Sen's daily

August 12, 2018

Pictures from a funeral

Editorial, August 12, 2018.

As previously reported, the ‘Golestan Javid’ (Bahai cemetery) in Kerman was closed by the judicial authorities on March 16 this year, preventing both visits to the graves and new burials. When an elderly Bahai man, Abbas Khalousi (عباس خلوصی), died on August 16, the authorities refused to allow him to be buried anywhere in Kerman, and held the body for four days before giving permission for him to be buried in a desert area near Rafsanjan, the capital of Kerman Province. The two cities are about 90 minutes apart. They summoned his son and told him to bury his father there, or they would take the body and bury him themselves.

The result was that, on the day of the funeral, a large motorcade of cars sped from Kerman to the place of burial, with other cars coming from Rafsanjan and other places, and a well-attended funeral was held. The authorities’ obduracy resulted in a highly visible event proclaiming the presence of the Bahais in the two cities, and making their oppression by the authorities visible to all. But it remains the case that the Bahais of Kerman are banned from visiting and caring for their cemetery, which will inevitably become overgrown before being seized by the authorities for profitable development by a regime insider.

The closure, destruction and vandalization of Bahai cemeteries has become common in Iran: many recent examples can be found on this blog by typing “cemetery” in the search box, or clicking on the category link “Burials and social matters.” For a discussion of the long history of symbolic violence directed at graves and bodies of Bahais and other in Iran, see Mehrdad Amanat, Set in Stone: Homeless Corpses and Desecrated Graves in Modern Iran (2012).

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Mehrdad Heyrani free after 3 months’ interrogation


Kalameh TV, August 11, 2018. –

Mehrdad Heyrani (مهرداد حیرانی), an elderly Bahai from Tehran, was released from Evin Prison today (Saturday) after three months’ interrogation. Bail is reported at 1.2 billion tumans, but should I think read 1.2 billion rials (the official currency unit), which is 25,000 euros or $US 29,000 at the current official rate. Mr. Heyrani was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on May 11, while he was at a friend’s house in Fardis, 45 km West of Tehran. The agents returned with them to his own home. They searched it and seized a computer, some religious books and other personal effects.

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

August 10, 2018

Two Bahais begin their sentences in Yazd

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi

Campaign for prisoners of conscience, August 9, 2018. –

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی), a 60-year-old Bahai from Yazd, was arrested at his workplace on August 7, to begin serving his sentence. His sentence (this report says it is 18 months, but my information is that it is 12 months, to be followed by one year in exile in Divandarreh) was recently reduced from the original three-year sentence by the Court of Review, but he had not been summoned to present himself to prison.

Other reports indicate that Mehran Eslami Amirabadi (مهران اسلامی امیرآبادی), who was sentenced to 18 months in prison and one year of internal exile in Saravan, presented himself to prison on August 8.

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

 

August 5, 2018

Nika Khalusi ends her prison term

HRANA, August 5, 2018. –

Nika Khalusi (نیکا خلوصی) has been released from prison in Mashhad at the end of her 5-year term. She began her sentence on April 30, 2014. She and her sister Nava (نوا خلوصی) were sentenced for “membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic.” Nava Khalusi, sentenced to four and a half years, was released on September 4, 2017. Their father, Manuchher Khalusi (منوچهر خلوصی) was released on July 31, 2017, at the end of a one-year sentence.

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

August 1, 2018

Three Bahais lose employment in Shiraz

Hamid Rezataghpour, July 31, 2018. –

In recent days, three Bahais in Shiraz have been dismissed from their employment because of their Bahai beliefs. Mr. Sahba Haqqbin (صهباء حق‌بین), a civil and structural engineer, his wife Samira Behinayin (سمیرا بهین‌آیین), a civil engineer, and Mr. Payam Gashtasbi (پیام گشتاسبی ), an accountant, had been employed by private companies in Shiraz. The were dismissed following instructions and pressure exerted by the security forces in Shiraz on the Directors of the companies employing them. Under Iran’s apartheid system, Bahais are not only barred from the civil service, they are not permitted to work in many sectors relating to personal services, because of a wide-spread superstition that Bahais are “unclean.” However engineering and accounting are not among the jobs barred to Bahais.

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

July 30, 2018

Ruhiyyeh Nariman and Farzad Delaram begin prison sentences


Shahrvandyar, July 28, 2018. –

In the last few days, Mrs. Ruhiyyeh Nariman (روحیه نریمان) and her husband Farzad Delaram (فرزاد دلارام) have been summoned to begin serving their prison sentences in Shiraz. The summons, sent via their bail agent, allows them one month to present themselves to prison. As previously reported, they were originally sentenced to five years in prison, but the Review Court reduced this to two years and six months for Ruhiyyeh Nariman and one year for Farzad Delaram.

They were arrested by agents from the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard Corps on October 3, 2016, not long after the arrest of 14 other Bahais in Shiraz on September 29. Their home was thoroughly searched. Ten days later, they were released on bail of 200 million tumans (approx. $US 63,600). They were tried in the Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی) on February 26, 2017, but their sentences were not announced until early in March, 2018. They were charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of illegal Bahai groups. They have two children, one a child and the other a teenager.

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

 

July 28, 2018

Bahai student expelled from University in Isfahan


Shahrvanyar (Facebook), July 27, 2018. –

Sarir Mauqen (سریر موقن) has been expelled from the Azad University in Isfahan because of her Bahai beliefs. She learned of her expulsion on May 23, 2018, just before the final exams, when she was told by telephone that her file was incomplete and she should go to the Office of Education. She later found that she was barred from the University’s web site. When she went to the Office, she was told “you are a Bahai and should not have entered the University.” She was also denied a certificate showing the grades she had achieved.

Ms. Mauqen began her studies in 2014, and listed her religion as “Bahai” in the registration form. When she was expelled she in the last semester of a Master’s degree in Architecture, having already gained 135 of the 145 study point required for the degree. She had not promoted her Bahai beliefs during her time as a student (a policy issued by the secretariat at the Bahai World Centre in 2015 states that there is no objection to Bahai students signing a pledge not to teach their Faith at university).

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

 

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi sentenced to one year in prison, one year in exile

Filed under: Bahai rights — Sen @ 02:00


Iran Press Watch (Persian), July 25, 2018. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 69-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, has been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in internal exile in Minab, 1700 kilometers from his home. he was charged with “propaganda against the regime.” The sentence was announced by the Review Court for Kurdistan province. He was arrested on September 8, 2015, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence who searched the home he shares with his wife Parvaneh Rahmani-Ra’ufi (پروانه رحمانی رئوفی). Four agents seized CD’s, books, pictures and other items relating to the Bahai Faith. They also arrested some non-Bahais who were present during the raid. His wife was arrested later, when their home was searched a second time on December 19, 2015. She has been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile, but the Review Court has not yet confirmed this sentence.

Mr. Ra’ufi was freed on bail six days after his arrest, but after his release some of his non-Bahai contacts were detained and lodged personal complaints against him.
One of these contacts, Mr. Muhammad Salahaddin Rashidiyan (محمدصلاح الدین رشیدیان) said that while he was detained at the Ministry of Intelligence office he was threatened with charges of apostasy, which carries the death sentence, but promised freedom if he lodged a complaint against the Bahais. He said that he knew of at least three others who were forced to lodge complaints against the Ra’ufi family in the same way. Their names are given as Entezar Rahimi (انتظار رحیمی), Mrs. Zhila Negahdar (ژیلا نگهدار) and Shahu Mohammadi (شاهو محمدی).

The arrests and subsequent efforts to fabricate a civil complaint against Mr. Ra’ufi appear to relate to the appeals of the Bahais in Sanandaj for officials to allow the burial of Mrs. Baji Muhammadifard in the Bahai cemetery in Sanandaj. Officials insisting that Mrs. Muhammadifar’s body should be taken to the Baha’i cemetery in Qorveh, approximately an hour and a half from Sanandaj. It emerged that this was part of a nation-wide policy under which Bahais would be buried in only one cemetery in each province of Iran.

Mr. Ra’ufi was previously arrested in 2009, and sentenced to 6 months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime, followed by 6 months in exile in Tuyserkan. He also served his six-month prison term in Tuyserkan. And in June, 2011, the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj conducted mass interrogations of the Bahais there, seeking information on how Sanandaj’s Bahai community is managed. One of those questioned was Dhabihullah Ra’ufi.

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

July 27, 2018

Two Bahais sentenced in Yazd, five others have suspended sentences

HRANA, July 26, 2018. –

The Review Court in Yazd has revised the sentences of seven Bahais. Five of them, who had been sentenced to one year in prison in the lower court, have been given 3-year suspended sentences:

Sorur Forughi Mahdiabadi (سرور فروغی مهدی آبادی), a 69-year old resident of Yazd who was arrested in Tehran on February 21, 2017, and released on bail in Yazd at the end of March.

Farzad Rouhani Manshadi (فرزاد روحانی منشادی), Ramin Hosuri Sharaf-Abadi (رامین حصوری شرف آبادی) and Ahmad Ja`fari Na’imi (احمد جعفری نعیمی) three Bahais who were arrested in the course of raids on Bahai homes in Yazd on January 18, 2017, when masked agents seized religious books, flash memory sticks and computers. They were released on bail on February 21, 2017. Muhammad-Ali Tadrisi (محمدعلی تدریسی), who was arrested in his home in Yazd on January 24, 2017, and released on bail on February 1, has also been given a 3-year suspended sentence.

Mr. Uzzatallah Kharram (عزت الله خرم), also arrested on january 18, 2017, was exonerated of the unspecified charges and has been released.

However Mehran Eslami Amirabadi (مهران اسلامی امیرآبادی) was sentenced to 18 months in prison and one year of internal exile in Saravan. Mehran Bandi Amirabadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی) was sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile in Divandarreh. Mehran Eslami will probably serve two years and a half years in prison, because of a previous case. He was one of 20 Bahais who were arrested in central Iran in August 2012, and was sentenced on charges such as “propaganda against the regime,” to one year in prison, which he has since served, and a one-year suspended sentence. This suspended sentence may be added to his new 18-month sentence.

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

 

July 19, 2018

Bahai student expelled in Kerman


Shahrvandyar (Facebook), July 18, 2018. –

Houman Emani (هومن ایمانی), a student of graphic arts at the Free University in Kerman, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. His expulsion occurred almost a year ago, but was not previously reported on Sen’s Daily.

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

July 18, 2018

Fataneh Nabilzadeh begins her sentence

Shahrvandyar, July 18, 2018. –

Fataneh Nabilzadeh (فتانه نبیل‌زاده), who has been sentenced to one year in prison for her association with the Bahai University (BIHE), was taken to prison in Mashhad on July 16. The BIHE is a distance-learning institute that offers education to Bahais, who are excluded from both state and private tertiary institutions under Iran’s form of apartheid. Educating Bahais is against state policies, although technically it is not against the law, since the policies are not published. On August 13, 2013, as part of a series of raids on the BIHE across Iran, security forces raided her home, searched it, and arrested her, along with two students who were taking an exam: her son Peyman Saraf (پیمان صراف) and Dayan Teymouri (دایان تیموری). The two students were bailed on September 5, but Mrs. Nabilzadeh was held for two months before being released on bail. In January 2018 she was sentenced to one year in prison for her educational activities.

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

July 15, 2018

Bahai student expelled in Karaj

Filed under: Bahai rights,Educational discrimination — Sen @ 22:10


Melliun Iran (citing HRANA), July 15, 2018. –

In May, 2018, Sogol Dhabihi Sissan (سوگل ذبیحی سیسان), a student of Graphics at Rasam University in Karaj, was expelled and denied certificates for the courses she has already passed, because of her Bahai beliefs. She was in the fourth semester of an undergraduate degree. She discovered that she had been expelled when the university’s site blocked her access, needed to obtain the entry card for term exams. When she followed up, she was referred to the national “Educational Appraisals Agency.” The Agency branch in Karaj refused to allow her to enter the building, but told her by telephone that she had no right to higher education because she was a Bahai, so she had been expelled. She was told to submit a request in writing, which she did. She returned to the office for further information four times over the following two months, without even obtaining a copy of her course results, and received no response to her letter.

Business closed and one arrest in Abadan


Shahrvandyar (Facebook), July 14, 2018. =

A sewing machine shop run by two Bahai brothers, Arman and Aram Azadi (آرمان آزادی و آرام آزادی) has been closed by the local authorities because of their Bahai identity and because they closed their business to observe a Bahai Holy Day. Aram Azadi’s wife, Nushin Afshar (نوشین افشار), has been arrested, and the operating licence of the business has been revoked. The brothers have run the shop for the past 38 years. Over the past 5 years, over 500 Bahai-run businesses have been shut down in Iran, in a policy of economic apartheid that also bars Bahais from the civil service and from private employment in many sectors of the economy.

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

July 10, 2018

Sheida Qoddusi granted prison furlough


Iran Press Watch, June 29, 2018. –

Sheida Qoddusi (شیدا قدوسی), who has served over a year of her 5-year sentence in Gorgan prison, began a 10-day furlough on June 27. She was one of about 20 Bahais who were arrested in Golestan Province in October, 2012, and later released on bail. They were tried by Judge Qanbari (قاضی قنبری). Sheida Qoddusi was initially sentenced to 11 years in prison, reduced to five years by the review court. She has two children.

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

July 8, 2018

Plot to seize property from a Bahai in Mahabad

Filed under: Bahai rights — Sen @ 23:21


Iran Press Watch (Persian), July 6, 2018. –

Saman Mithaqi (سامان میثاقی) is a 31-year-old Bahai living in Tehran, whose detention in Mahabad has not previously been reported here. He travelled to Mahabad over six months ago to sell his father’s apartment there, which had been used by a tenant. However the tenant, a Mr. Bakhtiar (بختیار ), had become a member of the Revolutionary Guards in the city, and refused to hand over the property because of Saman Mithaqi’s Bahai beliefs. Mr. Bakhtiar used his position to file a charge against Mr. Mithaqi and have him detained by the Ministry of Intelligence, leaving Mr. Bakhtiar in possession of the apartment. Mr. Mithaqi remains in detention, but has been offered bail if he will leave Iran and never return.

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

June 20, 2018

Sentences reduced for Ruhiyyeh Nahriman and Farzad Delaram


Shahrvand-yar, June 19, 2018. –

The Review Court has reduced the sentences of Mrs. Ruhiyyeh Nahriman (روحیه نریمان) and her husband Farzad Delaram (فرزاد دلارام), Bahais from Shiraz, who were initially sentenced to five years in prison for their Bahai beliefs. Ruhiyyeh Nahriman is now sentenced to two years and six month in prison and her husband to one year in prison. They were arrested by agents from the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard Corps on October 3, 2016, not long after the arrest of 14 other Bahais in Shiraz on September 29. Their home was thoroughly searched. Ten days later, they were released on bail of 200 million tumans (approx. $US 63,600). They were tried in the Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی) on February 26, 2017, but their sentences were not announced until early in March, 2018. They were charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of illegal Bahai groups. They have two children, one a child and the other a teenager.

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

June 16, 2018

Khodadaad Miri free on bail

Bazdasht, June 14, 2018. –

Mr. Khodadaad Miri (خداداد میری), who was arrested in Kermanshah by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on May 6, was freed on bail on June 13. He has been charged with making propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith. During his five-week interrogation period he was not allowed access to a lawyer and had only one brief telephone contact with his family, to inform them he was being detained. Mr. Miri is from Mazandaran, where he owned a bookstore, but he was forced by the authorities to sell it a few years ago, and then took his family to Kermanshah.

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

June 13, 2018

Town Mayor bans Bahais from buying land


Shahrvandyar, June 12, 2018. –

The Mayor of Sorkhrud, a town on the Caspian Coast, has issued a decree banning Bahais from buying or selling land of any sort. The instruction was contained in a letter addressed to all the town’s real estate agents. The Mayor’s name is Seyyid-Muhammad Mehdi Musavinezhad (سیدمحمد مهدی موسوی نژاد). He has recently been part of a campaign to ban pictures and quotes of ex-President Khatami from the Iranian media.

Bahai student expelled in Zanjan


Centre for Human Rights in Iran, June 12 (?), 2018. –

Soha Izadi (سها ایزدی), a student of Information Technology Engineering at the University of Zanjan, was expelled from the University on March 14, 2018 due to “being Bahai.” She had completed almost one year of studies, and was in the midst of the end-of-semester examinations when university officials contacted her to say they had received a letter from the “moral standards” section of the national “Educational Appraisals Agency” which meant that she could not continue education. She was removed from the student register and her access to the university web site was blocked. When she pursued the matter, the university officials told her the only way she could be re-admitted was to renounce her Bahai religion. An indication of how long this educational apartheid policy has endured in Iran is that both her mother and her father were also excluded from enrolling in tertiary education, using the “incomplete file” excuse (that is, the religion section did not say “Muslim” so the file was “incomplete”).

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

Soheil Keshavarz begins his sentence in Qazvin

HRANA, June 12, 2018. –

On June 9, Soheil Keshavarz (سهیل کشاورز), a Bahai living in Qazvin, was arrested and taken to Qazvin prison to begin serving his six-month sentence. He was initially arrested on December 20, 2016, when four security agents raided his home. On December 24, agents raided the home of his father, Sohrab Keshavarz (سهراب کشاور), and seized Bahai books and personal effects. Then they took him with them to the home of Soheil Keshavarz (who was still being detained — he was held for interrogation for 25 days), and searched it again. His bail, trial and sentencing was not previously reported on Sen’s Daily. This report does not specify the charges.

June 2, 2018

Abdu’l-Baha speaks – in bilingual format

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sen @ 08:20


My latest book is out, from Leiden University Press (click to order (please)).

It is 400 pages, most of them in bilingual Persian/English format. This is the third bilingual book in modern Iranian Studies that I have done, and the second for the Iranian Studies Series. The works in this volume are three of Abdu’l-Baha’s socio-political essays: The Secret of Divine Civilization, Selections from A Traveller´s Narrative and The Art of Governance. There is about 80 pages of introduction outlining the historical setting and the authors and actors that Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha knew. There are also translator’s notes on various textual issues, where a short footnote would not suffice, and an index.
(more…)

Bahai student expelled in Gorgan


Hamid Rezataghipour, May 29, 2018. –

Shakib Teymouri (شکیب تیموری), a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Gorgan University, was expelled on May 27. University officials excluded him from the university web site and from registration. The university refused also to document the Bachelor’s degree he had already achieved. He began his studies late in the autumn of 2014, and entered the Master’s course in 2016.

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

May 31, 2018

Neda Sabeti, Nooshin Afshar and Foroogh Farzaneh released


Kampaign, May 30, 2019. –

Ms. Neda Sabeti-Azadi (ندا ثابتی -آزادی), Ms. Nooshin Afshar-Azadi (نوشین افشار) and Ms. Foroogh Farzaneh (فروغ فرزانه ), Bahais living in Ahvaz who were detained by the Ministry of Intelligence in raids on their homes on May 6, have been released on bail from Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz. They were previously released on May 12, only to be summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office on May 13 and arrested again.

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

Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice confirms apartheid in education and employment

HRANA, May 29, 2018. –

Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice has formally confirmed that Bahais in Iran have no right to public service employment or tertiary education. This policy was set out in the 1991 “Golpaygani Memorandum,” drawn up by the Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council (ISRCC). The memorandum calls for Iran’s Bahais to be treated in such a way “that their progress and development shall be blocked.” It specifies that all Bahais should be expelled from universities; that they shall be denied positions of influence, and that “employment shall be refused to persons identifying themselves as Bahais.” The exclusion of Bahais from universities was reiterated by Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology in 2006. The latest court decision confirms that the 1991 policy remains in place: it cites the 1991 memorandum in confirming that Hanan Har (حنان حر), a Bahai student who scored well in the university entrance examination in 2016, and was accepted at a university in Babol, but was excluded because of his Bahai beliefs. In 2017 he appealed to the Court of Administrative Justice, which investigated and ruled that the appeal could not be processed because “Bahais are not only excluded from government employment, they are also deprived of the right to study.” The decision was communicated to Hanan Har in the past few days.

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

May 28, 2018

Shahnam Jadhbani begins his prison sentence

Mahvash Zaeri (Facebook), May 27, 2018.

Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) is reported to have been arrested in his home in Minudasht and taken to Gonbad to begin serving a sentence that may be as long as eleven years. He and his wife Shohreh Samimi ( شهره صمیمی ) were arrested in Minudasht in October 2012. Around the same time, 20 other Bahais were arrested in Golestan Province by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, acting without warrants. Many Bahai homes homes were searched, with the seizure of computers, books and family photo albums. They were initially given very long sentences, but these were all reduced by the review court to less than two years, except that review court did not at that time announce its decision on the cases of Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) from Minudasht and Shayda Qodousi (شيدا قدوسي) from Gorgan, who were sentenced to 11 years in prison. Mr. Jadhbani’s sentence may also have been reduced, in which case that will be reported within the next few days.

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

Kaviz Nuzdehi free in Mashhad


Mahvash Zaeri, citing Shahrvandyar, May 27, 2018.

Kaviz Nuzdehi ( کاویز نوزدهی ), a Mashhad Bahai, was released on bail on May 27. He was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on May 2, and has has previously served a two-year prison sentence, from July 2010 to June 2012. That time, the charges against him were propaganda against the regime, endangering national security, membership and activity in the Bahai Faith, etc. He has been the subject of speculation by Damavand News, which identified him as — probably — the unidentified Bahai whom the Deputy Prosecutor of Mashhad claimed was held for links to the Mujahedin (MKO, and organisation that has practiced and preached revolution and violence). Given that he has been released on bail after one month in detention, that identification now looks very unlikely.

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

May 23, 2018

Bahai in Mashhad said to be linked to Mujahedin

Damavand News, May 22, 2018.

Hasan Heidari (حسن حیدری), Deputy Prosecutor of Khorasan Razavi Province has claimed in an interview with the local website of Mashhad (capital of the Province) that an unnamed Bahai has been arrested in Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence, under a special judicial order referring to the “arrest of the leadership of the hypocrite terrorist organisation.” The term is usually Iranian code for the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MKO), which has advocated revolution and violence. Mr. Heidari said that the Bahai had been accused of collaborating with a political organization, and that “this individual had sought to provide broader grounds for activities to undermine security, by promulgating and misusing the demands of the industry guilds that are part of the Iranian system.” In other words, he was a worker’s rights activist. Iran has seen widespread worker protests, strikes and market shut-downs in recent weeks, and the tactic of connecting these to an external terrorist organisation and/or the Bahais may be a device to divert attention from the grievances of workers and small shop-keepers (who close their shops as a form of protest).

Damavand News, which reports this interview, expresses reservations that it has the whole picture, and the story as reported raises a number of questions. In the first place, did the Deputy Prosecutor intend to refer to the Mujahedin or is it hyperbole for the Green Movement? The accusation of “links to a political group” seems unusually mild if the Mujahedin was intended. In the second place, the only Bahai known to have been arrested in Mashhad recently is Kaviz Nuzdehi ( کاویز نوزدهی ), arrested on May 2. Damavand News cites a source saying that, given the timing, the reference can only be to Mr. Nuzdehi. But another possibility is that the Deputy Prosecutor did not have any specific Bahai in mind. Claims that a group of Bahais have been arrested for this an that – without specifics – are sometimes made by officials seeking to assure the public that they are doing their jobs by keeping the Bahais under pressure. Generally speaking, no specifics or trials follow from such claims. Reliable reports of the actual persecution of Bahais in Iran always comes from family members and associates, not from official statements, and contain names, dates and other specifics that can be checked.

May 22, 2018

Ministry of Intelligence bars Maku Bahai from keeping bees

HRANA, May 21, 2018. –

The Ministry of Intelligence in Maku has told Shahin Dehqan ( شاهین دهقان), a Bahai who has been working as a beekeeper for the past 17 years, that he must sell his hives within ten days, or he will be jailed and his hives will be confiscated. Bahais are barred from working in many sectors of Iran’s economy, but the rules are not published and new sectors are barred to Bahais periodically, giving the economic apartheid system in Iran the appearance of arbitrary oppression.

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

May 19, 2018

Pakistan announces a welfare grant and scholarships for Bahais

The News, May 19, 2018.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, has announced a grant of Rs500,000 (3600 euros ; $US 4300) for the welfare of the Bahai community, as well as offering scholarships to its students. He was speaking at a celebration of the Bahai festival of Ridvan, and expressed joy at the presence there of prominent personalities from other communities, including Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Parsi (Indian Zoroastrians).

While Bahai teachings do not allow the Bahai communities to apply external donations to their own religious activities, such funds can be used by the Bahai community for charitable purposes. The report does not explain whether scholarships are being offered specifically to Bahai students, or the Bahai community is being included among the eligible religious minorities. The state (not federal) minorities scholarships I researched are all income-tested as well as being targeted for minorities.

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

May 15, 2018

Three Bahai women in Ahvaz re-arrested


Hamid Rezataghipour, May 14, 2018. –

Ms. Neda Sabeti-Azadi (ندا ثابتی -آزادی), Ms. Nooshin Afshar-Azadi (نوشین افشار) and Ms. Foroogh Farzaneh (فروغ فرزانه ), who were detained by the Ministry of Intelligence in raids on their homes on May 6, and released on May 12, were summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office on May 13 and arrested again.

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