Sen's daily

November 13, 2018

Ten Bahai businesses closed in Ahwaz

Keyhan Novin, November 12, 2018. –

On November 12, officials acting on a court order closed ten businesses in Ahwaz that were run by Bahais. Some of them were also closed down by officials last year, and later allowed to reopen.

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

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November 11, 2018

Music schools shut down for allowing Bahais to teach

Ettelaat, November 10, 2018. –

Two childrens’ music schools in Shiraz have been shut down by the judicial authorities for allowing (employing?) Bahais to teach. The schools were not owned or run by Bahais, but Noraa Pourmoraadian (نورا پورمرادیان) and Elaheh Sami`zaadeh (الهه سمیع زاده), two Bahai women who were arrested in Shiraz in mid-September and freed on bail in mid-October, taught music to children there.

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

Body exhumed and dumped in Damavand


Iran Press Watch, November 10, 2018. –

Shamsi Aghdasi Azamian (شمسی اقدسی اعظمیان), a Bahai from Gilavand, a suburb of Damavand (in Tehran Province), was buried in Gilavand Bahai Cemetery on October 24. Four days later her body was exhumed by unknown individuals and abandoned in the deserts of Jaban in the suburbs of that city. No individual or institution has accepted responsibility, although security forces had told the Gilavand Bahais earlier that they had no right to bury their deceased member in Damavand and that they should perform burials only in Tehran. Gilavand Bahai Cemetery has been the Bahai burial place for many years.

Four days after the burial, in a phone call, police told Mrs. Azamian’s son that the body of his mother, had been found in deserts near Jaban in the Damavand district. A source close to the family said, “After the body of Mrs. Azamian was found, her son was told by security forces to transfer his mother’s body to Tehran. They then faced the son’s objection, since the distance between Gilavand and Tehran is more than an hour … according to Bahai law, the distance between the location of the death and the place of burial should not exceed one hour. As a result, two hours later, the agents carried away the body of Mrs. Azamian without the consent of the family to Tehran.”

A group of Iranian progressive intellectuals has issued a statement condemning this action.

This is not the first time Bahais in Iran have faced the demolition of Bahai cemeteries in various cities. HRANA earlier has reported on the destruction of graves and the closure of Bahai cemeteries by judicial and security authorities in the past several years.

Among Bahai cemeteries, one in the city of Kerman has been sealed since noon on March 15, 2018, by order of the Kerman judicial authorities, and the burial of deceased Bahais has been prevented.

Also, on July 14, 2016, Ghorveh Bahai cemetery, in the province of Kurdistan, was destroyed by government agents.

On December 12, 2013, after confirmation of a court order in Sanandaj and confiscation of the land belonging to the Bahais which had been used as a cemetery, the site was demolished by a bulldozer.

In March 2014, the Bahai cemetery in Ahwaz was closed, and the alley leading to it was blocked by heavy cement blocks. No organization has accepted responsibility for this action.

Also, in the middle of December 2012, Sangesar’s old Bahai cemetery was thoroughly covered in soil and rubble by bulldozers and trucks, and all the graves were covered by dirt and rocks, so that no more graves could be seen.

Since August 2011, the Bahai community of Tabriz has not been allowed to bury their dead in this city, and their bodies are being transferred by intelligence officers to the city of Miyandoab, in West Azerbaijan Province.

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

November 6, 2018

Pejman Shahryari and Mahbub Habibi bailed in Shiraz, City Counselor still detained

Campaign for Prisoners of Conscience, November 5, 2018. –

Pejman Shahryari (پژمان شهریاری) and Mahbub Habibi (محبوب حبیبی), two of the six Bahais who were arrested in Shiraz on August 16, were released on bail on November 5. Two of those detainees, Dorna Esmaili (درنا اسماعیل)and Houman Esmaili (هومن اسماعیلی) were ‘temporarily’ released (i.e., without bail) after a few hours interrogation at the Ministry of Intelligence “Facility 100.” Negar Mithaqian (نگار میثاقیان) was also released, although her name is missing in the “Campaign” report. Mr. Koroush Rouhani (کوروش روحانی), who owns the garden where the six were arrested, was released on bail on September 24.

Another six Bahais were arrested in Shiraz three weeks earlier. On September 15, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested three Bahais in Shiraz: Navid Bazmaandegaan (نوید بازماندگان), his wife Bahaareh Qaaderi (بهاره قادری), and Elaheh Sami`zadeh. On the following day, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) and Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت) were arrested. Noraa Pourmoraadian (نورا پورمرادیان) was also arrested, on either the 15th or 16th of September.

The case of the September six drew national attention because a Shiraz city Counselor, Mehdi Haajati (مهدی حاجتی) made efforts for the release of Navid Bazmaandegaan and Bahaareh Qaaderi, and was himself arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence on September 27 and accused of defending the “false Bahai Faith.” He had twittered that “our generation has a duty to reform the judicial and other procedures that endanger social justice.” According to this report, he remains in detention although bail has been set at 50 million tumans. An earlier report that he was released on bail of 200 million tomans ($47,500 USD) appears to have been incorrect. He has since been put under judicial supervision for six months and banned from his seat on the Council. Some Council members who came to Haajati’s defense have also received warnings, according to Nozar Emami, one of the 10 members (of the 13-member Council) who called for Haajati’s release.

November 1, 2018

Saqi Feda’i and Mey Khalusi begin sentences in Mashhad


Campaign for prisoners of conscience, November 1, 2018.

Saqi Feda’i (ساقی فدایی) and her mother Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی) began one-year prison sentences in Mashhad on October 31. They were charged with “propaganda against the regime.” They were arrested, along with two other Bahais, in a raid on a Bahai religious meeting in Saqi Feda’i’s home on June 1, 2014. During the raid some religious books were seized.

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

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi begins jail sentence in Sanandaj


Campaign for prisoners of conscience, October 31, 2018. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 70-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, has begun his sentence of one year in prison and one year in internal exile in Minab, 1700 kilometers from his home. 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 also been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile.

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. Mr. Ra’ufi was eventually charged with “propaganda against the regime.”

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.

October 30, 2018

Five detainees bailed in Karaj

Sarkhat, October 30, 2018. –

Jamileh Paakrou (جمیله پاکرو), Paymaan Ma’navi (پیمان معنوی), Payaam Sha’baani (پیام شعبانی )and Keyaarash Salmaanzaadeh (کیارش سلمانزاده) (here reported as Keyaanush Salmaanzaadeh (کیانوش سلمانزاده)), who were arrested in Karaj on September 16, have been released on bail. Another report states that Houman Khoushnaam (هومن خوشنام ), arrested on September 25, has also been bailed, for 300 million tumans (63,000 euros ; $US 71,000). At the time of his arrest, his business in Karaj was also closed. During his time in detention, he was interrogated without the opportunity for family visits or telephone calls.

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

October 23, 2018

Navid Bazmandegan bailed in Shiraz


HRANA (facebook), October 23, 2018. –

Mr. Navid Bazmandegan (نوید بازماندگان), who was arrested in Shiraz on September 15, has been released on bail.

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

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.

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.

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