Sen's daily

July 28, 2018

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi sentenced to one year in prison, one year in exile

Filed under: Bahai rights — Sen @ 02:00

Iran Press Watch (Persian), July 25, 2018. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 69-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, has been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in internal exile in Minab, 1700 kilometers from his home. he was charged with “propaganda against the regime.” The sentence was announced by the Review Court for Kurdistan province. 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 been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile, but the Review Court has not yet confirmed this sentence.

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. Their names are given as Entezar Rahimi (انتظار رحیمی), Mrs. Zhila Negahdar (ژیلا نگهدار) and Shahu Mohammadi (شاهو محمدی).

The arrests and subsequent efforts to fabricate a civil complaint against Mr. Ra’ufi appear to relate to the appeals of the Bahais in Sanandaj for officials to allow the burial of Mrs. Baji Muhammadifard in the Bahai cemetery in Sanandaj. Officials insisting that Mrs. Muhammadifar’s body should be taken to the Baha’i cemetery in Qorveh, approximately an hour and a half from Sanandaj. It emerged that this was part of a nation-wide policy under which Bahais would be buried in only one cemetery in each province of Iran.

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.


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