Sen's daily

November 17, 2016

Court of review slashes sentences for 22 Bahais in Golestan


Bahai News, November 2, 2016.

In January this year, a court in Gorgan which began hearing the cases of small groups of Bahais in April, 2015, issued sentences in 24 cases. These 24 Bahais have been free on bail, pending the ruling of the Review Court for Golestan Province, which reviewed the cases on September 18 and 29, and has now announced its decision on most of these cases.

Farah Tebyanian (فرح تبيانيان), Puna Sana’i ( پونه ثنایی), Mona Amri Hesari (مونا امري حصاري), Behnam Hassani (بهنام حسني), Parisa Shahidi ( پریسا شهیدی ), Mojdeh Zouhori (مژده ظهوري), Parivash Shoja`i ( پریوش شجاعی ), Tina Mauhabati ( تینا موهبتی ) and Hana Aqiqiyan (هنا عقیقیان), all from Gorgan; Shohreh Samimi (شهره صمیمی) from Minudasht; Bita Hedayati (بيتا هدايتي), Vesaq Sana’i ()وثاق سنايي and Hana Kushkabaghi ( هنا کوشکباغی ) from Gonbad-e Qabus had their prison sentences reduced from 9 years to one year and nine months.

Rufeya Pakzadan ( روفیا پاکزادان), Soudabeh Mehdinezhad ( سودابه مهدی نژاد ), Mitra Nouri ( میترا نوری ), Shiva Rouhani ( شیوا روحانی ), Houshmand Dehqan (هوشمند دهقان), Mariyam Dehqan (مريم دهقان) and Nazi Tahqiqi (نازي تحقیقی), all from Gorgan, along with Kamelia Bideli (کاملیا بیدلی) and Navid Moalem (نوید معلم) from Minudasht, had their sentences reduced from 6 years to 18 months.

The review court did not anounce 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.

The Bahais were charged with collaborating with hostile governments, effective activities to promote the goals of a sect and of anti-Islamic and anti-Shiah hostile governments, and with making propaganda in favour of the Bahai Faith and against the regime of the Islamic Republic, by participating in the ‘Ruhi program’ (Bahai catechism) in Golestan Province.

Three of the women mentioned above have husbands who are already in prison, and who have not been allowed any prison furlough. Their husbands were in a group of seven Bahai men from Gorgan who were sentenced in May 2013. Punah Sana’i is the sister, and Farah Sana’i is the wife, of Fahrmand Sana’i (فرهمند سنایی), who was sentenced to five years; Parisa Shahidi is the wife of Kamal Kashani (کمال کاشانی), also sentenced to five years; and Mojdeh Zouhori is the wife of Farhad Fahandezh (فرهاد فهندژ), who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Among the 22 Bahais whose sentences have been reduced, Shohreh Samimi is the wife of Shahnam Jadhbani, while Kamelia Bideli is the wife of Navid Moalem (whose name was previously reported as Navid Moalemi (نوید معلمی)).

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2L6

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

3 Comments »

  1. It’s a big shame on all of us that such a wonderful people getting Many years in prison for promoting love and unity between human kind! This is so sad!!!

    Comment by Sharareh — November 18, 2016 @ 02:27 | Reply

  2. Hi, Sen- Wonderful work you do. I think calling the Ruhi program “Baha’i catechism” is misleading — perhaps you might call it “Baha’i community development”.

    Comment by petussing — November 18, 2016 @ 03:13 | Reply

    • The purpose of a programme does not tell an uninformed reader anything about the nature of that programme. A high speed train and a donkey cart have a common purpose but look and feel differently. The term catechism is the best I know of to indicate to Western outsiders the look and feel of the Ruhi program. Of course it is a term borrowed from one religion and applied to another, so one should not expect 100% applicability. Completion of the classes does not lead to a first communion, for example.

      In any case, I am not sure what the purpose of the Ruhi programme is. Community development is a vague term in itself, and so far as I know has not been stated as the primary designed purpose of the programme. My observation is that community development is the purpose that some participants find in the Ruhi programme, while others see it serving to deepen their knowledge of the religion, or increase their skills, or prepare them for big changes they expect to happen in the future, or as a way of incorporating new believers in the Bahai community. But in any case, what the participants actually do is the same: they meet under the guidance of a qualified person to study prepared texts, often from scripture, and they discuss the texts and answer set questions about them. Cathechism classes, approximately.

      Comment by Sen — November 18, 2016 @ 11:29 | Reply


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