Sen's daily

February 7, 2013

Seven Bahai prisoners from Gorgan in limbo in Raja’i Shahr prison

HRANA, February 4 [update February 8: trial date set]

Seven Bahai prisoners from Gorgan and Gonbad, in Golestan province, were transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, near to Tehran and 450 km from their homes, on December 22. They were among about 20 Bahais who were detained in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht on and about October 17. After some weeks in detention in Golestan, they were transferred to Evin prison in Tehran for interrogation, after which they were sent to Raja’i Shahr prison. Now, three and a half months after their arrests, they are still in “temporary” detention (without charge or trial). Repeated requests from their families to the prosecutor in Tehran, to have them released on bail, have been fruitless. The prosecutor has passed the file to the Ministry of Justice and the revolutionary court, and the revolutionary court has returned the file to the prosecutor’s office. The lawyers representing the detainees have not been able to visit their clients, and no court has heard their case. Their families have been required to travel back and forth regularly in connection with their detention.

One of the seven, Kourush Ziari ( کوروش زیاری ), has a leg injury and was unable to walk at all until just a week before his arrest. At the time of his arrest he was receiving physiotherapy. Despite repeated approaches from his family, prison officials have made no move to give him medical treatment or medical leave. His family have been referred back and forth to various agencies.

The other six are Siamak Sadri, Fu’ad Fahandezh, Payam Markazi, Fahrmand Sana’i, Farhad Fahandezh and Kamal Kashani ( سیامک صدری، فواد فهندژ، پیام مرکز، فرهمند ثنایی، فرهاد فهندژ و کمال کاشانی ). They are held in room 12 of block 4 of Raja’i Shahr prison. Rajai Shahr prison also ‘houses’ the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators) who are now in the fourth year of 20-year sentences for their Baha’i beliefs.

[update February 8] Family reports indicate that a trial date has been set, on February 13, in the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.

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