoners of conscience in Semnan

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


October 5, 2012

Sentences of three Bahais announced in Semnan

HRANA, October 4

Three Bahais in Semnan have had their sentences announced by the review court. Taher Eskandriyan ( طاهر اسکندریان ) was sentenced to three years in prison, Afrasayab Sobhani ( افراسیاب سبحانی ) was sentenced to one year, and the six and half year sentence of Puya Tabiyaniyan ( پویتبیانیانا ) has been confirmed.

Taher Eskandriyan was arrested on June 23. In 2009 he served a six-month sentence in Semnan prison. Afrasayab Sobhani was arrested on May 14 and tried on charges of propaganda against the system and membership of the Bahai administration. He has been free on bail since shortly after his arrest. He has already served five years in prison for his beliefs, in the 1980’s. Puya Tabiyaniyan was one of a number of Bahais arrrested in Semnan in February 2011, and was freed on bail after one month in prison. He has been imprisoned for his faith previously. In the winter of 2008-9 he was arrested, and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after serving 14 months in prison.

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


August 17, 2012

Two Bahais named in Iran’s Ramadan amnesty

Free Bahai Prisoners (FB Group), August 16

Among the 73 prisoners granted amnesty by Iran’s Supreme Leader on August 16, to mark Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan, were two Bahais, Mr. Sarang Etehadi ( سارنگ اتحادی ) and Mrs. Sadaf Thabetayan ( صدف ثابتیان ). Sarang Etehadi was awaiting trial and had recently been granted bail. He was arrested in Tehran on June 27, in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz that netted almost 20 Bahais. Sadaf Thabetayan ( صدف ثابتیان ), from Sari, is one of the Bahais arrested in the raids targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). She was serving a two-year sentence, which began on May 27 this year.

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


July 30, 2012

Zhinous Nourani and Roufiya Bidaqi accused of reporting prison conditions, and punished

HRANA, July 30

Zhinous Nourani and Roufiya Bidaqi ( ژینوس نورانی و روفیا بیدقی ), Bahai prisoners in Semnan central jail, have had their rights to communication and prison leave suspended. They began serving their one-year sentences on May 27 2012, and are being held in the general women’s block of Semnan prison, where HRANA reports that conditions are poor as more than 90% of the prisoners are serving terms related to drug use, and the facilities are crowded, with more than 70 prisoners in one room. Zhinous Nourani and Roufiya Bidaqi had been allowed a short leave from prison. On their return, they were charged with spreading lies and undermining public security. The prison disciplinary committee ruled that they could have no contacts (with family) until August 12, and no right to prison leave until September 22.

click the pen

Today’s featured link: Interview with Niknaz Aftahi, the first graduate in Architecture from the BIHE (underground university) in Iran.

They were given a statement saying that they had met with the opposition (i.e., HRANA) to discuss prison conditions, and they were forced to sign this. In fact, HRANA published its report on conditions in the prison while these two Bahai prisoners were serving their sentences (before they had prison leave).

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


===

July 28, 2012

Two Bahais sentenced in Semnan

HRANA, July 28

Nader Kesa’i ( نادر کسایی ), a Bahai from Semnan, has been sentenced to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith. He was arrested in February 2011, and released on bail in March 2011. He was later sentenced to three years in prison. He was arrested in the Summer of 2011, to serve his sentence in Semnan prison, but after 3 months he was released on bail because his sentence was overturned by the country’s supreme court. Now, he has been given a new sentence of one year in prison. His wife, Shohreh Azimi ( شهره اعظمی ) was also sentenced recently, to 8 months in prison.

In a separate case, Neda Majidi ( ندا مجیدی ) a Bahai from Mehdishahr (also known as Sangsar), in Semnan province, was fined 40 million rials (2,600 euros; 3200 US dollars). In November 2011, she was interrogated continually by the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan for one month, although she was pregnant at the time.

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


July 24, 2012

Two nursing mothers sent to Semnan prison


HRANA, July 24

Zahra Nik-A’in and Taraneh Torabi ( زهره نیک آیین و ترانه ترابی ), two Bahai mothers who have previously been sentenced to 24 and 20 months in prison, respectively, have been summoned to Semnan prison to begin serving their sentences, although both are breast-feeding infants. Zahra Nik-A’in was one of six Bahais arrested in Semnan on March 11 and 12, 2011, and released on an exceptionally bail on April 3.

Zahra’s child Rosam ( رسام ) is 5 months old, and Taraneh’s child Barman ( بارمان ) (pictured) was born one month prematurely, and is now just one month old. Given the limited space, and the lack of washing and feeding facilities in the prison, it is not a suitable place for caring for children. It is not clear what the children’s fate will be. The situation for Taraneh Torabi is particularly serious, because her husband `Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ) was arrested during the last months of her pregnancy, and has just been sentenced to one year in prison, and this along with the searches of their home and insulting behaviour of officials has not been good for her physical and mental condition.

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


July 23, 2012

`Erfan Ehsani sentenced: one year

HRANA, July 22

`Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ), a Bahai of Sangesar in Iran’s Semnan province, has been sentenced to one year in prison. He was arrested on April 21 this year, and held for some time before being released on bail. He was tried in Semnan on May 27, on charges of propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith. His wife, Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ) has also been sentenced to 20 months in prison. They have a child, aged one month.

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


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