Sen's daily

December 16, 2012

Four prisoners in Semnan pressured for televised confessions


PCED, December 9

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

Afshin Iqani, Siamak Iqani, Behfar Khanjani and `Erfan Ehsani ( افشین ایقانی، سیامک ایقانی، بهفر خانجانی و عرفان احسانی ) who are serving their sentences in Semnan prison, were pressured by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence for more than four hours on December 4 to give “interviews” for television. They were taken to the prayer room at Semnan prison at 8 a.m. Officers who claimed to be representing the judicial authorities initially asked the four to speak to them in front of television cameras. When they refused, the officers said they were reporters from a national news network (Seda o Sima) and pressured them severely for four hours to speak in front of television cameras. Then the four, who have medical records showing they suffer from physical ailments and heart complaints, were taken to the prison’s clinic for monitoring. Afshin Iqani suffered a heart attack there. They were threatened with transfer to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities in Semnan, where false confessions would be forced from them by severe pressure, solitary confinement, beating and abuse. Political and religious prisoners in Semnan Prison are at the mercy of the presiding judge, Ruhollah Esmaili ( روح الله اسماعیلی ) who makes their conditions very harsh.

Afshin Iqani is serving a sentence of 4 years and 3 months on charges of acting against national security, and has served 17 months of his sentence. Siamak Iqani is serving a 3 year sentence for propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith, and has already served 25 months of his sentence. Behfar Khanjani is serving a 4 year sentence for membership of illegal Bahai groups and attending Bahai prayer meetings and the 19th-day ‘Feast.’ He has served 20 months of his sentence. `Erfan Ehsani is serving a one-year sentence for propaganda against the regime and acting against national security, and has served one month of his sentence. The prosecutor for Semnan province has prevented them being granted leave from prison, or better conditions.

[The photograph caption provided by the PCED calls Erfan Ehsani, `Ali Ehsani, and the Persian report uses both names. So far as I know, Erfan Ehsani is the correct name, so it is possible that the photograph shown is of the wrong prisoner. ~ Sen]

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-1zY

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


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