Sen's daily

August 8, 2020

Nine Bahais from Karaj receive one-year sentences


HRANA, August 6, 2020. –

The Revolutionary Court in Shahriar, which lies between Karaj and Eslamshahr on the Western fringe of Tehran, has sentenced nine Bahais to one year in prison for ‘propaganda against the regime.’ They are Mr. Keyaanush Salmaanzaadeh (کیانوش سلمانزاده), Mrs. Jamileh Paakrou (جمیله پاکرو), Mr. Paymaan Ma’navi (پیمان معنوی), Mr. Payaam Sha’baani (پیام شعبانی ), Mr. Parvan Ma`navi (پروان معنوی), Mrs. Ilham Salmanzadeh (الهام سلمانزاده), Mr. Houman Khoushnam (هومن خوشنام), Mrs. Neda Shabaani (ندا شبانی (بیوک آقایی)) and Mr. Soroush Agaahi (سروش آگاهی). They were arrested in September and November, 2018, and are at present free on bail. The trial was held on July 27, and sentences were announced on August 6. The trial judge was Judge Panahi (قاضی پناهی).

At the time of their arrest, agents searched the homes of some of these detainees and seized personal belongings, including books, computers, laptops and mobile phones. The business premises of some of them were also sealed after their arrest.

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

August 1, 2020

Volunteer firefighter barred in Shiraz, for Bahai beliefs


HRANA, July 31, 2020. –

Kiarash Mo`ini (کیارش معینی), a 19-year-old Bahai from Shiraz, has been expelled from the volunteer firefighters because of his Bahai beliefs. The head of his team in the fire department informed him of this in a meeting on July 25, and told him to return his firefighting uniform. The team leader said he was acting under pressure from the Security Department [This is not a department of the fire service, but rather the Ministry of Intelligence presence within the fire service, analogous to the Political Commissars in the Soviet Union.] Mr. Mo`ini has been a volunteer for about two years, and has gained proficiency certificates in training courses. The voluntary firefighters are an auxiliary, used in emergencies or to fight exceptionally large fires.

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

July 31, 2020

Yemeni Houthis free 6 Bahai prisoners

Associated Press, July 30, 2020. –

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Thursday freed six prominent members of the Bahai religious minority whose years-long incarceration on charges of espionage and heresy had drawn worldwide condemnation, their lawyer said. The release of the six came four months after the Shiite Houthis, who control most of northern Yemen and the capital, Sanaa, announced they had commuted the death sentence of Bahai leader Hamed bin Haydara and ordered his release, as well as that of the other five detainees. The six men were flown out of Yemen to Ethiopia late on Thursday, said bin Haydara’s wife, Alham.

“Today we feel joy after so much suffering,” she told The Associated Press over the phone, adding that she and her daughters were threatened and harassed by anonymous callers over the years of her husband’s detention. She now lives in Luxembourg with the children. “The sentence was unjust and the charges baseless,” she added.

Houthi judicial officials said the Bahais were required to leave Yemen as a condition of their release. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Bin Haydara was arrested in 2013 by the government of President Mansour Abed Rabbo Hadi, before the Iran-backed Houthis came to power. After the Houthis overran Sanaa, forcing President Hadi to flee and igniting a civil war with a Saudi-led military coalition, bin Haydara was transferred to a Houthi prison where he languished until Thursday.

A Houthi court sentenced him to death in 2018, prompting sharp criticism from human rights groups that decried the verdict as a sign of the Iran-backed Houthis’ systematic repression of religious minorities.

The Bahais have been particularly vulnerable to persecution and pressure to convert to Islam by the Houthis who consider Bahaism a heresy for its belief in a 19th-century Persian prophet and his revelation that departs from traditional teachings of Shiite Islam.

The other five Bahai members were arrested in 2017. Throughout their years in prison, all were tortured, barred from seeing their lawyers, denied access to medical care and placed in solitary confinement, according to the Bahi International Community. Bin Haydara was blindfolded, beaten, electrocuted and forced to confess to being a “destroyer of Islam” and spy for Israel, the community reported. He was sentenced to a public execution for his religious beliefs.

Their release followed months of international pressure this spring from the United Nations and rights groups, as the coronavirus pandemic surged across war-torn Yemen, raising fears of unchecked contagion in crowded Houthi prisons.

“We welcome the releases today yet remain gravely concerned,” said Diane Ala’i, a representative of the Baha’i International Community. “Bahais must be able — like all Yemenis — to practice their faith safely and freely.”

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

July 23, 2020

‘A moment of historic portent’ : the House of Justice writes to the Bahais of the United States


Editorial, July 23, 2020. –

The Universal House of Justice has addressed a six-paragraph letter to the Bahais of the United States, in relation to the effects of racial prejudice and the present possibilities for reform of the social order. It speaks of promoting race unity in the contexts of community building, social action, and involvement in the discourses of society, and of the profound immorality of racism. “Ultimately, the power to transform the world is effected by love,…

The full text is available in the documents archive of my Bahai Studies blog.

July 22, 2020

Yemen’s Houthis “stalling” on release of Bahais


Al-Mashareq, July 21, 2020. –

On March 25th, head of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, announced they would pardon and release the Bahai prisoners. The pardon came just days after the Houthi-run Court of Appeals in Sanaa upheld a death sentence handed down against one Bahai, Hamid bin Haydara, in January 2018. Abdullah al-Olafi, spokesman for the Bahai community in Yemen, said it is not clear why the detained Bahais have not been released. “The Houthis are stalling and promising to release them without taking real steps,” he told Al-Mashareq. “There are efforts being made by international organisations and appeals issued by a number of European foreign ministers calling on the Houthis to do what they announced they would do.”

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

July 21, 2020

Review court cuts sentences for 11 Bahais in Fars Province

HRANA, July 20, 2020. –

The Review Court for Fars Province (Shiraz) has sentenced Nilufar Hakimi (نیلوفر حکیمی) to five years and nine months in prison. In May, Judge Sayyid Mahmud Saadaati (قاضی سید محمود ساداتی), sitting in the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, had sentenced her to eight years in prison. Navid Bazmaandegaan (نوید بازماندگان) and his wife Bahreh Qaderi (بهاره قادری), Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت), Elaheh Sami`zaadeh (الهه سمیع زاده) and Noraa Pourmoraadian (نورا پورمرادیان) were sentenced to six years by Judge Saadaati: this has been reduced to two years and nine months. Ehsanollah Mahbub-Rahwafa (احسان الله محبوب راه وفا) was given a one-year sentence by Judge Saadaati, which the Review Court has changed to a fine of one million tumans (200 euros ; $US 240). All were charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of groups opposed to the regime.

Mrs. Sami`zaadeh has also been sentenced — in a criminal court — to one year in prison by Judge Fakhaarzaadeh (قاضی فخارزاده) on a charge of “misuse of scientific titles,” which refers to her studies at the Bahai Institute of Higher Education. In addition to the prison sentence, he added a 2-year suspension from holding all governmental and public jobs. This seems to be a bit of black humour on the part of the Judge: all Bahais in Iran are permanently barred from governmental and public jobs, and also from work in many economic sectors, and from tertiary education. According to this report, Nilufar Hakimi has also been sentenced to five years in prison by a criminal court, but the report does not give further details. The only additional charge against Mrs Hakimi that I know of, is one count of blasphemy.

In a separate story, HRANA reports that the Court of Review has given two-year sentences to Farhaam Saabet (فرهام ثابت), Farzaan Ma`sumi (فرزان معصومی), Shahnaaz Saabet (شهناز ثابت) and Soheila Haqiqat (سهیلا حقیقت). Mr Saabet and Ma`sumi were previously sentenced to five years in prison (with an additional one-year concurrent sentence), while Mrs Saabet and Haqiqat were sentenced to six years in prison, by Judge Saadaati. They were charged with “propaganda against the regime and membership in anti-regime groups. The report also says that Soheila Haqiqat faces additional charges, but that no details are available.

The same Review Court recently confirmed Judge Saadaati’s 5-year sentence for Shahryaar `Ataareyaan (شهریار عطریان).

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

July 11, 2020

Mehrdaad Mousavi Khoulenjaani begins 6-month sentence


HRANA, July 9, 2020. –

Mehrdaad Mousavi Khoulenjaani (مهرداد موسوی خولنجانی), a Bahai from Shahin Shahr, was arrested in that city on July 9 after being summoned by telephone to the office responsible for the implementation of criminal (i.e., not ideological) crimes. He was taken the central prison in Dastgerd to begin a six-month sentence on what are apparently ideological charges : “propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith.” Shahin Shahr and Dastgerd are both towns just north of Isfahan City.

On June 10, the Provincial Review Court for Isfahan Province, headed by Judge Seyyed-Javaad Mansouri ( قاضی سیدجواد منصوری)and Counsellor Mohammad Mohammadi Kalaal-Abaadi (مستشاری محمد محمدی کمال آبادی), confirmed his prison sentence.

Following a house raid and the seizure of personal effects in August/September 2018, he was summoned on November 27, 2018, arrested and taken to Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan. Some time later he was released on bail. He was acquitted [by the Review Court?] and the court ordered the return of confiscated items except those relating to the Bahai Faith.

However the Ministry of Intelligence then intervened to obtain a warrant sealing his place of business for “propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith.” On March 18, 2019, he was summoned, supposedly in relation to the return of confiscated items, and was again arrested — thanks to the intervention of the Ministry — on the charge. His case was then reopened.

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

July 7, 2020

Negin Qadamiaan granted early release


HRANA, July 5, 2020. –

Negin Qadamiaan (نگین قدمیان), a Bahai prisoner who began a furlough from Evin Prison in Tehran on June 9, has been informed by telephone that she has been granted early release and will not need to return to prison. She began serving her 5-year sentence for educational crimes in relation to the Bahai Open University (BIHE) on December 16, 2017, and was granted a medical furlough April 22 to April 27, 2019. She was arrested, along with many others associated with the Open University, in May, 2011. On March 12, 2013, she and nine other Bahais associated with the Open University were tried, in absentia in a closed court, by Judge Moqiseh (قاضی مقیسه), a notorious abuser of human rights, and of judicial procedures, who was responsible for the imprisonment of the seven “Yaran.”

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

June 24, 2020

Amin Dhulfaqaari free on bail in Yazd


HRANA, June 23, 2020. –

On June 23, Amin Dhulfaqaari (امین ذوالفقاری), a Bahai from Yazd, was released on bail pending his trial. He was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on May 21. He is expected to be charged with teaching the Bahai Faith.

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

In Birjand, Farid Moqadam-Ziraki sentenced to five years in prison


HRANA, June 21, 2020. –

A Revolutionary Court has sentenced Farid Moqadam-Ziraki (فرید مقدم زیرکی), whose name is also reported as Farid Ziragi-Moqadam (زیرگی مقدم), to five years in prison on a charge of “membership of the illegal Bahai organisation”, with a one-year concurrent sentence for “propaganda against the regime of the Islamic Republic.” (see Deutsche Welle for the breakdown of the six-year total sentence, omitted in the HRANA report). The court was headed by Judge Ja’far Islaam-Khwaah ( قاضی جعفر اسلام خواه). The defendant and his lawyer were barred from speaking or presenting a defence.

Mr. Moqadam-Ziraki was arrested on August 3 by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, who searched his home and seized his personal effects. At the time of his arrest, the accusation was “aggravating the economic sanctions against Iran” and “undermining national security.” He was interrogated by the Ministry of Intelligence for 26 days before being transferred to Birjand’s Prison. The Ministry evidently failed to find evidence to support the economic and security charges. On September 7 he was released after posting bail of 150 million tumans (32,000 euros ; $US 35,000).

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

June 22, 2020

Fariba Ashtari sentenced in Yazd to five years in prison


HRANA, June 21, 2020. –

The Revolutionary Court in Yazd has sentenced Mrs. Fariba Ashtari (فریبا اشتری) to five years in prison on a charge of “membership of groups opposed to the regime of the Islamic Republic,” with a concurrent sentence of one year for “propaganda against the regime and in favour of groups opposing the regime.” The court was headed by Counsellor Muhammad-Reza Dashtipour (مستشار محمدرضا دشتی پور). The ruling was dated June 20 and communicated to Mrs. Ashtari on June 21. This lengthy text says that the organisation of the deviant Bahai sect is not recognized in the Constitution and any Bahai activity at all constitutes a repudiation of the twelver Shiah school of Islam, of the Islamic Republic, and of the coming return of the 12th Imam … (paraphrased). In short, it draws on all the prejudices used to mark the Bahais as the “enemy within,” simply because of their beliefs.

Mrs. Ashtari (فریبا اشتری), an active Bahai and a psychologist, has already served a two-year sentence for her faith, from February 21, 2015 to January 13, 2017. She was arrested again in her home in Yazd on December 2, 2019, and bailed about two month later. During her arrest the agents seized a number of Bahai books, as well as computers and mobile phones. She suffers from a heart condition and had surgery twice in the year before her arrest.

Her husband Nasser Baqeri (ناصر باقری) and her son Fa’iz Baqeri (فایز باقری) have also been imprisoned for their faith in Yazd.

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

June 20, 2020

Review Court confirms 10-year sentence for Farouq Izadinia


HRANA, June 19, 2020. –

The Review court of Tehran Province, headed by Judge Ahmad Zargar (قاضی احمد زرگر), has confirmed the 10-year sentence Faruq Izadinia (فاروق ایزدی نیا ). The Review Court made its ruling on May 19, but it was not announced until June 19.

Mr. Izadinia is a Bahai scholar and translator. Using the transliteration system I have adopted here to indicate long vowels without any special symbols, his name is Faarouq Izaadinia (فاروق ایزدی نیا), but since his works are also published in the Latin script, he has his own preferred spelling.

Mr. Izaadinia was arrested when his home was raided at 10.30 a.m. on February 12, 2017. The agents confiscated some 1300 books, and some of his personal effects. He was released on bail about two weeks later. His trial in a Revolutionary Court was not held until mid-February, 2019. Mr. Izaadinia later described the process of his prosecution in an open letter which Iran Press Watch has translated. The judge was Judge Moqiseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای), a notorious abuser of human rights, and of judicial procedures, who was responsible for the imprisonment of the seven “Yaran.” Mr. Izadinia was charged with undermining national security by administering Bahai activities. The verdict stated that he had been and is one of the people influential and effective in organising Bahai activities, and mentions his work for the BIHE, the informal university that gives courses to some of the Bahai students who are excluded from tertiary education.

He has also been arrested previously for his religious beliefs, and served three prison terms, including being among those sentenced to death in the 1980’s, but this sentence was reversed and he was released after a five-year prison term. He has worked as a translator, and is know for his Persian translation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun, William Sear’s Thief in the Night, Moojan Momen’s a Short Introduction to the Bahai Faith and Madeleine Hellaby’s Death, Messenger of Joy. In his research work, he has contributed to locating the sources of the selections from Baha’u’llah’s works that Shoghi Effendi translated and published in Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah.

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

June 19, 2020

Five year sentence for Shahryaar `Ataareyaan confirmed in Shiraz


HRANA, June 19, 2020.

The Review Court for Fars Province has confirmed the five-year prison sentence of Shahryaar `Ataareyaan (شهریار عطریان), a Bahai from Shiraz. Mr. `Ataareyaan and his lawyer were not informed of the trial.

On October 29, 2019, agents from the Fajr Corps Intelligence Service arrested him and Poulaad Karami (پولاد کرمی) in Shiraz. A number of agents went to a home where Bahais were commemorating the birth of the Bab, and questioned and photographed those attending. They confiscated computers and mobile phones and numerous books and pamphlets, prayer books, and signs and pictures relating to the Bahai Faith. The Fajr Corps Intelligence Service announced the arrests publicly, explaining that it was in relation to the birth of one of the Bahai “leaders.” A Shia news service adds that it was a “secret ceremony,” which was raided to “counter the Israeli-backed sect and prevent them from realizing the ominous interests of foreign countries and reconstructing their espionage pyramid.” Which is to say, these Bahais had said prayers together. Mr. `Ataareyaan was one of eight young Bahais tried in a Revolutionary Court on May 10, 2020, on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership of groups opposed to the regime. The Judge, Sayyid Mahmud Saadaati (قاضی سید محمود ساداتی), gave him concurrent one-year and five-year sentences on the two charges.

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

June 18, 2020

Bahiyyeh Yalda’i’s sentence quashed in Shiraz

HRANA, June 17, 2020. –

Bhaiyyeh Yalda’i (باهیه یلدائی), a Bahai from Shiraz whose arrest, sentencing and imprisonment was not previously reported on Sen’s Daily, has been informed in the past week that she will not be required to complete her sentence. She was arrested in Shiraz around July/August 2018, by the cyber police unit, and was bailed some time later. She went through two trials: one in the criminal court, on in the criminal court which is normally closed to Bahais, and one in the ideological court, the Revolutionary Court. In the latter, the notorious Judge Saadaati ( قاضی سید محمود ساداتی) sentenced her to 5 years on the charge of “insulting holy things through internet activities,” with a [concurrent] one-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime.” The Provincial Review court acquitted her on the first charge, but confirmed her one-year sentence for propaganda against the regime. She began her sentence in January or February 2020, and was granted a furlough in March, in relation to the onset of the Corona pandemic.

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

June 17, 2020

Four detainees released on bail


HRANA, June 16, 2020. –

Naahid Na’imi (ناهید نعیمی), Didaar Ahmadi (دیدار احمدی) and Boshra Mostafavi (بشری مصطفوی), arrested in Rafsanjan on June 7, were freed on bail on June 16. Mahbubeh Mithaqiyaan-Dehqaan (محبوبه میثاقیان دهقان), a Bahai from Yazd who was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on June 1, was also bailed on June 16. She is on the left in the photo collage.

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

June 16, 2020

Sentence of Sahba Farnoush reduced to six years


Iran Wire, June 15, 2020. –

The Review Court for Tehran has reduced the sentence of Sahba Farnoush (صهبا فرنوش) from 16 years to six years. In January this year, Judge Emaan Afshaari (قاضی ایمان افشاری), in the Revolutionary Court, sentenced him to 16 years on the charge of establishment and membership of Bahai religious organisations, and propaganda against the regime.

Mr. Farnoush was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on November 15, 2015, and was freed on bail from Evin Prison in late December that year. Mr. Farnoush is one of 20 Bahais who were arrested in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad on that day. Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence also closed down Bahai-run businesses in the Province of Mazandaran. The Ministry of Intelligence actions apparently related to Bahais commemorating the birth of Baha’u’llah.

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

In Shiraz, the trial of 26 Bahais begins and is adjourned


HRANA, June 15, 2020. –

On June 15, the trial of 26 Bahais in the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz began, but was adjourned after three hours after the defence lawyer pointed to problems in the files supported the charges. According to the summons, issued on June 8, these Bahais were charged with “propaganda against the regime and in favor of groups opposing the regime, running groups opposing the regime, membership in these groups, propaganda activities for, and cooperation with, hostile states; links to states hostile to the Islamic Republic and [supporting] global arrogance, and implementing their plans, [all the above taking] the form of the Bahai organization in Iran.” In short, by being Bahais they are supposed to be guilty of all these things. Judge Sayyed-Mohammad Saadaati (قاضی سیدمحمود ساداتی) referred the case back to the Prosecutor’s Office for further and better investigations. The cases are already several years old. It appears that a Prosecutor who has declared his intention to “uproot” the Bahai community in Shiraz has been reviving prosecutions that had previously been dropped.

Those accused are :
Parisa Rouhi-zaadegaan (پریسا روحی زادگان), arrested September 28, 2016.
Esma`il Rusta (اسماعیل روستا), arrested July 16 or 17, in connection with environmental activism.
Bahareh Nowruzi (بهاره نوروزی), arrested September 28, 2016 or soon after.
Bhenam Azizpour (بهنام عزیزپور), previously reported as Behnam Azirpour (بهنام عزیرپور), arrested September 29, 2016.
Thamareh Ashnaa’i(ثمره آشنایی), previously reported as Thamar Ashnaa’i (ثمر آشنایی), arrested November 22, 2016.
Ramin Shirvani (رامین شیروانی), arrested on July 16, 2016.
Rezvan Yazdani (رضوان یزدانی) arrested November 22, 2016.
Soroush Eqaani (سروش ایقانی), arrested September 28, 2016. In this report he is named Soroush Eqaani-Soghaadi (سروش ایقانی صغادی).
Sa`id Hosna (سعید حسنی), arrested July 16, 2016.
Shaadi Saadeq-Eqdam (شادی صادق اقدم), arrested September 28, 2016.
Shamim Ekhlaqi (شمیم اخلاقی), arrested September 28, 2016.
Sahba Farahbakhsh (صهبا فرحبخش), arrested September 28, 2016.
Sahba Maslahi (صهبا مصلحی), arrested September 28, 2016.
Ahdiyyeh Enayati (عهدیه عنایتی), arrested September 28, 2016.
Farbod Shaadmaan (فربد شادمان), previously named as Farid Shaadmaan (فرید شادمان), arrested September 28, 2016.
Farzad Shaadmaan (فرزاد شادمان), arrested September 28, 2016.
Lala Salehi (لالا صالحی), arrested November 22, 2016.
Mazhgaan Gholaampour-Sa’adi (مژگان غلام پور سعدی), whose name has previously been reported as Mazhgah (مژگاه), arrested September 28, 2016.
Marjaan Glomaampour (مرجان غلام پور), arrested September 28, 2016.
Maryam Eslaami-Mahdiaabaadi (مریم اسلامی مهدی آبادی), arrested September 28, 2016.
Mahyar Safidi Miandoab [=Miaandou-aab] (مهیار سفیدی میاندوآب), arrested September 28, 2016.
Nabil Tahdhib (نبیل تهذیب), arrested July 16 or 17, in connection with environmental activism.
Nasim Kaashaani-nezhaad (نسیم کاشانی نژاد), arrested November 22, 2016.
Noushin Zanhaari (نوشین زنهاری), arrested July 16, 2016.
Varqa Kaaviaani (ورقا کاویانی), arrested September 28, 2016.
Yekta Fahandezh-Sa`adi (یکتا فهندژ سعدی), arrested 2010, again on February 3, 2012 (sentenced, but then acquitted by the Review Court), again on March 16, 2014 (sentenced June 16, 2016 by Judge Doctor Sadati (دکتر ساداتی) to five years in prison), again on March 16, 2014 (sentenced in December 2018 to ten years in prison by Judge Mohammad Mojtaba Rudijaani (قاضی محمد مجتبی رودیجانی)).

In March, 2020, they were informed of the pending trial and summoned to present their final defence.

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

June 14, 2020

Six month sentence for Mehrdaad Mousavi in Shahin Shahr


HRANA, June 2020. –

On June 10, the Provincial Review Court for Isfahan Province confirmed a six-month prison sentence for Mehrdaad Mousavi Khoulenjaani (مهرداد موسوی خولنجانی), a Bahai from Shahin Shahr. His arrest, trial and sentencing by the Revolutionary Court in Shahin Shahr were not previously reported on Sen’s Daily. He was charged with propaganda against the regime. The Review Court was headed by Judge Seyyed-Javaad Mansouri ( قاضی سیدجواد منصوری)and Counsellor Mohammad Mohammadi Kalaal-Abaadi (مستشاری محمد محمدی کمال آبادی).

An informed source told HRANA that, following a house raid and the seizure of personal effects in August/September 2018, he was summoned on November 27, 2018, arrested and taken to Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan. Some time later he was released on bail. He was acquitted [by the Review Court?] and the court ordered the return of confiscated items except those relating to the Bahai Faith.

However the Ministry of Intelligence then intervened to obtain a warrant sealing his place of business. On March 18, 2019, he was summoned, supposedly in relation to the return of confiscated items, and was again arrested — thanks to the intervention of the Ministry — on the charge of “propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith.” His case was then reopened. The source told HRANA that the agent from the Ministry of Intelligence who was in the court [in Shahin Shahr] acted aggressively towards him, and accused him of teaching the Bahai Faith to a court employee. On March 19, 2019, he was taken to the court to be charged and — the court being closed and the New Year holiday about to begin — he was transferred to prison in Isfahan. He remained there in solitary confinement until March 25 and then moved to the Quarantine facility, and finally to the prison’s “health block.” [Healthy prisoners? ~ Sen] On April 6, 2019. he was released on bail of 20 million tumans (4,200 euros ; $US 4,700). He was tried in Shahin Shahr and sentenced to one year in prison. This report then says that the Review Court acquitted him of the charge — but this must refer to the first charge against him because it also says that, on June 10 this year, the Review Court sentenced him to six months in prison.

His home was again searched, on March 19, 2020, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, and more of his personal effects were seized, as well as his daughter’s university diplomas from Iranian institutions [ which is remarkable ! ] and Standford University.

June 11, 2020

Six furloughed prisoners return to prison in Birjand, three granted extensions


HRANA, June 10, 2020. –

Sohrab Maaleki (سهراب ملاکی), Khalil Maaleki (خلیل ملاکی), Maryam Mokhtari (مریم مختاری), Saagher Mohammadi (ساغر محمدی), Simim Mohammadi (سیمین محمدی) and Shaida `Aabadi (شیدا عابدی) have returned to prison in Birjand at the end of a furlough that began in late March or early April. Three others, Behman Saalehi (بهمن صالحی), Firouz Ahmadi (فیروز احمدی) and Bijan Ahmadi ( بیژن احمدی) have been granted another 15 days of furlough for health reasons. These nine Bahais were initially sentenced to five years on the charge of membership of the illegal and subversive Bahai organisation, by a Revolutionary Court. The sentences were reduced by the Provincial Review Court to four years for Behman Saalahi, Khalil Malaaki, Bizhan Ahmadi, and Saagher Mohammadi; three years for Shayda Abedi, two years for Firuz Ahmadi, Simin Mohammadi and Maryam Mokhtaari, and three and a half years for Sohrab Maaleki.

Eight of the defendants were arrested in raids of 15 Bahai homes on the morning of October 21, 2017, but Shayda Abedi was arrested in Birjand on October 29. They were freed on bail individually, from November 18 to November 24. Although the nine Bahais were arrested on a Bahai Holy day (marking the Birth of the Bab), from the fact that so many homes were raided it appears that the Bahais had not gathered to celebrate the day, but were remembering the occasion separately in their homes.

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

June 10, 2020

Los Angeles Bahais’ statement on racism and this moment in US history

Filed under: Bahai community — Sen @ 13:14

From the Baha’is of the South Bay (Los Angeles)
[June 10, 2020]
______________________­­­­­­__________

The earth is one country, and all mankind are its citizens. – Baha’i Scriptures

Once more today, the United States finds itself in a moment when it must confront the racism of its past and present, and must find a way forward. We have seen these moments of reckoning before during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and so many times afterwards. Now, the violence and brutality of racial injustice has been forced to our attention again with the killing of George Floyd. Today we are confronting another crisis and another opportunity.

The foundational principle of the Baha’i Faith is the unity of all humankind. We stand for the elimination of prejudices of all kinds, against divisions and hatreds, against all claims of superiority based on race, religion, gender, class, beliefs, or relationships. For over 100 years, the Baha’i community in the United States has denounced racism and inequality in American life and has taught and worked for peace, amity, and reconciliation among all races. In 1912, the head of the Baha’i religion, visiting America, warned that black and white citizens of this nation must unite in love and harmony, and if they did not, the streets of American cities would run with blood. American Baha’is recognize that racism is the most vital and challenging issue that faces this country.

Since those years, laws have changed, government policies have been reformed, legal segregation has ended, and society has moved forward. Still, today we find that the explosive issue of racial inequality and racial injustice continues to divide the nation and peaceful demonstrators fill the streets in scores of American cities in every state. The remedy to racism must be pursued on political, social, and economic levels. But at its foundation, racism is a spiritual problem, it is a moral failure; it is a flaw of character, an emotional attachment to falsehoods, and a structural evil. Every American, therefore, must see racism as our foremost challenge. For many decades, the Baha’is of the South Bay have fought for racial equality, locally and internationally, with workshops and lectures, seminars and school programs, demonstrations, children’s classes, and public statements.

Baha’is state clearly that the problem of race relations in this country will not be solved until there is a profound change in the attitude of average white Americans toward their African American fellow citizens. Black and white Americans must embrace one another as equals, associate together without fear or hesitation, without resentment or condescension, as inhabitants of one world. The unity of all races must become the goal. Social justice and racial equality will follow from that.

As Baha’is, we grieve deeply for the loss of life and for the suffering of our fellow human beings. We call on all people of faith to look to the highest teachings of their own traditions to adjust their individual lives and to work tirelessly for a just society that rejects racism and demands full equality for all people.

June 9, 2020

Touraj Amini sentenced to 1 year in prison and exile


HRANA, June 8, 2020. –

Bahai researcher and author Touraj Amini ( تورج امینی) has been sentenced by the Revolutionary Court in Karaj to one year in prison and two years of exile from the city. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime,” although his books were cited as evidence, and they relate to the Qajar and Pahlavi periods, not the present regime. On August 4, 2019, security forces searched his home, seizing books and notes and a laptop. Mr. Amini was previously detained for a short time, in March 2008. His books include one on the role of religious minorities in the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911, “The Hidden Awakening” (رستاخیز پنهان), on the relationship between Iranians intellectuals and the Babi and Bahai Faiths, and a five-volume collection of source documents relating to the Bahais in Iran.

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

June 8, 2020

Three new arrests in Rafsanjan


HRANA, June 7, 2020. –

Naahid Na’imi (ناهید نعیمی), Didaar Ahmadi (دیدار احمدی) and Boshra Mostafavi (بشری مصطفوی) were arrested on June7, following raids on their homes in Rafsanjan. The security agents seized some personal effects including books, computers and mobile telephones. It is not known where they are being detained.

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

June 6, 2020

Scam version of Church and State free to download

Filed under: Bahai community,Bahai studies — Sen @ 20:34
Tags:

Editorial (a warning to readers), June 6, 2020. – What appears to be an internet forum called “hirawata3” has a nice chat among users about how to download my book Church and State, which is self-published as my Master’s dissertation. Apparently you can just click on a link and get it in pdf, epub and so much more … or maybe not. I haven’t shared any electronic version, the domain is in Russia, Hirawata3 exists as a twitter user but not as a forum, and the links on the page that should lead to the forum front page or sub-pages do not lead anywhere. I think this is a scam that will ask you to type in some information before downloading the supposed book. I think there is no “forum,” just this page, designed to look like a typical small forum discussion thread. I haven’t clicked on a link to see what happens — I’m pretty sure it would be unpleasant.

That’s me, bottom right, wearing a back pack and more hair than I have today.

Church and State is still for sale on Amazon, with a used copy for $US 25. It is on the Amazon best sellers list, right after #5,526,068, and stocks are limited. Get yours this century, or you may miss out.

Related content:
A compilation on Church and State
Church and State in Scripture

June 3, 2020

New arrest in Yazd: Mahbubeh Mithaqiyaan


HRANA, June 3, 2020. –

Mahbubeh Mithaqiyaan-Dehqaan (محبوبه میثاقیان دهقان), a Bahai from Yazd, was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on June 1. The agents searched her home and seized some of her belongings. It is not known where she is being detained.

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

June 2, 2020

Parvaneh Hosseini released in Yazd

HRANA, June 2, 2020. –

Parvaneh Hosseini (پروانه حسینی) was released from detention on May 31, one day after her arrest, reported with further details here.

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

Vida Haqiqi begins her sentence in Isfahan


HRANA, June 2, 2020. –

Vida Haqiqi-Najaf-Abaadi (ویدا حقیقی نجف آبادی), a Bahai from Najafabad, was arrested on June 1 and taken to Dowlatabad Prison in Isfahan to start her sentence. Mrs Haqiqi was one of 20 Bahais sentenced to long terms in prison in 2012, whose sentences were only confirmed by the Review Court in late April, 2014. The other 19 Bahais in this group have all served their sentences. According to this report, her sentence is on year in prison and one year’s probation, although a 2014 report said it was three years in prison and one year’s probation.

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

May 31, 2020

Two arrests in Yazd


HRANA, May 31, 2020. –

On May 28, security agents searched the home of Mitra Bandi-Amirabaadi-Baaghi (میترا بندی امیرآبادی) in Yazd, and seized some personal effects.

On May 30, they searched the home of Mrs. Heyva Yazdaan-Mahdiabaadi-Bahifar (هیوا یزدان مهدی آبادی) and the home of her father-in-law, in Taft County on the outskirts of the city of Yazd, and seized some personal effects. They arrested her, and also Mrs Bandi-Amirabaadi. It is not known where they are being detained.

In late November, 2017, Heyva Yazdan-Mahdiabadi was arrested for teaching music to children. She was at first held incommunicado by the Ministry of Intelligence, and then transferred to the central prison in Yazd. She was released on December 25, 2017. I have no record that Mitra Bandi-Amirabadi was previously arrested, but this report says that she was, and that both Mrs. Madhiabaadi and Amirabaadi were given suspended sentences which have since expired.

Other members of the Amirabaadi and Mahdiabaadi families have also been arrested and imprisoned in recent years. Among others, Mehraan Bandi Amirabaadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی) and Mehran Eslami Amirabaadi (مهران اسلامی امیرآبادی) were released in an amnesty for prisoners of conscience to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution. They were initially sentenced to 18 months in prison and one year of internal exile, reduced to 12 months in prison by the Review Court for Yazd Province.

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

Isfahan: two bailed, one arrested for illegal kindergarten

101417255_3098837113525157_8871617174544842752_o
HRANA, May 31, 2020. –

On May 30, Mr. Shahzaad Hosseini (شه زاد حسینی) (pictured) and his son Shaayaan Hosseini (شایان حسین) were released — apparently without bail [another report says “on bail”] — in the city of Khomeini Shahr, in Isfahan Province. The agents took them in a car to the Chamran Bridge and let them go, at about 4 pm. [This is not the procedure for release on bail ~ Sen.] They hailed a taxi and went to Mr. Hosseini’s home, and later went to Shaayaan Hosseini’s house. At 6.60pm, security agents went to the home of Shahzaad Hosseini where his wife Parvaneh Hosseini (پروانه حسینی) was alone, and not feeling well. They searched it again (it had not been raided since May 3, when Mr. Hosseini was arrested). They seized some personal effects they had previously missed, including a mobile telephone. They had an arrest warrant for Mrs. Hosseini, and said that the reason was that she had set up an illegal kindergarten class (or a gardening class! کلاس غیرقانونی گلشن). Mrs Hosseni telephoned her family and asked them to return. Shaayaan Hosseni came, and found a man and a woman [security agent] with his mother. Soon after, she was taken to the Accident and Emergency department at Al-Zahra Hospital, and at 8 pm the agents took her to the interrogation centre operated by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (the ‘pasdaran’).

See here for the report of the previous raids on this family, on May 5.

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

May 28, 2020

More from Shiraz: Farzaan Ma`sumi and Farhaam Sabet sentenced


HRANA, May 26, 2020. –

Farzaan Ma`sumi (فرزان معصومی) and Farhaam Sabet (فرهام ثابت) are the latest Bahais in Shiraz to be sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Sayyid Mahmud Saadaati (قاضی سید محمود ساداتی), with an additional but concurrent one-year sentence. They were charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of groups opposed to the regime.

They were arrested on the morning of February 12, 2017, when their homes were searched and religious and non-religous books, mobile phones and computers were seized, along with family photos and religious images. They were held at the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Detention Center (Detention Facility 100) in Shiraz, and were freed on bail on the morning of February 22. Bail was set at 200 million tumans each (59,000 euros ; $US 62,000). Farzaan Ma`sumi was again arrest on October 21, 2019, along with Kiaana Sho`aari (کیانا شعاعی) and Soroush Abaadi (سروش آبادی). It was later claimed that they were holding a religious ceremony that would eclipse the Arba’een Pilgrimage in Karbala.

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

Amin Dhulfaqaari arrested in Yazd


HRANA, May 26, 2020. –

Amin Dhulfaqaari (امین ذوالفقاری), a Bahai from Yazd, was arrested on May 21 and taken to the city’s prison. It is reported that the detention order specified that he would be held for one month, He is expected to be charged with teaching the Bahai Faith.

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

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: