Sen's daily

April 21, 2019

Mohsen Mehrgaani freed in Isfahan


HRANA, April 21, 2019. –

Mohsen Mehrgaani (محسن مهرگانی) was released from Isfahan prison on April 20. This is a conditional early release. He has served one third of his sentence, beginning on January 5, 2019. Although his sentence was 20 months, the three months he spent under interrogation and in prison between his arrest on January 24, 2017, and his release on bail in late April or early May, 2017, have been taken into account, giving a total of over six months served.

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

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March 30, 2019

22 Baha’is Began New Year in Prison

Iran Press Watch, March 28, 2019. –

The last month of the Persian year 1397 (corresponding to 2018-2019 in the Gregorian calendar) was an eventful month for Baha’i prisoners. On one hand, some of them were released; on the other hand, trials, indictments, arrests and searches of their homes continued for these citizens in various cities in Iran.

On February 11th, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, 17 prisoners who had less than a year remaining of their sentences were pardoned and released in Shiraz, Mashhad, Ghaemshahr, Isfahan, Sanandaj and Yazd.

Pouya Tebyaaniaan (پویا تبیانیان), one of the prisoners, was released from prison in Semnan, upon the completion of his seven-year sentence. Shayda Qodousi (شیدا قدوسی), a Baha’i prisoner in Gorgan, who had been sentenced to five years in prison, after serving one-third of her sentence was released on probation in the last days of the Persian year (which ended March 20). Maryam Ghaffaarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش) and Atosa Ahmaada’i (آتسا احمدائی) were also released from Evin prison, after serving respectively 6 months and 45 days of temporary detention.

As reported by Iranwire, on March 11 security agents in Tehran arrested two Baha’i brothers, Hamid Nasseri (حمید ناصری) and Saeed Nasseri (سعید ناصری). Hamid Nasseri was arrested on the street in front of his business, and Saeed after going to the Evin detention center to inquire about the condition of his brother Hamid and of his wife Afsaneh Emami-Nasseri ((افسانه امامی(ناصری). At the time of Saeed’s arrest, 40 days had passed since the arrest of his wife, Afsaneh Emami. She was released on bail in the final days of the year, but Saeed and Hamid Nasseri still remain in detention.

The sentence against Ghazaaleh Baaqeri Taari (غزاله باقری طاری), a Baha’i from Tehran, who was tried in December 2018, was issued in February of this year. She has been sentenced to five years in prison for the crime of “activities against national security because of membership in the Baha’i administration”. She was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in September 2017, during a religious gathering at her home, and was released on bail three weeks later.

Kaaviz Nouzdahi (کاویز نوزدهی) is another Baha’i whose sentence was announced in February. A source with knowledge of the case told Iranwire: “The court hearing for Kaaviz Nouzdahi was held in late December 2018 in Branch 4 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Mashhad, presided over by Judge Mansouri ( قاضی منصوری). However on the day of the hearing the judge was not present, and the hearing was conducted by the court counselor, Mr. Farhikhteh (آقای “فرهیخته). The charges against Mr. Nouzdahi were “cooperating with hostile foreign governments” and “membership in an anti-regime organization”. The judge did not permit the defendant’s attorney to be present in court or review the case file. Their excuse was that the attorney named by Mr. Nouzdahi was not on the judiciary’s list of approved attorneys, and the court hearing was conducted without the attorney present. Article 48 of the New Penal Code states that in crimes against domestic or international security as well as organized crime, in the preliminary investigation phase the parties in the case must select their attorney or attorneys from among those approved by the head of the judicial branch.

According to the verdict issued, Kaaviz Nouzdahi was acquitted of the charge of cooperation with foreign governments, and was convicted for the charge of membership in an anti-regime organization (i.e., membership in the Baha’i administration), and sentenced to four years in prison.

Another Baha’i citizen, Neda Mokhtaari (ندا مختاری), was also sentenced to four years in prison by the verdict of Branch 5 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad presided over by Judge Mazloumi ( قاضی مظلومی) for the crime of “teaching the Baha’i Faith”.

Twenty two Baha’i citizens began Naw-Ruz (the Persian New Year) 1398 on March 21, 2019, away from their homes and families in Iranian prisons. They were sentenced in Iranian courts to a total of 105 years of imprisonment. The verdicts against these Baha’is were issued based on articles 498, 499 and 500 of the Islamic Penal Code.

Article 498 of the code states: “Any person with any ideology who forms or leads a group, society or sub-group of more than two people, under any name or title, domestically or abroad, with the goal of disrupting national security, who is not considered a combatant, shall be sentenced to prison for two to ten years.”

According to article 499 of this law: “Any person holding a membership in one of the groups, societies or sub-groups mentioned in article 498 shall be sentenced to three months to five years in prison, unless it is proven that they were unaware of its goals.”

Article 500 also states: “Any person engaged in any way in propaganda activities against the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or in favor of anti-regime groups and organizations, shall be sentenced to three months to one year in prison.”

The punishment for teaching the Baha’i Faith, membership and activity in this religious community is determined based on these articles of the law.

In Evin prison, four instructors of the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) are currently serving sentences for the crime of teaching youth who were deprived of a university education; Hassan Momtaaz (حسن ممتاز), Peymaan Kooshkbaghi (پیمان کوشکباغی), and Negin Qedamiaan (نگین قدمیان), each with five year prison sentences, and Azita Rafizaadeh (آزیتا رفیع زاده) with a four year prison sentence, are currently in Evin prison. Peyman Kooshkbaghi and his wife Azita Rafizadeh are among the incarcerated married couples who spent the final days of the year away from each other and from their young child.

Adel Naimi (عادل نعیمی) with an 11-year sentence, Farhaad Fahandej (فرهاد فهندژ) with a 10 year sentence, Vaahed Kholousi (واحد خلوصی) with a 5 year sentence, and Afshin Seyyed Ahmad (افشین سید احمد) with a 3 year sentence, are the four Bahai prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. Shahnaam Jazbaani (شهنام جذبانی) is the only Baha’i prisoner in Gonbad-e-Kavoos in Golestan province. He has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Isfahan, with 13 Baha’i prisoners, has the highest number of Baha’i prisoners in Iran. Nine of these prisoners were transferred to the Isfahan prison from the town of Baharestan. Of the nine, Sepideh Rouhaani (سپیده روحانی), Bahaareh Zaini (بهاره زینی), Fouzjaan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی), each with a 3 year sentence, are incarcerated in Dowlatabad prison in Isfahan. Anousheh Raeineh (انوش راینه), Afshin Bolbolaan (افشین بلبلان), Milaad Daavardaan (میلاد داوردان), Farhang Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا) and Ali Saani (علی ثانی), each with a six year sentence, and Sahaam Armin (سهام آرمین), with a 3 year sentence, are the other six prisoners from Baharestan who have been transferred to Dastgerd prison in Isfahan to serve their sentences.

In addition, Sohraab Taqipour (سهراب نقی پور), with a 5 year sentence, and Manouchehr Rahmaani (منوچهر رحمانی), Mohsen Mehregani (محسن مهرگانی) and Farzaad Homaayouni (فرزاد همایونی), each with a 20 month sentence, are four Baha’is from Isfahan who began the Persian New Year in that city’s central prison.

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

March 18, 2019

Sheida Qoddusi granted conditional release in Gorgan

HRANA, March 18, 2019. –

Sheida Qoddusi (شیدا قدوسی), who began her 5-year sentence in Gorgan prison on June 13, 2017, has been granted conditional release after serving one third of that sentence. She was one of 14 Bahais arrested in Gorgan in mid-October, 2012. A number of other Bahais were arrested at the same time elsewhere in Golestan Province. They were tried in their absence by Judge Qanbari (قاضی قنبری). Mrs Qoddusi was initially sentenced to 11 years in prison, reduced to five years by the review court. She has two children. She was granted a ten-day furlough from June 27, 2018.

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

Maryam Ghafarmanesh bailed from Evin Prison


HRANA, March 17, 2019. –

Maryam Ghafarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش) was released on bail from Evin Prison on March 17, after six months of detention without trial. She was one of five Bahais arrested at a meeting for environmental education in Karaj on September 16, 2018. About 20 hours after her arrest, Mrs. Ghafarmanesh reported in a telephone conversation that her bail had been set at 300 million tumans (61,000 euros; $US 71,000), but she was not released at that time. She was kept under interrogation and in solitary confinement for two months, in the section of the prison run by the Ministry of Information, and was transferred to the general women’s block on November 14, 2018.

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

March 17, 2019

Afsaaneh Emaami bailed, her husband Sa`id Naaseri arrested, in Tehran


HRANA, March 14, 2018.

Sa`id Naaseri (سعید ناصری) was arrested in Tehran at about 11 a.m. on March 11, after reporting to the Public Prosecutor’s office at Evin Prison. He was allowed a telephone call to tell family that he had been arrested. He had gone to Evin Prison to inquire about his wife, Afsaaneh Emaami (افسانه امامی), who was arrested on February 2, and also about his brother, Hamid Naasseri (حمید ناصری), who had been arrested a few hours previously, on the morning of March 11.

A separate report indicates that Afsaaneh Emaami was released on bail on March 16. Bail was set at 500 million tumans ( 105,000 euros ; $US 120,000 [or one tenth as much, if the bail was actually in Rials]). Curiously, she was not released from the prison gates, where her family had gone to meet her: rather the family were first sent away, and then she was dropped at a metro station. [The authorities presumably sought to prevent the family photograph in front of the prison gates which is almost customary when Bahai prisoners are released. ~Sen]

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

March 15, 2019

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi released in Sanandaj


Campaign for prisoners of conscience, March 13, 2019. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 70-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, was released from prison on March 12. He has served just over four months of a one year sentence, but has been freed under a prison amnesty marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime,” and his one-year sentence was to be followed by one year in internal exile in Minab, 1700 kilometers from his home. The sentence apparently related to follow-up actions he took following the destruction of the Bahai cemetery in Sanandaj. His wife Parvaneh Rahmani-Ra’ufi (پروانه رحمانی رئوفی) has also been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile, but has not yet begun her sentence (according to my partial information).

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

March 11, 2019

Ruhiyyeh Narimaan released in Shiraz: a reason for hope?


HRANA, March 10, 2019, with editorial commentary. –

Ruhiyyeh Narimaan (روحیه نریمان) was provisionally released from prison in Shiraz on March 9. Her sentence has been put in abeyance pending a sitting of the Provincial Review Court. Mrs. Narimaan and her husband Farzaad Delaaraam (فرزاد دلارام) were originally sentenced to five years in prison by the notorious Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی), but the Review Court reduced this to two years and six months for Ruhiyyeh Nariman and one year for Faarzaad Delaaraam. They were arrested in Shiraz on October 8, 2018, to begin serving their sentences, so she has served only five months of her 30-month sentence. Her husband was released in early February, benefiting from an amnesty for some prisoners of conscience marking the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Revolution.

Mrs. Nariman’s release is not related to the amnesty, and the re-review of a sentence already determined by the Review Court is highly unusual. I speculate — optimistically — that her release relates to a January ruling by the Alborz Province Review Court, in the case of Liza Tebyanian Enayati (لیزا تبیانیان ( عنایتی), that teaching the Bahai Faith is not equivalent to “propaganda against the regime.” Mrs. Enayati was acquitted and released. Part of the verdict issued by Branch 12 of the Alborz Province Review Court, headed by Judge Ali Badri (قاضی علی بدری), states: “The propagation of the Bahaism does not constitute propaganda against the regime. Basically, in the law, belief in Bahai Faith has not been criminalized so as to be able to prosecute or punish anyone under this charge…” Another part of the proceedings states: “Basically religious propagation, which is not considered to be against the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its sovereignty, is not considered a crime; [considering it a crime] is contrary to the Constitutional rights of citizenship.”

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

March 3, 2019

Puya Tabayaniyan released early in Semnan


HRANA, March 2, 2019. –

Mr. Puya Tabayaniyan (پویا تبیانیان), a Bahai who began as sentence of seven years in the Central Prison of Semnan on December 22, 2012, has been released unexpectedly after six years and two months. While prisoners in Iran generally are granted early release for good behaviour, this provision does not usually apply to Bahais. He was granted prison furlough for a few days, and when he returned to prison on March 2, he was told that he was free to go.

Mr. Tabayaniyan was first arrested on March 8, 2009 and held in solitary confinement for two months, during which he was interrogated by Judge Dowlat-Khah (قاضی دولت خواه). He was sentenced to two years in prison, and was granted a conditional release on April 29, 2010, with a six-month suspended sentence.

Then he was one of four Bahais who were arrested in Semnan on March 12, 2011. He was released on bail on April 3, and re-arrested on June 11. This was apparently for further interrogation, as reports from that time indicate that he released ten days later, on June 21, 2011. He was charged with undermining national security and propaganda against the regime, and sentenced to six and a half years in prison by Judge `Eyn al-Kamaal (قاضی عین الکمال). The six month suspended sentence was added to this.

In January, 2016, another prisoner released from the Central Prison of Semnan reported that Mr. Tabayaniyan was in solitary confinement in the prison. The reason and duration of this are not reported.

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

March 2, 2019

Hassan Momtaaz transferred, from Shiraz to Evin Prison


HRANA, March 1, 2019. –

Hassan Momtaaz Sarvestani (حسن ممتاز سروستانی), serving a five-year sentence in Adel Abaad prison in Shiraz, was transferred to Evin prison in Tehran on February 26. It appears that this is so that he can receive medical treatment outside prison. Mr. Sarvestani was a teacher of Persian literature for the Bahai Open University (BIHE). He was first arrested in 2011, and was one of ten Bahais associated with the BIHE who were tried in Tehran on March 12, 2013. His sentence was handed down by Judge Maqiseh (قاضی مقیسه) on February 25, 2014, and confirmed by the review court. He was arrested to begin serving his sentence in Shiraz on November 15, 2017, although this HRANA report says he actually began his sentence on December 28, 2017.

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

February 28, 2019

Atosa Ahmadaa’i moved from solitary confinement


HRANA, February 28, 2019. –

Atosa Ahmadaa’i Rafsanjani ( آتسا احمدآئی رفسنجانی), who was arrested in a raid on her home in Tehran on January 20, 2019, has been held incommunicado in Evin prison for 38 days. Today her family had the first news of her: she has been transferred from solitary confinement in a section of Evin Prison run by the Judiciary’s intelligence agency to a general section of the same prison. She has been denied access to her family since the time of her arrest, and Evin prison authorities refused to accept any personal belongings, health, money or clothing for her. Her family have now been told that they will be able to visit her from March 2. Her first name was previously reported on this blog as Atusa (آتوسا). There are no indications yet of the charges or reason for her arrest.

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

February 20, 2019

Four Bahai prisoners released in Mashhad (updated to four)


HRANA, February 19, 2019. –

Three Bahai women, Dori Amri (دری امری), Saaqi Fedaa’i (ساقی فدایی) and her mother Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی) have been granted early release from prison in Mashhad. A few hours later, Mr. Shaayaan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی) was also released. The four were arrested in a raid on a Bahai religious meeting in Saqi Feda’i’s home on June 1, 2014. During the raid some religious books were seized. All four were charged with propaganda against the regime and sentenced to one year in prison by Judge Soltani ( قاضی سلطانی) in February 2018, and the sentenced were confirmed by the Review Court, but they did not begin their sentences until November 1 and (in the case of Shaayaan Tafazolli) November 28, 2018.

Thus far, the amnesty has brought freedom to 36 prisoners of conscience in Iran, but has not yet included any of the many prisoners of conscience held in and around Tehran.

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

February 18, 2019

Fataaneh Nabilzaadeh released in Mashhad


HRANA, February 17, 2019. –

On February 16, Fataaneh Nabilzaadeh (فتانه نبیل‌زاده), who began her one-year sentence on July 16, 2018, was released from prison in Mashhad under an amnesty for prisoners of conscience with short sentences. She was sentenced for her association with the Bahai University (BIHE), 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. 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 Peymaan Saraaf (پیمان صراف) and Daayaan Teymouri (دایان تیموری). The two students were bailed three weeks later, but Mrs. Nabilzaadeh 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.

February 17, 2019

Two Bahai prisoners in Yazd released in amnesty


HRANA, February 16, 2019. –

Mehraan Bandi Amir-aabaadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی) and Mehraan Eslaami Amir-aabaadi (مهران اسلامی امیرآبادی), who began their one-year sentences February 2 this year, have been released in an amnesty for prisoners of conscience with confirmed sentences of less than one year, or those waiting to enter prison with sentences of six months or less. The amnesty marks the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah. It is said that some 50,000 prisoners of conscience in Iran meet the requirements for release , which indicates how many prisoners of conscience are being held. These two Bahais were initially sentenced to 18 months in prison and one year of internal exile, but this was reduced to 12 months in prison by the Review Court for Yazd Province. They were among seven Bahais arrested in Yazd in January and February 2017.

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

February 14, 2019

Farzaad Delaaraam released in Shiraz


HRANA, February 14, 2019. –

Among a number of prisoners of conscience granted early release in Iran in recent days is Farzaad Delaaraam (فرزاد دلارام), serving a one-year sentence in Shiraz. Mr. Delaaraam and his wife Ruhiyyeh Narimaan (روحیه نریمان) were originally sentenced to five years in prison by the notorious Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی), but the Review Court reduced this to two years and six months for Ruhiyyeh Nariman and one year for Faarzaad Delaaraam. They were arrested in Shiraz on October 8, 2018, to begin serving their sentences, so Mr. Delaaraam has served only four and a half months of his sentence. His early release will be especially welcome since the couple have two children, one being a child, the other a young teenager. The early releases of some prisoners of conscience in recent days presumably relates to the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

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

September 20, 2018

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi released unexpectedly in Yazd


Iranians Global, September 19. 2018. –

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی), a 60-year-old Bahai from Yazd who began his 18-month sentence on August 7 this year, has been released without warning, after serving just six weeks, as well as (presumably) recognition of time he spent under interrogation before his trial. Earlier sources said that his sentence was 12 months, but in either case his release is unexpected and early.

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

September 3, 2018

Sima Kiani released from Evin Prison


Payam-e Haqq, September 2, 2018. –

Ms. Sima Kiani (سیما کیانی), a Bahai resident of Shahr-e Rey (on the outskirts of Tehran), was released from Evin Prison in Tehran on September 1, after serving a one-year sentence on charges of “propaganda against the regime.” She was arrested by Security Forces for the first time on March 8, 2017 and was freed on bail of 200 million Tomans (equal to $US45,000) in early April 2017. The photograph I have chosen dates from that time. At the time of her arrest, all of Ms. Kiani’s Bahai books and images, articles, CDs, and her personal computer, were confiscated. On January 27 she was tried and convicted on the charge of propaganda against the regime, and sentenced to one year in prison by the Shahr-e Rey Revolutionary Court. She began her sentence immediately after the trial.

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

August 5, 2018

Nika Khalusi ends her prison term

HRANA, August 5, 2018. –

Nika Khalusi (نیکا خلوصی) has been released from prison in Mashhad at the end of her 5-year term. She began her sentence on April 30, 2014. She and her sister Nava (نوا خلوصی) were sentenced for “membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic.” Nava Khalusi, sentenced to four and a half years, was released on September 4, 2017. Their father, Manuchher Khalusi (منوچهر خلوصی) was released on July 31, 2017, at the end of a one-year sentence.

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

July 10, 2018

Sheida Qoddusi granted prison furlough


Iran Press Watch, June 29, 2018. –

Sheida Qoddusi (شیدا قدوسی), who has served over a year of her 5-year sentence in Gorgan prison, began a 10-day furlough on June 27. She was one of about 20 Bahais who were arrested in Golestan Province in October, 2012, and later released on bail. They were tried by Judge Qanbari (قاضی قنبری). Sheida Qoddusi was initially sentenced to 11 years in prison, reduced to five years by the review court. She has two children.

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

May 12, 2018

Mahsa Mahdavi released from prison

mahsa-mahdavi-kampain-info_-324x160
Radio Zamaneh (web site), May 11, 2018.

Mahsa Mahdavi (مهسا مهدوی) was released from Vakil Abad Prison in Mashhad on May 10, after serving an 8-month sentence for her Bahai beliefs. She was one of four Bahais arrested in Mashhad in September, 2012, who were sentenced in May, 2013: her sentence was the shortest. They were accused of teaching the Bahai Faith, propaganda against the regime and membership of Bahai organisations.

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

May 8, 2018

Navid Khanjani released after 6 years in prison

Navid Khanjani is holding the red flowers


VOA, May 7, 2018.

Navid Khanjani (نوید خانجانی) has been released from Rajai Shahr prison, near Tehran.

Mr. Khanjani’s original 12-year sentence was due to his peaceful activities in defending human rights and the right to education. With the implementation of Article 134 of the Penal Code, the diverse charges against him were integrated, and he was sentenced to five years in prison with a release date on June 6, 2017. At the last moment he was informed that his one-year sentence from a different case was being implemented immediately and he would remain in prison.

Mr. Khanjani was arrested the first time on March 1, 2010, by the Ministry of Intelligence and was released on bail after about two months of interrogation and solitary confinement. On December 20, 2010, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Yahya PirAbassi (قاضی یحیی پیرعباسی), sentenced him on the following charges:

+ Spreading false news,
+ Disturbing public opinion,
+ Propaganda against the Islamic Republic through disseminating news reports,
+ Appearing in interviews with foreign TV and radio stations,
+ Membership of the Central Council of the Human rights Reporters Committee,
+ Establishing the “Deprived of Education” group

An informed source at the time of sentencing (February 2011) said that “During the trial, the lawyer’s defense was basically not considered.” Mr. Khanjani, has not been allowed any furlough since his detention in August 2012.

Mr. Khanjani’s one-year sentence, now completed, is due to the “Sarand Camp Case.” He was one of 35 civil society activists who had gone to Varzaghan in East Azarbaijan on August 11, 2012 to help the earthquake victims. They were arrested by the police and their camp was shut down. Most of the activists were released, but due to his existing sentence of 12 years, Mr. Khanjani remained in custody.

Mr. Khanjani, now aged 31, is a former member of the “Human Rights Activists,” “Human Rights Reporters Committee,” and founder of ” The Association Opposing Educational Discrimination.”

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

May 2, 2018

Saba Golshan released in Isfahan


Hamid Rezataghipour, May 2, 2018.

Mr. Saba Golshan ( صبا گلشن ) has been granted conditional released from prison in Isfahan, after two and a half years in detention. As I reported yesterday, he was released with Shahram Eshraqi (شهرام اشراقی) on April 30, and recalled to prison a few hours later. After spending one more night in prison, he has been granted conditional release.

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

May 1, 2018

Shahram Eshraqi released in Isfahan; Saba Golshan released and re-arrested

HRANA, May 1, 2018.

Shahram Eshraqi (شهرام اشراقی) was released from Isfahan Prison on April 30, after two and half years’ detention. he began his on October 11, 2015, and was granted a one-month furlough for medical treatment in February-March 2017. He suffers from a respiratory ailment, and is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, when he served in the front lines. This is the fourth time he has gone to prison for his Bahai beliefs. He was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on July 31, 2012, along with four other Bahais. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison and a one-year suspended sentence, in a mass trial of Bahais held in a court in Yazd. His mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law were among the Bahais executed in Shiraz in 1983.

Mr. Saba Golshan ( صبا گلشن ), a Bahai who was arrested and tried in the same process as Mr. Eshraqi, was released along with Mr. Eshraqi, but an hour later was summoned to return to prison. There has been no further explanation. He is serving a three-year prison term, plus one year suspended. he suffers from severe cardio-pulmonary disease, and has been granted medical furloughs of at least two months, for surgery and other treatment, during his time in prison.

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

April 24, 2018

Afif Na`imi returns to prison

HRANA, April 23, 2018.

Afif Na`imi (عفیف نعیمی), one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran) returned to Raja’i Shahr prison on April 23, at the end of his furlough for medical treatment. He suffers serious heart problems, blood clots, lymph node problems and acute swelling of the throat. On several occasions in recent years, he has been taken from prison for treatment, only to be returned to prison with the treatment incomplete. His health problems are described as “severe,” and the prison’s Medical Examiner has determined that he is not fit for prison because of his failing health. In 2016 he was granted a furlough for medical treatment which eventually extended to five months, returning to Rajai Shahr prison on January 28 this year. His sentence was due to be fully served (i.e., without the usual early release provisions) on February 27, 2018, but the authorities have said he must serve another 10 months, apparently because his sentence was suspended on two occasions.

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

April 3, 2018

Shahab Dehqani released after four years


Iran Press Watch, March 26, 2018.

Shahab Dehqani ( شهاب دهقانی), a Bahai from Tehran was released from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, upon the completion his four-year sentence. He was arrested in July 2012 during a massive security operation against Bahais. Nearly 20 Baha’is, in the cities of Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, were arrested in this operation. Mr. Dehqani was charged with propaganda against the regime and forming illegal assemblies, and sentenced to four years by the notorious abuser of human rights, Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای), who was also responsible for sentencing the seven “Yaran” on trumped-up charges of espionage. He reported to Evin Prison to serve his four-year on May 24, 2014. The next day, he was transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. He was granted a 3-day prison furlough in June, 2015.

Mr. Dehghani’s wife, Shomais Mohajer (شمیس مهاجر) was arrested at the same time and sentenced to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime and illegal gathering. She was released on May 26, 2015.

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

April 2, 2018

Nasim Baqeri released after 4 years


HRANA, March 29, 2018.

Nasim Baqeri (نسیم باقری), one of 10 Bahais associated with the Bahai Open University (BIHE) who were tried in Tehran on March 12, 2013, has been released from Tehran’s Evin Prison at the end of her 4-year sentence. The Judge who sentenced her is the notorious abuser of human rights, Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای), who was also responsible for sentencing the “Yaran” on trumped-up charges of espionage.

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

March 17, 2018

Jamaloddin Khanjani released after 10 years in prison


Morteza Esmailpour (Facebook), March 17, 2018.

Jamaloddin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی), one of the imprisoned “Yaran” (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran), has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison, located about an hour west of Tehran. He is 84 years old, and has served a 10-year sentence for his work in serving the Bahai community in Iran.

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

February 25, 2018

Jamaloddin Khanjani returned to prison


Human Rights in Iran, February 23, 2018.

On February 22, Jamaloddin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی), one of the imprisoned “Yaran” (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran), was returned to Raja’i Shahr prison, located about an hour west of Tehran. He is 84 years old (not 86 as previously reported) and was taken to a hospital cardiac care unit following a recent heart attack in prison. He is reported to have undergone surgery in hospital. Doctors have warned that he should be under constant care and that prison conditions are not suitable for him. However he has not even been granted the normal right to prison furlough during his time in prison. He is nearing the end of a 10-year sentence for his work in serving the Bahai community in Iran. The sentencing judge was the notorious human rights abuser, Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه). Mr. Khanjani had had heart surgery before entering prison, and suffered a previous heart attack in prison, in January 2014, when he was taken to Pars Hospital in Tehran for treatment.

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


February 17, 2018

Sa`id Reza’i released after 10 years in prison

From left to right: Mr. Reza’i with Fariba Kamalabadi, Mahvash Sabet, Afif Na’imi and Behrouz Tavakolli.


Fariba Kamalabadi (Facebook), February 17, 2018.

Sa`id Reza’i (سعید رضایی) one of the imprisoned “Yaran” (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran), has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison at the end of a ten year sentence for his activities in service of the Bahais of Iran.

Mr. Reza’i (link opens in PDF format), now aged 60, is an agricultural engineer who ran a successful farming equipment business in Fars Province. He is also known for his extensive scholarship on Bahai topics, and is the author of several books and has served as an academic adviser to Bahai students. He taught Bahai children’s classes for many years, and served the Baha’i Education and Baha’i Life Institutes. He was also a member of the National Education Institute.

During the early 1980s, when persecution of Bahais was particularly intense and widespread, Mr. Rezaie moved to northern Iran and worked as a farming manager for a time. Later he moved to Kerman and worked as a carpenter and at other odd jobs in part because of the difficulties Bahais faced in finding formal employment or operating businesses. In 1985, he opened an agricultural equipment company with a Baha’i friend in Fars Province. That company prospered and won wide respect among farmers in the region.

He has experienced various forms of persecution for his Baha’i belief, including an arrest and detention in 2006 that led to 40 days in solitary confinement.
His two daughters were among 54 Baha’i youth who were arrested in Shiraz in May 2006 while engaged in a humanitarian project aimed at helping underprivileged young people. They were later released but three of their colleagues were sentenced to four years in prison on false charges and are currently incarcerated in Shiraz.

In August 2013 he was hospitalized due to a gastrointestinal disorder, and was transferred back to Rajai Shahr prison on August 7. During his treatment, tests revealed that he also has a 70% blockage in his coronary artery. He underwent emergency heart surgery. Doctors ordered one month of after care in a quiet and suitable location. Ignoring the doctor’s orders for post-op care, officials returned him to Raja’i Shahr prison.

February 16, 2018

Jamaloddin Khanjani transferred to hospital; Sa`id Reza’i due for release


Bazdasht, February 16, 2018.

Jamaloddin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی), one of the imprisoned “Yaran” (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran), has been taken from Rajai Shahr prison to a cardiac care unit in hospital. It appears he suffered a heart attack in prison. He is now aged 86. He is now one month from the end of a 10-year sentence for his work in serving the Bahai community in Iran. He had had heart surgery before entering prison, and suffered a heart attack in prison, in January 2014, when he was taken to Pars Hospital in Tehran for treatment.

Another of the Yaran, Sa`id Reza’i (سعید رضایی), is expected to be released on February 17.

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

February 7, 2018

Hana Kushkabaghi granted conditional release


HRANA, February 6, 2018.

Hana Kushkabaghi ( هنا کوشکباغی ) from Gonbad-e Kabus, was released from the “integrated prison’ there On February 5, after serving one third of her sentence of one year and nine months. Her release is conditional. She began her sentence on October 11, 2017, but the time she was detained before her trial would also be counted.

She was one of 22 Bahais of Golestan Province who were arrested on October 17, 2012. They 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. She was originally sentenced to 9 years, but this was reduced by the Review Court.

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

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