Sen's daily

October 20, 2018

Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa and Nilufar Hakimi bailed in Shiraz

Gozar Net, October 18, 2018. –

Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) and Nilufar Hakimi (نیلوفر حکیمی) were released on bail on October 18. Mr. Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) was arrested in Shiraz on September 16, while Ms. Hakimi was arrested on October. On October 12, Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت), Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان) and Elaheh Sami`zadeh (الهه سمیع زاده) were also released on bail in Shiraz.

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

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October 19, 2018

Under pressure from security forces, Samsung subsidiary fires a Bahai

Iran Press Watch (from HRANA), October 18, 2018. –

Yazd security officials put pressure on the administrator of a Samsung subsidiary to fire marketing representative Sahar Rouhani on the grounds of her Bahai faith. An informed source told HRANA that Rouhani was already being commended by Samsung executives as one of the best employees in the company after working there for little more than a year.

Rouhani’s university photography studies were cut short for the same reason in 2009, the source added. “She was expelled from the university in the middle of the fourth semester, after paying full tuition fees, because of being Bahai.”

In August of this year, HRANA reported on the sudden and permanent dismissal of Bahai Shiraz residents Sabah Haghbin, Samira Behinayeen, and Payam Goshtasbi from their private companies. Their company’s executives, like those at Samsung, had been harried by security agents to fire them.

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

October 18, 2018

Sixth arrest in Karaj (updated)


Campaign to defend prisoners of conscience, October 17, 2018. –

On October 16, security forces in Karaj raided the home of Parvan Ma`navi (پروان معنوی), seizing various personal effects, and arrested Mr. Ma`navi. It is not known where he is being held. He is the sixth Bahai to be arrested in Karaj in the past month. An unconfirmed source adds that Mrs. Ilham Salmanzadeh (الهام سلمانزاده) was arrested in Karaj at about the same time, making seven arrests. Similar numbers of Bahais have been arrested in Shiraz and Isfahan, in what appears to be a coordinated action.

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

October 14, 2018

Baha’i spokesperson arrested in Yemen


BIC News, October 12, 2018. –

The spokesperson for the Bahai community in Yemen has been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. Abdullah Al-Olofi (عبدهللا العلف) was on his way to the market in Sana’a on 11 October when he was surrounded by armed soldiers in two pick-up trucks, blindfolded and taken away.

“This latest arrest is extremely worrying considering the recent intensification of persecutions against the Bahai community in Yemen,” said Diane Alai, Representative of the Bahai International Community to the United Nations.

[Update: informal sources suggest he was released three days after his arrest ~Sen]

Full report.

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

October 12, 2018

Three Bahai detainees bailed in Shiraz


Campaign to defend prisoners of conscience, October 12, 2018. –

Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت), Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان) and Elaheh Sami`zadeh (الهه سمیع زاده) have been released on bail in Shiraz. Bail was set at 150 million tumans each (31,000 euros ; $US 36,000). They were arrested in mid-September, along with a number of other Bahais in the city. Bail amounts are said to have been set for other Bahai detainees in Shiraz, but their release has not been implemented.

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

October 9, 2018

Ruhiyyeh Nariman and Farzad Delaram detained in Shiraz


Iranians Global, October 8, 2018. –

Mrs. Ruhiyyeh Nariman (روحیه نریمان) and her husband Farzad Delaram (فرزاد دلارام) were arrested in Shiraz on October 8, and their house has been searched. On July 30 I reported here that they had been summoned to begin their prison sentences within one month, but that was delayed as the couple appealed that they should not serve their sentences simultaneously, since they have two children. That appeal was denied, and it is likely that yesterday’s arrest is to begin serving their sentences, although the new search of their home and the recent arrests of other Bahais in Shiraz make other explanations possible. Books and computers were seized. It is reported that they were taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility, rather than to the city 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.

October 8, 2018

New arrest in Shiraz


Hamid Rezataghipour, October 7, 2018. –

Nilufar Hakimi (نیلوفر حکیمی) was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz on October 6, the latest in a series of arrests of Bahais in Shiraz.

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

September 28, 2018

Eighth arrest reported in Baharestan

HRANA (English), September 26, 2018. –

On Sunday, September 23rd, Saham Armin became the eighth Bahai to be detained by Ministry of Intelligence forces in Baharestan, near Isfahan. The agents searched his home before arresting him. I previously reported seven arrests on that day: Afshin Bolbolan (افشین بلبلان), Anush Rayneh (انوش راینه), Milad Davadan (میلاد داوردان), Farhan Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا), Bahareh Dhini-Sobhanian (بهاره ذینی صبحانیان), Sepideh Rouhani (سپیده روحانی) and Fuzhan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی).

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

Koroush Rouhani bailed in Shiraz

HRANA (English), September 26, 2018. –

Koroush Rouhani (کوروش روحانی), who was arrested in Shiraz on August 16, was on Monday, September 24th on 1 billion rials (approximately $6000 USD) bail, and now awaits trial. As of the date of this report, no further information is available on his charges or the reasons behind his arrest.

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

Nora Pourmoradian’s home raided


HRANA, September 27, 2018. –

On September 27, security forces raided the home of Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان), one of the six Bahais arrested in Shiraz in the past two weeks. They seized personal effects such as books and documents, and briefly arrested her father and mother.

Sixth arrest and a business closure in Karaj

HRANA, September 26, 2018. –

On September 25, Houman Khoushnam (هومن خوشنام ) became the sixth Bahai to be arrested in Karaj in the past 10 days. His business was also closed down by the authorities. The arrests of five Bahais in Karaj are reported here.

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

Bahai student expelled in Isfahan


Shahrvandyar (Facebook), September 26, 2018. –

Shaqayeq Shouqi (شقایق شوقی), a student of applied chemistry in her sixth semester of study at the Isfahan University of Technology, has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. She discovered she had been expelled on the last day of the term exams, when she found that her access to her student profile on the University’s web site was blocked, and there was no way to re-enroll for the coming semester. When she enquired with university officials she was told that she would have to pursue the matter with the national office of educational assessment. When she did so, officials said that they were sorry, and that she had done nothing wrong, but the system is based on regulations that bar Bahais from entering universities. She was not given any documentary evidence that she had been expelled, and officials have refused to return the high school certificates she submitted when she first enrolled unless she provides a form saying she has withdrawn from university voluntarily.

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

September 26, 2018

Two more arrests in Karaj: environment a common factor in 19 arrests


Shahrvandeyar, September 25, 2018. –

Following the previous report of the arrest of three Bahais at a meeting for environmental education in Karaj on September 16, it has emerged that two other Bahais there have also been arrested. The report does not say whether this was also on September 16. The additional detainees are Payaam Sha’baani (پیام شعبانی ) and Paymaan Ma’navi (پیمان معنوی). Those originally reported are Maryam Ghafarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش), Jamileh Parkrou (جمیله پاکرو) and Keyarash Salmanzadeh (کیارش سلمانزاده).

Although no charges have been laid, it appears that environmental activities are a common factor in the arrest of the five Bahais in Karaj, seven (or eight, but the eighth is unnamed) in Baharestan, Isfahan province, and six in Shiraz.

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

September 24, 2018

Seven arrests in Baharestan, near Isfahan

HRANA, September 23, 2018. –

Early on September 23, security forces arrested seven Bahais at their homes in Baharestan, a newly built planned city about 30 km south of Isfahan. Those arrested are Afshin Bolbolan (افشین بلبلان), Anush Rayneh (انوش راینه), Milad Davadan (میلاد داوردان), Farhan Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا), Bahareh Dhini-Sobhanian (بهاره ذینی صبحانیان), Sepideh Rouhani (سپیده روحانی) and Fuzhan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی). There is no word yet of where they are being held. One report suggested there were eight arrests, but this is not confirmed.

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

September 23, 2018

Student denied his diploma in Urmia


Hamid Rezataghpour (citing HRANA), Semptember 19, 2018. –

Mithaq Aghsani (میثاق اغصانی), an undergraduate student at the Payam-e Nour University in Urmia (Urumiyyeh), has been denied his Bachelor’s diploma and barred from further education because of his Bahai beliefs. His father is a veteran and war prisoner from the Iran-Iraq war, which, if he were not a Bahai, would give his son privileged access to university in Iran. The business of his father and grandfather have both been closed by the authorities for the past 14 months, because they are Bahais. They are continuing to work, on the footpath in front of their workplaces, in the heat of summer and cold of winter.

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

September 21, 2018

Bahai student expelled in Karaj, 58 excluded from enrolling

Adian Bashariyat (relaying HRANA), September 20, 2018. –

Anahita Horr (آناهیتا حر), a Bachelor’s student of architectural drawing at the non-profit Rasam University in Karaj has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. She was able to enroll in 2016 (around August), and has completed two years of study.

HRANA continues to monitor the number of Bahai students who have completed the University Entrance examination successfully, but are barred from enrollment because their Bahai beliefs are known to the Ministry of Intelligence. Thus far, this year’s total is 58. At about this time last year, 115 Bahai students were known to have been excluded at the gate, and in October 2016 the figure for that year was 129.

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

September 20, 2018

Three arrests in Karaj


Iranians Global, September 19, 2018. –

On the evening of September 16, security forces arrested three Bahais in Karaj, about an hour West of Tehran, and took them to Evin Prison in Tehran. They are Maryam Ghafarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش), Jamileh Parkrou (جمیله پاکرو) and Keyarash Salmanzadeh (کیارش سلمانزاده). Security forces raided a meeting for environmental education, held at the home of Ramin Sadeqi (رامین صدقی) and led by Maryam Ghafarmanesh (pictured). The officers seized all the cell phones, took the personal details of all those attending, and then searched the house, seizing a desktop computer and Bahai books and the ownership documents for the house. Then they went to Mrs. Parkrou’s house and seized mobile phones and computers and the ownership documents for the house. About 20 hours later Mrs. Ghafarmanesh reported in a telephone conversation that her bail had been set at 300 million tumans (61,000 euros; $US 71,000).

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

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi released unexpectedly in Yazd


Iranians Global, September 19. 2018. –

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی), a 60-year-old Bahai from Yazd who began his 18-month sentence on August 7 this year, has been released without warning, after serving just six weeks, as well as (presumably) recognition of time he spent under interrogation before his trial. Earlier sources said that his sentence was 12 months, but in either case his release is unexpected and early.

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

September 19, 2018

Bahai student expelled from Tehran technical college


Hamid Rezataghipour, September 19, 2018. –

Nikan Sheydan-Shaydi, a Bahai student in the third semester of an Intermediate study in moulding technology at the Technical College of Tehran, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. He began his studies in February 2017. He was summoned to the Institute’s security office [a branch of the Ministry of Intelligence] and asked why he had enrolled, since he was a Bahai? “There is no place for Bahais here, just like the universities.” However he was told that he could change the religion field in his student records, and continue with his studies.

In recent days the number of Bahai students who have just passed the University Entrance examination, and find they are excluded from tertiary education on the excuse of “incomplete file,” has risen beyond 50. In previous years the total has been above 100 each year.

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

September 18, 2018

Two more arrests in Shiraz


Iranians Global, September 17, 2018. –

Late in the evening of September 16, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت) and took her to the Ministry’s offices in Shiraz. She was arrested at a family gathering to prepare for her grandmother’s funeral. Earlier [on the same day?], Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان) was arrested. These two arrests bring the number of Bahais arrested in Shiraz in the past week to six. On September 15, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested three Bahais in Shiraz: Navid Bazmandegan (نوید بازماندگان), his wife Bahreh Qaderi (بهاره قادری), and Elaheh Sami`zadeh. There present whereabouts is unknown. A fourth Bahai, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) was arrested on September 16, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility 100 in Shiraz.

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

September 17, 2018

Trial of 24 Bahais begins in Yemen

Filed under: Bahai rights — Sen @ 22:30

Fuad Rajah, September 16, 2018. –

Houthi activists started the trial of several Baha’i families on Saturday. Fifteen men and 9 women are charged with spying for Israel, the U.S. and Britain. The report comes from Fuad Raja, a reporter in Sanaa, quoting Abdullah Al-Olofi, spokesperson for the Bahai community in Yemen.

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

Four arrests in Shiraz

Radio Zamineh, September 16, 2018. –

On September 15, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested three Bahais in Shiraz: Navid Bazmandegan (نوید بازماندگان), his wife Bahreh Qaderi (بهاره قادری), and Elaheh Sami`zadeh. Their present whereabouts are unknown. A fourth Bahai, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) was arrested on September 16, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility 100 in Shiraz.

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

September 16, 2018

More students excluded for their Bahai beliefs

Mahvash Zaeri, September 15, 2018. –

More Bahai students who passed the University Entrance examination with good marks have learned that they are excluded from tertiary education because the authorities — who according to the Constitution are not permitted to inquire into religious beliefs — know they are Bahais. The new names (in addition to those I listed yesterday) are Sahand Qa’emi (سهند قائمی), Faran Abbas-Pouli (فاران عباس پولی), Basiz Zayn-`Ali (?) Baghini (بصیز زینلی باغینی), Sadaf Mithaqi-Sisan (صدف میثاقی سیسان), Yahya Mousavi Tang-rizi (یحیی موسوی تنگ ریزی) from Karaj, Anita Rastegar (آنیتا رستگار), Nabil Bashi-Ardestani (نبیل باشی ارد ستانی), Tara Bahamin (تارا بهامین), Bita Chorkhzarin (بیتا چرخ زرین), Arman Golzar (آرمان گلزار), Pegar Sirusian (پگاه سیروسیان), Nariman Movafeq-Evali (نریمان موفقی ایولی), Nuna Qadiri-Nafarest (نونا قدیری نُفرست), Sayeh Aqa’i (سایه آقائی), Farhud Bashi (فرهود باشی) from Tehran, Parsa Shaykhzadeh (پارسا شیخ زاده), Foruzan Nuredel (فروزان نوردل) from Tabriz, Hadi Hedayat (هدي هدايتي) from Semnan, Sina Tala`i (سینا طالعی), Aryan Baqa’i (آرین بقایی) from Sari, Wafa Nobakht (وفا نوبخت) from Sari and Adib Rahmani (ادیب رحمانی) from Sari. This brings the total of the new cohort of Bahai students who have been excluded this year to 33.

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

Bahai student deprived of her Intermediate diploma


Tavaana (twitter), September 15, 2018. –

Sheqayeq Dhabihi (شقایق ذبیحی), a Bahai from Karaj who has completed her Intermediate year in Architecture at the non-profit Rasam University in Karaj, applied to receive the Diploma. However she was summoned to the offices of the national Educational Assessments Bureau, and told that, because of her Bahai beliefs, she could not be awarded the Diploma and would not be allowed to continue her studies.

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

September 14, 2018

Ten Bahai students excluded from education

Filed under: Bahai rights,Educational discrimination — Sen @ 04:03

Hamid Rezataghpour, September 13, 2108. –

As the academic year begins in Iran, reports show at least ten Bahai students who gained passing grades in the nation-wide University Entrance Examinations have been excluded from enrolling in a university or technical institute, with the excuse “incomplete file.” The names of the excluded students known thus far are Shamim Eydelkhani (شمیم ایدلخانی) from the Moghan [sic, مغان] in Ardabil Province, Farniya Ilyazadeh (فرنیا ایلیازاده) from Tehran, Parmida Hoseynpuli-Mamqani (پارمیدا حسینپولی ممقانی), Servin Adhar-Shab (سروین آذر شب) from Tehran, Parand Mithaqi (پرند میثاقی), Shahrzad Tirgar (شهرزاد تیرگر), Melina Qumi-Nik (ملینا قوامی نیک) from Tehran, Tarannom Mo`tamedi-Borujeni (ترنم معتمدی بروجنی) from Shahenshahr in Isfahan, Wahid Sadeqi-Sisan (وحید صادقی سیسان) and Shaqayeq Qasemi (شقایق قاسمی).

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

September 12, 2018

Five Bahais sentenced in Shiraz


Shahrevandyar (Facebook), September 11, 2018. –

Mr. Farhad Sarafraz (فرهاد سرافراز), Shahram Mansour ( شهرام منصور), Wahid Dana ( وحید دانا), Sa`id Ebadi ( سعید عابدی) and Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh (ادیب حق پژوه) have been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile by a Revolutionary Court in Shiraz. They were charged with propaganda against the regime and in favour of its enemies. They were tried in a closed court, and sentenced by Judge Sayyid Mahmud Sadati (سید محمود ساداتی). Their places of exile are, respectively, Jahrom, Eqlid, Arsanjan, Darab and Larestan.

Mr. Dana, Mr. Haqqpazhouh, Mr. `Ebadi, and Mrs. Bahiyyeh Ma`navipour (یهیه معنویپور) were arrested in Shiraz on August 5, 2014. Mr. Mansour and Mr. Sarafraz were arrested on September 1. Mrs. Ma`navipour was released on bail on September 18 and Mr. Dana on September 28, 2014. On October 21, Mr. Sarafraz, `Ebadi, Mansour and Haqqpazhouh were released on bail.

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

September 3, 2018

Sima Kiani released from Evin Prison


Payam-e Haqq, September 2, 2018. –

Ms. Sima Kiani (سیما کیانی), a Bahai resident of Shahr-e Rey (on the outskirts of Tehran), was released from Evin Prison in Tehran on September 1, after serving a one-year sentence on charges of “propaganda against the regime.” She was arrested by Security Forces for the first time on March 8, 2017 and was freed on bail of 200 million Tomans (equal to $US45,000) in early April 2017. The photograph I have chosen dates from that time. At the time of her arrest, all of Ms. Kiani’s Bahai books and images, articles, CDs, and her personal computer, were confiscated. On January 27 she was tried and convicted on the charge of propaganda against the regime, and sentenced to one year in prison by the Shahr-e Rey Revolutionary Court. She began her sentence immediately after the trial.

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

August 20, 2018

Bahai business closed by authorities in Kashan

HRANA, August 19, 2018. –

An optician’s workshop run by Javad Dhabihiyan (جواد ذبیحیان) in Kashan was closed by the local authorities on July 28, by the expedient of not granting it an operating licence, because the owner is a Bahai. The business was also closed for two weeks in April 2016, following instructions from the head of the Chamber of Commerce in Kashan, and was allowed to re-open when Mr. Dhabihiyan promised to obtain a licence.

In recent years the local departments of public places in Iran have closed down many of the small workshops and shops on which Bahais must rely for their income, since they are barred from employment in the civil service and in many economic sectors. Bahais are also barred from running businesses in sectors that involve contact with food or personal services, in line with a commonly held superstition in Iran, that Bahais are “unclean.” A peculiarity of Iran’s apartheid system is that the rules saying what kinds of businesses Bahais may not operate are kept secret, since such discrimination is contrary to various international treaties to which Iran is a signatory. It is not clear — to the Bahais and also to the local authorities in many cases — whether Bahais are permitted to work as opticians.

On May 19, 2015, Saham News published a copy of the previously secret list of sectors from which Bahais are banned, but by that time the list was already five years old, and incomplete. It does not mention optometry, but says that Bahais may not work in cultural, educational or financial institutions, and are not to be allowed to work in the sectors of periodicals, jewelry, watchmaking, print-making, tourist agencies, car rentals, publishing and bookshops, photography, film-making, internet gaming, computers, or internet cafes. They may not own printing works or hotels and other accommodation for travellers, or teach tailoring skills. The order then refers to the belief that Bahais are unclean, and requires the police bureaus to block them from restaurants, cafeterias and catering, food ingredients and foodstuff sales, takeaways (Iranian-style), cafes, butchers shops, supermarkets, the production and sale of ice-cream, fruit juice, soft drinks, pastry and sweets, and coffee.

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

Another Bahai student expelled in Tehran

Hamid Rezataghpour, August 19, 2018. –

Roumina `Asgari (رومینا عسگری ), an undergraduate student at the Tehran Central campus of Iran’s Free University, has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. She has completed four semesters of her degree. Unusually, she was informed of her expulsion in writing, the reason given was “abnormal social behaviour, efforts to undermine the order, peace and security of the nation.” Yet she has not actually been attending classes in the last 6 months, having taken a one-semester suspension of her studies.

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

August 19, 2018

Six Bahais arrested in Shiraz, three released (updated)

Filed under: Bahai rights — Sen @ 07:47


HRANA, August 17, 2018. –

On August 16, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested six Bahais in Shiraz and took them to Detention Facility 100. Those arrested are Pejman Shahryari (پژمان شهریاری) and his wife Dorna Esmaili (درنا اسماعیل), Houman Esmaili (هومن اسماعیلی) and Koroush Rouhani (کوروش روحانی), Negar Mithaqian (نگار میثاقیان) and her husband Mahbub Habibi (محبوب حبیبی). Negar Mithaqian and Dorna Esmaili were released a few hours later. Update: Houman Esmaili was also released on August 16, leaving three detainees in detention.

Dorna Esmaili is a Bahai student who was in the 7th semester of a degree in Graphic Design at the Eram non-profit private university in Shiraz when she was expelled in January, 2017. Negar Mithaqian was a student of computer engineering who was barredby the university during her enrollment, in 2009.

The other detainees have not previously been mentioned on Sen’s Daily.

Some reports have spoken of the arrests of 40 or more Bahais in Shiraz in recent days, but these reports have not been confirmed, and appear to be mistaken.

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

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