Sen's daily

September 28, 2018

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.

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August 20, 2018

Bahai business closed by authorities in Kashan

HRANA, August 19, 2018. –

An optician’s workshop run by Javad Dhabihiyan (جواد ذبیحیان) in Kashan was closed by the local authorities on July 28, by the expedient of not granting it an operating licence, because the owner is a Bahai. The business was also closed for two weeks in April 2016, following instructions from the head of the Chamber of Commerce in Kashan, and was allowed to re-open when Mr. Dhabihiyan promised to obtain a licence.

In recent years the local departments of public places in Iran have closed down many of the small workshops and shops on which Bahais must rely for their income, since they are barred from employment in the civil service and in many economic sectors. Bahais are also barred from running businesses in sectors that involve contact with food or personal services, in line with a commonly held superstition in Iran, that Bahais are “unclean.” A peculiarity of Iran’s apartheid system is that the rules saying what kinds of businesses Bahais may not operate are kept secret, since such discrimination is contrary to various international treaties to which Iran is a signatory. It is not clear — to the Bahais and also to the local authorities in many cases — whether Bahais are permitted to work as opticians.

On May 19, 2015, Saham News published a copy of the previously secret list of sectors from which Bahais are banned, but by that time the list was already five years old, and incomplete. It does not mention optometry, but says that Bahais may not work in cultural, educational or financial institutions, and are not to be allowed to work in the sectors of periodicals, jewelry, watchmaking, print-making, tourist agencies, car rentals, publishing and bookshops, photography, film-making, internet gaming, computers, or internet cafes. They may not own printing works or hotels and other accommodation for travellers, or teach tailoring skills. The order then refers to the belief that Bahais are unclean, and requires the police bureaus to block them from restaurants, cafeterias and catering, food ingredients and foodstuff sales, takeaways (Iranian-style), cafes, butchers shops, supermarkets, the production and sale of ice-cream, fruit juice, soft drinks, pastry and sweets, and coffee.

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

August 18, 2018

Appeal of 22 sealed businesses in Urmia rejected

HRANA via Iran Press Watch (Persian), August 17, 2018. –

The appeal of 22 Bahai-run businesses in Urmia (Urumiyyeh), which were closed down by the authorities one year ago, because they closed for business on Bahai Holy Days, has been rejected by the Supreme Administrative Court without a hearing. The court’s decision was announced on August 16.

There are nine days each year that Bahais take free from work (with logical exceptions). The law in Iran allows any business to shut for up to 15 days each year, without special permission from the authorities, but the Bahais are apparently being denied this normal right, as they are denied many other civil rights.

In the past year, the owners of these businesses have pursued numerous channels with various government bodies, but only the local government’s office of public places has responded, saying that they would not be allowed to reopen unless they signed a pledge not to close on the Bahai Holy Days.

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

New methods to prevent Baha’is from studying

Iran Press Watch, August 16, 2018.

Source: iranwire.comBy Kian Sabeti (shortened)

In recent days, according to reports received by IranWire, the Intelligence Bureau of Karaj has been pressuring a number of Bahai university applicants to promise that if their applications for the university are accepted, they will stop following the tenets of their faith.

Over the last several recent years, many Bahais who have successfully passed the entrance exams are turned away from universities under the pretext of having an “incomplete portfolio.” Pegah (پگاه), who lives in Karaj near Tehran, was previously given the same excuse when he was told he would not be able to attend college, but the story did not end there.

“On Sunday morning, someone — who did not identify himself —phoned and said he wanted to have a short interview with me about the 2018 entrance exams,” Pegah told IranWire. “He gave me the address of the Intelligence Bureau of Gohardasht, where I was to go. At 10am on the following day I went to that address and spent about 20 minutes in a room answering their questions. They told me that the results of the entrance exams were likely to be published soon and since I might have passed the tests they had to get some information about me. They asked me questions about Bahai religious organizations and religious classes, but I did not answer these questions because they had nothing to do with the entrance exams. I only wrote down my own bio.”

“Essentially, they wanted two things,” Pegah said. “The first was that if I were accepted to the university, I would not proselytize for the Baha’i Faith. I asked them to show me a law that makes proselytizing illegal. Then I told them that I would not proselytize but that if somebody asks me about my faith I cannot lie. [Baha’i tenets do not allow a Baha’i to lie about his faith.] The second was that if I was enrolled I would follow the laws of the Islamic Republic instead of the instructions issued by the House of Justice [the international governing council of the Baha’i faith]. I replied that I would obey the laws of the Islamic Republic but that I cannot ignore the instructions of the House of Justice because as a Bahai I must obey them.”

For 18-year-old Nina (نینا), this year’s entrance exam was her first. Three days ago, the Intelligence Bureau of Karaj called her and asked her to go to their office to answer questions related to the exams and, like Pegah, she followed their instructions. “They gave me two forms,” she told IranWire. “The first form was about detailed personal information, even strange questions like “known as” and “nickname.” I filled it out and signed it. Then they verbally asked me questions about Baha’i gatherings and my religious activities but since the questions had nothing to do with the exams I refused to answer them.”

The second form, besides asking for a full name, was a series of statements to be ticked off. “For instance,” she said, “whether I had passed the exam or I had selected my field of study. But at the bottom of the form it said: ‘I obey the laws of my country, not those of the House of Justice in Occupied Palestine and I do not recognize the House of Justice.’”

Nina did not fill out the second form and told officials it did not apply to her because the first question was about selecting a field of study and she had not done so. But they insisted she fill it out, saying: “If you pass the exam next year, you must sign this form before you go to the university, so it would be better if you would fill it out today.” Nina answered that if that happened, she would return. “We will talk about the form,” she told them.

Bahais in Iran were barred from participating in university entrance exams until 2005, when the Education Evaluation Organization, which oversees all aspects of nationwide university entrance exams and admissions, announced a change in the meaning of the “religion” question on application forms, saying that it did not meant to ask the actual religion of the applicants but instead about applicants’ knowledge about a specific religion. So, after 25 years, Bahai applicants could participate in the entrance exams. The Bahais chose “Islam” and were granted permission to compete in the exams. But if they did pass the exam, they were turned away with the excuse of “incomplete portfolio.” The very few who somehow slip through are expelled the moment the security office of the university finds out they are Bahais [in practice — when the Ministry of Intelligence order the University to expel them ~ Sen].

This religious discrimination extends even to private and non-profit institutes of higher education. In the last 40 years no Bahai has graduated from any university in Iran although Bahais are the biggest non-Muslim religious minority in Iran.

Since the 1979 Revolution, Bahais have been denied the most basic of citizen civil rights. They are even banned from working for the government. At international forums, officials of the Islamic Republic consistently deny this discrimination against the Bahais but, story after story, as with the two above, belie their claims.

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

August 1, 2018

Three Bahais lose employment in Shiraz

Hamid Rezataghpour, July 31, 2018. –

In recent days, three Bahais in Shiraz have been dismissed from their employment because of their Bahai beliefs. Mr. Sahba Haqqbin (صهباء حق‌بین), a civil and structural engineer, his wife Samira Behinayin (سمیرا بهین‌آیین), a civil engineer, and Mr. Payam Gashtasbi (پیام گشتاسبی ), an accountant, had been employed by private companies in Shiraz. The were dismissed following instructions and pressure exerted by the security forces in Shiraz on the Directors of the companies employing them. Under Iran’s apartheid system, Bahais are not only barred from the civil service, they are not permitted to work in many sectors relating to personal services, because of a wide-spread superstition that Bahais are “unclean.” However engineering and accounting are not among the jobs barred to Bahais.

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

July 18, 2018

Fataneh Nabilzadeh begins her sentence

Shahrvandyar, July 18, 2018. –

Fataneh Nabilzadeh (فتانه نبیل‌زاده), who has been sentenced to one year in prison for her association with the Bahai University (BIHE), was taken to prison in Mashhad on July 16. The BIHE is a distance-learning institute that offers education to Bahais, who are excluded from both state and private tertiary institutions under Iran’s form of apartheid. Educating Bahais is against state policies, although technically it is not against the law, since the policies are not published. On August 13, 2013, as part of a series of raids on the BIHE across Iran, security forces raided her home, searched it, and arrested her, along with two students who were taking an exam: her son Peyman Saraf (پیمان صراف) and Dayan Teymouri (دایان تیموری). The two students were bailed on September 5, but Mrs. Nabilzadeh was held for two months before being released on bail. In January 2018 she was sentenced to one year in prison for her educational activities.

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

July 15, 2018

Business closed and one arrest in Abadan


Shahrvandyar (Facebook), July 14, 2018. =

A sewing machine shop run by two Bahai brothers, Arman and Aram Azadi (آرمان آزادی و آرام آزادی) has been closed by the local authorities because of their Bahai identity and because they closed their business to observe a Bahai Holy Day. Aram Azadi’s wife, Nushin Afshar (نوشین افشار), has been arrested, and the operating licence of the business has been revoked. The brothers have run the shop for the past 38 years. Over the past 5 years, over 500 Bahai-run businesses have been shut down in Iran, in a policy of economic apartheid that also bars Bahais from the civil service and from private employment in many sectors of the economy.

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

June 13, 2018

Town Mayor bans Bahais from buying land


Shahrvandyar, June 12, 2018. –

The Mayor of Sorkhrud, a town on the Caspian Coast, has issued a decree banning Bahais from buying or selling land of any sort. The instruction was contained in a letter addressed to all the town’s real estate agents. The Mayor’s name is Seyyid-Muhammad Mehdi Musavinezhad (سیدمحمد مهدی موسوی نژاد). He has recently been part of a campaign to ban pictures and quotes of ex-President Khatami from the Iranian media.

May 31, 2018

Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice confirms apartheid in education and employment

HRANA, May 29, 2018. –

Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice has formally confirmed that Bahais in Iran have no right to public service employment or tertiary education. This policy was set out in the 1991 “Golpaygani Memorandum,” drawn up by the Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council (ISRCC). The memorandum calls for Iran’s Bahais to be treated in such a way “that their progress and development shall be blocked.” It specifies that all Bahais should be expelled from universities; that they shall be denied positions of influence, and that “employment shall be refused to persons identifying themselves as Bahais.” The exclusion of Bahais from universities was reiterated by Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology in 2006. The latest court decision confirms that the 1991 policy remains in place: it cites the 1991 memorandum in confirming that Hanan Har (حنان حر), a Bahai student who scored well in the university entrance examination in 2016, and was accepted at a university in Babol, but was excluded because of his Bahai beliefs. In 2017 he appealed to the Court of Administrative Justice, which investigated and ruled that the appeal could not be processed because “Bahais are not only excluded from government employment, they are also deprived of the right to study.” The decision was communicated to Hanan Har in the past few days.

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

May 22, 2018

Ministry of Intelligence bars Maku Bahai from keeping bees

HRANA, May 21, 2018. –

The Ministry of Intelligence in Maku has told Shahin Dehqan ( شاهین دهقان), a Bahai who has been working as a beekeeper for the past 17 years, that he must sell his hives within ten days, or he will be jailed and his hives will be confiscated. Bahais are barred from working in many sectors of Iran’s economy, but the rules are not published and new sectors are barred to Bahais periodically, giving the economic apartheid system in Iran the appearance of arbitrary oppression.

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

May 5, 2018

Bahai-run business in Tabriz to be sealed

Iran Press Watch, May 4, 2018. –

According to a report in Persian by the campaign of “No to Imprisonment and Persecution of Bahais”, a shop belonging to Ms. Shiva Isa-Khani (شیوا عیسی خانی), a Bahai in Tabriz, will be shut down and her business license is denied due to her belief in the Bahai Faith.

An informed source close to Ms. Sisa-Khani reported that she had applied for a business license after many years of hard work but at the end she received a final notice from judicial officials forcing her to close her shop. The same shop has been sealed twice in past 5 years, and on each occasion the authorities made it very difficult for her to re-open her shop.

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

April 16, 2018

Business sealed in Minushahr, family expelled

Iran Press Watch, April 16, 2018.

On March 20, 2018, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence closed down the sewing machine repair business of Na`im Ha’i (نعیم هائی), a Bahai living in Minushahr. Mr. Ha’i and his family were also told to leave the city as soon as possible.

Full translation at Iran Press Watch

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

January 19, 2018

Arrest in Karaj for an unpaid fine


Iran Press Watch, January 18, 2018.

According to HRANA, on January 15, 2018, Faramarz (Hooshang) Sabet-Rasekhi {فرامرز (هوشنگ) ثابت راسخ}, a Bahai living in Karaj, was arrested and sent to prison by the Law Enforcement Office of the Governmental Sanctions Court of Alborz Province. The arrest occurred when Mr. Sabet-Rasekhi appeared at the court, with his business associates and attorney, to inquire about payment of a 50 million tuman fine ($15,000) which resulted following the unjustified forced closure and sealing of his place of business, in November 2016, by government officials. Upon his appearance, Mr. Sabet-Rasekhi was subjected to mistreatment by employees of the court and arrested.

Mr. Sabet-Rasekhi’s business has remained closed since November 2016; he and his business associates have not had the means to raise the funds to pay the fine.

A source informed of Mr. Sabet-Rasekhi’s situation, told the HRANA the following:

“In November 2016 ‘Negah Glasses’, the place of business of partners Iraj Sabet-Rasekhi (ایرج ثابت راسخی), Houshang Sabet-Rasekhi and Ashkan Yousefi (اشکان یوسفی
بعنوان شریک ), located on the Second Fardis Circle in Karaj, along with more than thirty other businesses belonging to other Bahais, was shut down by various governmental oversight officers with various excuses.”

“The business unit of Mr. Sabetrasekhi, with about 31 years of experience and a stellar reputation and no wrongdoing, was shut down and sealed in November of 2016, by the Office of Governmental Sanctions of Alborz Province. This, while Article 62, Paragraph A, B, and C of the Sanctions Law on smuggling of contraband states that the shutting down of the trade unit is illegal for the first offense and even for the second offense within a period of one year, even if the crime has been proven by the appropriate court, it is still illegal (to shut down the business). Considering that the (above) business unit was not a wholesale store, but was instead a retail business, and all of the goods at the place of business had a distinct price tag, and associated invoice from domestic suppliers, the incident of business closures are indicative of the existence of a setup.”

“Over the past year, invoices, which all were issued by domestic companies, were provided to the court. However, after about a year and a half of forced closure of the business with an inventory of 850 glasses frames, where all accompanying domestic purchasing receipts had already been provided (to the court), and although the owners were not even the importers of the goods, and contrary to Article 62, Paragraph C which states: ‘if the owner of the business unit has committed three violations within a year, only upon committing the third violation and after being proven guilty in the court, the place of business can be shut down for only 6 months’, the court unjustly ordered them to pay a fine of 50 million tumans. This verdict was confirmed in the Appeals Branch of the Sanctions Court of the Province of Alborz.”

Regarding the arrest of Mr. Sabetrasekhi, this source told HRANA, “Over the past year, Mr. Iraj Sabet-Rasekhi and Mr. Ashkan Yousefi, as business partners, have been in difficult economic situation along with their families, due to the closure of their business. The illegal nature of the court proceedings has been brought to the attention of the authorities of the Province and the country, but unfortunately no response has been issued. January 15, 2018, with only five more days until the due date of the imposed fine, Mr. Houshang Sabet-Rasekhi as the business manager, and Mr. Ashkan Yousefi as his business partner, along with their attorney went to the office of Implementation of governmental sanctions to inquire about the method of payments of the fine, where they encountered harsh behavior of the authorities, and Mr. Faramrz Sabet-Rasekhi was detained due to his inability to pay the heavy fine imposed by the court.”

It should be noted that Mr. Sabet-Rasekhi’s brother, uncle and brother-in-law were executed by the Iranian government during the early years of the 1979 revolution, due to their religious beliefs as Bahais. The family was then living in the village of Fereydoun in the vicinity of Isfahan. Because of their Bahai beliefs, all the family’s properties were confiscated by the government and Mr. Sabet-Rasekhi was ultimately forced to leave the area due to the threat to his life.

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

January 14, 2018

Behzad Dhabihi leaves prison in Sari


HRANA, January 12, 2018.

Behzad Dhabihi Mahforujaki (بهزاد ذبیحی ماهفروجکی ), a Bahai from Sari, has been released from prison at the end of his six-month sentence. He was originally sentenced to one year in prison and two years in internal exile, but this sentence was reduced by the Court of Review to six months in prison. It is not clear whether the internal exile was also annulled. He was convicted in the Islamic Court (that is, not in a criminal court) in Sari on a charge of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, although at the court sitting the charges were presented as “propaganda against Islam and the Quran.” He begin serving his sentence on September 4, 2017.

Mr. Dhabihi has been arrested four times in the last six years, and shops he ran have been shut down three times in the same period. On February 22, 2016, his shop in Sari was closed by the authorities, and remains closed despite efforts by his family to reopen it.

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

January 13, 2018

18 Bahai-run businesses in Tabriz allowed to reopen

HRANA, January 10, 2018.

Eighteen Bahai-run businesses in Tabriz that had been closed down by the authorities were allowed to re-open on January 10, following a court order. It would appear that they are among the Bahai businesses in East Azerbaijan province that were closed by the authorities in late December. Of these, three were allowed to reopen soon after, and the new move appears to mean that all Bahai-run businesses are now operating normally.

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


January 8, 2018

Eight Bahai businesses in Chabahar reopen

HRANA, January 7, 2018.

Eight Bahai-run businesses in the southern city of Chabahar were allowed to reopen on January 7, 68 days after they were closed by the authorities there, but Bahai-run businesses elsewhere in the Sistan and Baluchistan Province remain closed. The businesses are named as optician’s shops of Habib Tauhidi (حبیب توحیدی), Ahmad Ali Shaukati (احمد علی شوکتی) and Bahadar Kamju (بهادر کامجو), the glass-cutting workshop of Roushan Barqi (روشن بارقی), a stationary shop run by Adharakhsh Barqi (آذرخش بارقی ), a building supplies shop belonging to Behrouz Gholamreza’i (هروز غلامرضایی) and the electrician’s business of Bijan Gholamreza’i (بیژن غلامرضایی) and a computer supplies shop run by Andalib Taudi`i (عندلیب تودیعی). They were sealed by the authorities on October 31, 2017. At that time, 18 Bahai-run businesses in Zahedan, four in Iranshahr and three in Saravan were also closed.

Bahadar Kamju and Roushan Barqi (along with four others) were recently sentenced to three years in prison for “membership of the deviant sect.”

December 31, 2017

Numerous Bahai businesses closed in East Azerbaijan Province, three allowed to reopen

HRANA, December 30 and December 27, 2017.

On December 25 and 26, two more Bahai-run businesses in Tabriz were closed down by the authorities, and many others were issued warnings of impending closure. These two businesses were run by Behnam Aqabala’i (بهنام آقابالایی), who sold household necessities, and `Ali-Reza Aqabala’i (علیرضا آقابالایی), who provided wire windings for electric motors. On December 28, three more Bahai business premises in Tabriz were sealed, bringing the total of recent closures in Tabriz to 18. These three businesses were a reading-glasses repair workshop run by Siamak Rouhani ( سیامک روحانى), an optician’s assembly shop run by Behnam Shukohi (بهمن شکوهى), and the unused business premises of Aziz Nourdel (زیز نوردل).

On the same day, three of the 18 recently closed businesses were allowed to reopen. They were the optical dispensary of Shahryar Khodapenah (شهریار خداپناه), and optical retail shop run by Nader Nourmuhammadi (نادر نور محمدى) and a women’s clothing shop run by Parham Sabari ( پرهام صابرى).

At present about 90 Bahai businesses in East Azerbaijan Province are sealed by the authorities, who have used arbitrary economic discrimination as a means of pressuring the Bahais to convert to Islam, especially during the term of President Rouhani. In addition to those mentioned above, these include (for those who can read Persian) the businesses of:

تورج میثاقی، کامبیز میثاقی (عینک فروشی)، شیوا عیسی خانی (آرایشگاه)، پیام ظفریاب (عینک فروشی)، محمد حکمران (فروش پلاسکو)، انیس حکمران (تعمیر عینک)، فرهاد نباتی (عینک فروشی)، عنایت ملایی (عکاسی)، بهنام شفیعی (فروش لوازم آرایشی)، نوید ایقانی (عینک فروشی)،و بهروز عیسی خانی (لوازم خانگی)

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

November 24, 2017

Foad and Payman Yazdani granted conditional release in Rasht

HRANA, November 21, 2017.

On November 17, Foad Yazdani (فواد یزدانی) and his son Peyman Yazdani (پیمان یزدانی) were released from Lakan Prison in Rasht after serving three months of their 2-year prison terms. Their release is conditional.

They were accused of “participating in a propaganda campaign against the regime.” They were among four Bahais and three non-Bahais arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence on May 26, 2015, in a campaign to stop the Shiah population doing business with Bahais. The non-Bahais were charged with “having links with Bahais.” In January and February 2015, over 20 Muslim residents of Rasht were summoned and threatened by the Ministry of Intelligence because of their relationships with Bahais. Those summoned were subjected to insults, humiliation and threats, and told that they are not allowed to associate or have any business dealings with Bahais. The Ministry of Intelligence also sought to obtain baseless statements from these people regarding the activities of the Bahais. The Bahais who were arrested had repair businesses and had customers who were not Bahais.

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

November 8, 2017

Bahai-run computer repair shop closed in Karaj

HRANA, November 6, 2017.

A computer repair workshop in Karaj, run by Ramtin Ziba’i (رامتین زیبایی), has been closed down by the authorities, who claimed this was part of the drive against the black market in smuggled goods. It appears likely that the real reason is that Mr. Ziba’i is a Bahai, since it workshop does not sell products, he sells his labour and expertise in repairing computers.

Short link: https://wp.me/pNMoJ-30m

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

November 7, 2017

Dozens of businesses shut down in Sistan and Baluchistan region

HRANA, November 6, 2017.

A large number of Bahai-run businesses in the Province of Sistan and Baluchistan have had their premises sealed by the authorities because their owners closed them during the recent “Twin Holy Days,” the annual commemoration of the births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. The closures are said to have taken place “today” (i.e., November 6), in the cities of Zahedan, Zabol, Chabahar, and Iranshahr, and to have affected about thirty businesses.

Short link: https://wp.me/pNMoJ-30h

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

November 5, 2017

Summary of recent closures of Bahai businesses

Payam News (Facebook), October 25, 2017.

At least 21 Bahai-run businesses in Mahshahr (Khuzestan Province) have been closed down by the authorities because they were closed on a Bahai Holy Day. It is notable that sixteen of these businesses were run by members of the Afshar family. The businesses included an aluminum door and window supplier, a shop for locks and door fittings, a hardware shop, a drapery and a clothing store, two electric appliance shops, a TV showroom, two shops selling car parts and accessories, a workshop manufacturing goods from MDF wood and a supplier of ventilation equipment. An informed source said that only two Bahai-owned businesses in the city have continued to operate.

Another 28 Bahai-run businesses have been shut down in Shiraz, Gonbad-e-Kavus and Gorgan, along with 40 in the Province of Golestan.

Short link: https://wp.me/pNMoJ-308

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

October 24, 2017

14 Bahai-run businesses closed in Shiraz Province

Payam News, October 22, 2017.

Fourteen Bahai-run businesses in the cities of Shiraz, Gonbad-e Qabus, and Gorgan have been closed by the authorities. Five were closed in the Shiraz, eight in Gonbad-e Qabus, and one in Gorgan. The office of public places has claimed they had no business licences: the Bahai owners have responded by posting photographs of their business licences, bearing the yellow stamp from the office of public places.

The business owners in Shiraz are Riazullah Khadem (ریاض اله خادم), Isma`il Foruzan (اسماعیل فروزان), Farshad Farzandi (فرشاد فرزندی), Varjavand Mostaqim (ورجاوند مستقیم) and Mostafa Sha`erzadeh (مصطفی شاعرزاده). In Gonbade-e Qabus the owners are Koroush Ziari (کوروش زیاری), owner of two sealed businesses, along with Mrs. Hamideh Ziari (حمیده زیاری), Iraj Roshani (ایرج روشنی), Houman Ta’ef (هومن طائف), Sassan Sabeti (ساسان ثابتی), Shahram Tahdhib (شهرام تهذیب) and Farhad Fana’ayan (فرهاد فنائیان). The Guild authorities in Gonbad had issued a warning that shops should be kept open on last Saturday and Sunday, which were Bahai Holy Days which Bahais take free from work, where possible. The Bahai-run business that was closed in Gorgan was an optometry supplies shop run by Mehran Khalkhali (مهران خلخلی ).

In recent days, at least 40 Bahai businesses in Golestan were warned that they face closure if they take the Bahai Holy Days free.

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

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

October 13, 2017

Stock of Bahai optician in Karaj expropriated

Payam News (facebook), October 12, 2017.

The entire stock of an opticians shop formerly run by Farrokh Bandi (فرخ بندی) and Behnam Ellahi (بهنام نبی اللهی), two Bahais living in Karaj, was seized by the authorities on October 11. The shop has been sealed since November 9, 2016. After seizing the contents of the shop, it was resealed. The owners were forced to gather their property together and load it into a rental van, which they were required to pay for. The property confiscated by the government included glasses and accessories, and equipment for making glasses.

Iran Press Watch translates another report which adds: “It is noteworthy that this is the second forced closure and seal of Mr. Bandi’s shop by authorities in less than a year (November 2016). Despite Mr. Bandi’s frequent follow-ups with authorities regarding this closure, the judiciary has not reversed the closure order and, in fact, has informed him that the store will only be opened upon its sale. It is of note that several of the Mr. Bandi’s customers have refrained from purchasing items from his store due to the threats by the security forces.”

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

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

September 20, 2017

Behzad Dhabihi begins 6-month sentence in Sari


Payam News (Facebook), September 14, 2017.

Behzad Dhabihi Mahforujaki (بهزاد ذبیحی ماهفروجکی ), a Bahai from Sari, was arrested on September 4 and taken to prison to begin serving his sentence. He was originally sentenced to one year in prison and two years in internal exile in Heris County in Eastern Azerbaijan (the report says, Western Azerbaijan), but this sentence was reduced by the Court of Review to six months in prison. It is not clear whether the internal exile was also annulled. He was convicted in the Islamic Court (that is, not in a criminal court) in Sari on a charge of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, although at the court sitting the charges were presented as “propaganda against Islam and the Quran.” The text of the court’s judgement shows it was prepared by the Ministry of Intelligence in Mazandaran Province.

Mr. Dhabihi has been arrested four times in the last six years, and shops he ran have been shut down three times in the same period. On February 22, 2016, his shop in Sari was closed by the authorities, and remains closed despite efforts to reopen it.

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September 12, 2017

Bahai business reopens in Birjand

Payam News (Persian, facebook), 11 September 2017.

A Bahai-run business in Birjand has been allowed to reopen, nine months and 3 days after it was closed by the Bureau of Public Places. The technical systems shop belonging to Mr. ‘Ali Zamani (علی زمانی) was sealed by the authorities on December 6, 2016 because he is a Bahai, and closed his shop to observe the Bahai Holy Days. The authorities revoked the business licence before closing it down. The business was allowed to reopen on September 4.

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September 10, 2017

Bahai businesses in Ahvaz allowed to reopen

Payam News, September 10, 2017.

Fourteen businesses run by Bahais in the city of Ahvaz, closed by authorities since July 9, were allowed to reopen on September 7, following an order given orally by the Bureau of Public Places in the city.

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September 1, 2017

West Azerbaijan Provincial Security Council seeks re-opening of Bahai businesses

Payam News, August 31, 2017.

Forty days after the closure of 23 Bahai-run businesses in Urmia (Urumiyyeh), the Provincial Security Council for the West Azerbaijan Province has issued a request that they be allowed to re-open. However the Office of Public Places in the city of Urmia has not acted on this, and has instead extended their closure for one week. One leather clothing shop run by Rita Latifi (ریتا لطیفی) has been allowed to re-open, after being transferred [to a non-Bahai proprietor ?].

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

August 4, 2017

Four more Bahais businesses closed in Urmia

Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), August 3, 2017.

Four more Bahai-run businesses in Urmia (Urumiyyeh) have been closed down by the authorities in recent days, bringing the total in the past two weeks to 23. The authorities have not given any response to the Bahais who have made enquiries about the closures.

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

August 2, 2017

Sohayl Haqqdoust arrested, released on bail in Sari


Bahai News (Facebook, Persian), July 30, 2017.

Sohayl Haqqdoust (سهیل حق دوست) has been released from the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Sari after posting bail. His arrest, not previously reported on Sen’s Daily, took place on July 25, when five agents entered his home without his permission and arrested him for “media reports about the closure of his business.” The agents were accompanied by officials known as the Ansar Hosseini (انصار حسینی), charged with religious affairs in the Province of Mazandaran. Mr Haqqdoust was released on bail on July 29.

In April, 2016, 15 Bahai-run businesses in Qaemshahr were shut down by the authorities because they were closed for the Bahai holy day of the first day of Ridvan. One of these businesses, an optician’s shop, belonged to Mr. Haqqdoust. On the morning of November 8, 2016, he was one of five Bahais from Qaemshahr who were arrested at the Mazandaran Provincial Governor’s Office, where Bahais had gathered to seek interaction with public officials regarding the closure of Bahai businesses. They were released on bail after 9 days in detention.

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August 1, 2017

Threat to shut down a Bahai business in Karaj

Iran Press Watch, August 1, 2017.

Following the widespread closures of Bahai businesses in recent weeks, the Office of Public Property of Alborz Province has sent a letter to Mehran Naseri (مهران ناصری), a Bahai resident of Karaj, requesting the removal of his personal items.

According to the website of Human Rights in Iran, a letter sent to Mehran Naseri (مهران ناصری،) by the Alborz Provincial Office has warned this Bahai citizen to remove any perishables or personal items and leave his business within 10 days. He [also?] owns several commercial spaces which are rented by Muslims. According to Payam News, recently agents of the Office of Public Property have summoned those Muslims who rent business space from Bahais to the government sanctions office.

Recently at least 25 businesses in Urumiyeh and one business in Shahrud have been sealed because they were closed on a Bahai religious holiday. In addition, a number of Bahai business owners in Khorramshahr have also been summoned for questioning by the Office of Public Property of Khuzestan Province.

Over the past year, more than 300 Bahai businesses have suffered the closure of their businesses solely because they closed on Bahai religious holidays and for their belief in the Bahai Faith.

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

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