Sen's daily

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 1, 2019

Bahai scholar and translator Faruq Izadinia describes his own trial

Iran Press Watch, February 28, 2019. –

The court hearing for the charges against Faruq Izadinia (فاروق ایزدی نیا ), a scholar, translator and Bahai citizen of Tehran, was held last week in the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. The author, who is again free on bail, describes the process of his prosecution and last week’s court hearing in an open letter which Iran Press Watch has translated. He was arrested when his home was raided at 10.30 a.m. on February 12, 2017. He has also been arrested previously for his religious beliefs, including being among those sentenced to death in the 1980’s, but this sentence was reversed and he was released after a five-year prison term. The full report and his description of his trial is on Iran Press Watch.

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

November 24, 2018

Two arrests and a summons in Tehran

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sen @ 00:32

HRANA, November 21, 2018. –

HRANA is reporting three apparently unrelated cases relating to Bahais in Tehran. The first concerns Mrs Mahvash `Adaalati-Za’iri (مهوش عدالتی (زائری)), whose home was searched for three hours on November 20. The security agents seized some Bahai books and other personal effects, and issued a summons to attend for interrogation, on an unspecified date. Also on November 20, the home of Mrs. Sepideh Keshaavarz (سپیده کشاورز) was searched, some books and electronic devices were seized, and she was arrested: her whereabouts are unknown. On November 18, security forces arrested Shahrzaad Nazifi (شهرزاد نظیفی), a well-known sportswoman and trainer in women’s motorcross.

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

June 2, 2018

Abdu’l-Baha speaks – in bilingual format

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sen @ 08:20

My latest book is out, from Leiden University Press (click to order (please)).

It is 400 pages, most of them in bilingual Persian/English format. This is the third bilingual book in modern Iranian Studies that I have done, and the second for the Iranian Studies Series. The works in this volume are three of Abdu’l-Baha’s socio-political essays: The Secret of Divine Civilization, Selections from A Traveller´s Narrative and The Art of Governance. There is about 80 pages of introduction outlining the historical setting and the authors and actors that Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha knew. There are also translator’s notes on various textual issues, where a short footnote would not suffice, and an index.

November 5, 2017

Eight more detainees bailed in Kermanshah

HRANA, November 4, 2017.

Following the release of Sepideh Ahrary (سپیده احراری), on October 18, her eight fellow detainees have also been bailed. Mrs. Ahrary, who is pregnant, was released on bail of 100 million tumans (31,000 euros, $US 33,000). The report does not specify the amount of bail for the remaining eight — Azzatollah Shahidi (عزت الله شهیدی), Feruzan Amini (فروزان امینی), Kambiz Moradipour (کامبیز مرادی پور), Amrullah Eslami (امرالله اسلامی), Nematullah Shadabi (نعمت الله شادابی), Sino Rasouli (سینو رسولی) and Amir Kadivar ( امیر کدیور). They were arrested in home raids on the morning of October 18, and detained at the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence. These and other recent arrests in Iran apparently relate to Bahais commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the Iranian who founded the Bahai community, but since these nine were arrested in raids on multiple houses, it appears that they were simply remembering this historic event in private in their own homes.

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

October 5, 2017

Five years for five Tehran Bahais; good news in Mashhad

Payam News (Facebook), October 4.

Navid Aqdasi (نوید اقدسی), Yahvah Haqiqat Mehlabani ( یاور حقیقت مهلبانی), Helia Moshtaq (هلیا مشتاق), Nava Monjazeb Qamasari (نوا منجذب قمصری) and Negar Baqeri Tari’ (نگار باقری طاری ) have been sentenced to five years in prison for their Bahai beliefs. The sentence, in the “magistrate’s” court will be reviewed in the Provincial Court of Review. They were among 20 Bahais who were arrested in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad on November 15, 2015, two of whom were released within a few hours.

Following their arrests, they were held for interrogation for over a month, and then abiled. Bail for Mrs. Monjazeb, Baqeri and Haqiqat was set at 100 million tumans (31,000 euros, $US 33,000). I do not know the bail for the other two
detainees in Tehran.

In April this year it was announced that Khoshayar and Shayan Tafazolli ( خشایار و شایان تفضلی ) and Sina Aqdas-zadeh ( سینا اقدس زاده ), Bahais from Mashhad, were sentenced by Judge Mansouri (قاضی منصوری) to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime. However the latest report — probably revised following the Court of Review’s ruling, but the report says it comes from the Revolutionary (ideological crimes) Court — is that Shayan Tafazolli was acquitted, and the other two received a one-year sentence to be suspended for five years.

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

October 4, 2017

Mariya Kothari sentenced in Qorveh

Payam News, October 4, 2017.

Dr. Mariya Kothari (ماریا کوثری), a Bahai from Qorveh, who was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on October 4, 2016, has been sentenced to one year in prison, a fine of five million [tumans], and two years in internal exile in the town of Torbat Heydarieh. Mrs. Kothari was accused of teaching the Bahai Faith. She has been free on bail since October 18, 2016. After her arrest in Qorveh she was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities first in Qorveh and then in Sanandaj.

Mrs. Kothari’s husband and son do not have Iranian nationality and have been required to leave Iran. Her husband lives in Ecuador and her son in Australia.

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

September 4, 2017

Bahai student expelled in Shiraz

Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 3, 2017.

On September 3, Laya Sho`arzadeh (لعیا شاعرزاده) was expelled from Hafez University in Shiraz, where she was in the third semester of a course in architectural draughtsmanship, because of her Bahai beliefs. The University is a non-governmental tertiary institute.

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

August 12, 2017

Scam version of ‘Church and State’ advertised

Filed under: Humour,Uncategorized — Sen @ 12:01
Tags: , ,

Editorial, August 12, 2017.

I have a google alert for references to my book Church and State, which is self-published as a Master’s dissertation. This morning the alert tells me that “Virgin Virtual Group” is offering a download version. I have not released any electronic version myself, but there’s nothing to stop someone — living where copyright is not enforced — scanning a book and selling the digital version for profit. In this case it’s a free download, which is rather insulting, but a profit can also be made from advertising on the pages that offer free downloads. But I would expect such people to start at the top of Amazon’s fastest-selling books list and work down, rather than starting at the bottom, as in this case. That arouses suspicion.

The URL goes to, but the link in fact takes you to That’s the first warning sign: I was out of there immediately.

A scan down the results of a google search on “Booksco” (without clicking any links) reveals that it is a bookseller with bad grammar. That’s another warning sign.

Scamadvisor says that is a very new site located in the United States, not in the UK, and adds “but the real location is being hidden.” The owner is in Panama. Its trust score is 29%, less than a U.S. President on a bad day. So as far as I am concerned, it’s case closed: this is fake Church and State. It may take your money or your bank details or provide you with free malware, but it won’t deliver you my dissertation.

It is very likely that there is a real bookstore called Books Company, based in Oconamowoc, which is a real town. But don’t use this site or any information on it to contact the real bookshop.

Church and State is still for sale on Amazon, with two used copies in good condition available for $US 28. It is selling out, at the rate of one per year, so get yours this century, or wait for an authentic electronic version, to be advertised by the author.

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

July 31, 2017

Nine Bahais acquitted by review court in Zahedan

Human Rights in Iran (Persian), July 31, 2017.

Eight Bahais who had previously been sentenced to five years in prison have been acquitted by the Review Court in Zahedan, along with another Bahai, the 19-year old Tabsim Hosseini (تبسم حسینی), who had been sentenced to one year in prison. The other eight are named as Siavash Rahimi (سیاوش رحیمی), Shayan Rahimi (شایان رحیمی), Shoeleh Ram (شعله رام ), Bahram Ruhani (بهرام روحانی), Farshid Dadvan (فرشید دادور), Heyda Yazdan (هیدا یزدان), Mehroush Ramdani (مهرنوش رمضانی), Amelia Hokiman (امیلیا حکیمان) — the mother of Tabsim Hosseini. The arrest and sentencing of Shayan Rahimi and Shoeleh Ram were not previously reported on Sen’s Daily.

Farshid Dadvar, Amelia Hokiman and Tabsim Hosseini were arrested by agents from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence on November 6, 2016. On November 21, Tabsim Hosseini was released on bail from the Ministry of Intelligence jail. Mr. Dadvar, who is from Yazd, had previously been detained for two months after being arrested (with two other Bahais) in Zahedan on December 23, 2012. It would appear that on that occasion no charges were laid against him. On November 25, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched the home and workplace of Bahram Ruhani in Zahedan, seizing books, CDs, casette tapes, and a mobile telephone. On the following morning Mehroush Ramdani, Heyda Yazdanand Siavash Rahimi were arrested in their homes in the same way.

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

July 25, 2017

Numerous Bahai business sealed in Urmia and other centres

Bahai News (facebook), July 24, 2017.

Local authorities in Urmia (Urumiyyeh) have sealed the doors of at least 19 Bahai run business in Urmia, on the excuse that the businesses were closed on July 9 this year, when Bahais around the world remembered the martyrdom of the Bab in Tabriz, in 1850. The closures began on July 19, and is continuing. Notices of forthcoming closure have been issued progressively, affecting 6 businesses each day. At first the owners were given 10 days notice of closure, but later only 4 days. The agents concerned have said that more than 100 businesses run by Bahais in Urmia will be closed, which would amount to about 90 percent of the Bahai-run businesses.

In a separate report, Bahai News reports that since July 9, Bahais who have businesses in Khorramshahr have been individually summoned, sometimes by telephone, to the Ministry of Intelligence and threatened with closure. They were asked why their businesses were closed on July 9, and told that they must inform the authorities of any closure 1 week in advance. The summonses are still occurring, and have thus far seen 9 Bahais threatened with the closure of their businesses.

In the past year, over 300 Bahai-run businesses across Iran have been closed by the authorities, on the excuse that they closed their doors on a Bahai Holy Day. Yet this is perfectly legal: business owners in non-essential sectors are allowed to close their businesses for up to 15 days in the course of each year, without notifying the authorities.

The shops and workshops that have reported closed thus far, in Urmia, belonged to Vahab Moghaddam (وهاب مقدم), Navid Morghi (نوید مرغی), Siavash Abdi (سیاوش عبدی), Fardin `Owza’i (فردین اعضائی), Faridoun `Owza’i (فریدون اعضائی), Aynullah Aqdasi (عین الله اقدسی), Sina Derakhti (سینا درختی), Chengir Shahmohammedi (چنگیر شاه محمدی), `Erfan Samandari (عرفان سمندری), Ali Latifi (علی لطیفی), Elham `Abdi (الهام عبدی), Arman Nourzai (آرمان نورزی), Nasr Panahi (ناصر پناهی ), Omid Latifi (امید لطیفی), Rita Latifi (ریتا لطیفی), Sassan Karimi (ساسان کریمی), Bonyan Maqsudi (بنیان مقصودی), Qorban Najafzadeh (قربان نجف زاده) and Mr. Suleimani (سلیمانی).

In addition, a business run by Farhad Joushnei (فرهاد جوشنی), a Bahai living in Shahrud, has recently been closed.

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

July 17, 2017

Afnan library online collection opened to the public

Editorial, July 17, 2017.

The Afnan library has announced the opening of its online collection, including the 99 volumes of the Iranian National Bahai Archives. The works available now include:

English and other European-language publications (books and journals (the latter being ‘The Dawn,’ an important journal containing hitherto unnoticed translations by Shoghi Effendi).

Unpublished English language manuscripts (academic theses)- 1 item

Persian and Arabic publications (4 books and 2 journals)

Persian and Arabic manuscripts, being the very important INBA series (99 volumes plus indexes), and other materials are promised.

There are also categories of “English and other European-language unpublished papers” and “other materials” which have no content yet. News about the Afnan Library will continue to be published on their Facebook page.

November 4, 2016

Over 90 Bahai businesses sealed by authorities

Iran Press Watch, November 4, 2016.

According to Bahai News (Persian) and Gold News, security agents and agents from the Office of Public Places raided and shut down eight Bahai-owned businesses in Karaj, 35 in Sari, seven in Nowshahr, 6 in Tonekabon, one each in Fereydunkenar and Amol, two in Bahnemir, three in Chalus, five in Bandar Abbas and 29 Bahai-owned businesses in Qaemshahr.

[The majority of the closures appear to relate to the observance of the Bahai holy days but the report includes the closure of eight Bahai-run optometry business in Karaj, which took place before the Holy Days.]

The names of the business owners along with the corresponding business are as follows:


Mansour and Manouchehr Enayati — Zeis store
Farshid Azarshab — Eyeglasses store
Koursoh Sharifzadeh — Sam Optics
Shahriar Rabbani — Lathe workshop, Eyeglasses
Kourosh Laghayee — Glasses repair shop
Pejman Misaahi — Sina Glasses Repair Shop
Forouhari — Optometry
Mahtab — Optometry


Bahman Rohani — Photography shop
Monib Mansour — Optometry
Raki Yousefi — Optometry
Arastou Aasadi — Welding business
Riazollah Heravi — Horology business
Arash Derakhshanian — Mechanic’s shop
Behshad Derakhshanian — Burglar alarm business

Bandar Abbas

Behzad Rasti — Gameron Glasses
Behram Heidarpour and Mr. Ataollah Rezvani’s family — Zeiss Eyeglasses Store
Mr. Sharafi — Arash Glasses Store
Behzad Heidarpour — Tamasha Eyeglasses Store
Mr. Shadpour — Shayan Optic (managed by Mr. Soleimani)


Zahra Golabian — Optometry
Sohrab Laghayee — Optometry
Nima Miri — Cosmetics
Fairborn Sabeti — Appliance repair
Farzad Sabeti — Car alignment and oil change
Changiz Derakhshanian and Nima Nokhah — Toy shop
Rezvaneh Samii — Garment store
Kourosh Ahmadzadegan — Security systems
Alaoddin Mirzayee — Security systems
Shayan Ghedami — Paint store
Hooman Rostami — Burglar alarm business
Shahram and Shahrouz Zamani — Auto parts
Soheil Haghdoost — Optometry
Bahaoddin Samimi — Stationery store
Jhobin Yousefi — Burglar alarm business
Behnam and Behdad Shirvani — Appliance repair
Noorollah Ataeeyan — Motor winding business
Bahram Safari — Electronics
Naim Samimi – Auto body shop
Fazel Asadi – Mobile repair
Zekrollah Akbari – Welding business
Shahin Akbari – Ironware
Fariborz Sanaee – Plastic ware
Zekrollah Babayee – Grocery
Atrollah Movafagh – Refrigerator repair
Shahrokh Asadi – Refrigerator repair
Daryoush Bakhtiari – Automobile studio
Saeed Asadi – Auto repair
Jalal Atayeean – Cosmetics


Mahyar Ghanbari — Security systems installation
Nima Mahinbakht — Security systems installation
Behzad Zabihi — Eyeglasses store
Kamaloddin Akbar — Woodturning
Ghavanoddin Sabetian — Carpentry
Ramin Moosavi — Building decoration
Naim Kamali — Appliance repair
Kourosh Ahmadi — Engine tuning
Zatollah Darabi — Carpentry
Sanaee — Cosmetics
Zia Khoshbin — Paint store (commercial)
Kourosh Moradi — Carpentry
Hossein Ahmadi — Carpentry
Jamal Movafaghi — Carpentry
Asghar Movafaghi — Carpentry
Ashkan Khalili — Motor winding
Shahrouz Zamani — Auto parts
Yaghoub Akbari — Appliance repair
Kamaloddin Akbari – Woodturning
Mahyar Ghanbari – Security systems installation
Ehsan Sanee – Cosmetics
Sohrab Zahedi – Stationery store
Nima Shabrokh – Cosmetics
Bahman Zabihi – Fabrics and crafts store
Shahriar Foroughian — Electric windings
Behrouz Yousefi – Home appliances repair
Vahid Golpour – Clothing
Jahanbakhsh Movafaghi – Woodturning
Saed Andokhs – Clothing
Akbar Hosseini – Wood shop
Hesam Yousefi – Carpentry
Arman Safaee – Stationery store
Zargham Zamani – Clothing
Shahram Nobakht – Appliances store
Pezhman Roshankoohi – Appliances store


Misagh Esmaeil zadegan — Telephone repair
Noushin Masoudian — Clothing
Sirous Nasiri — Cabinet making
Saleh Eshkevarian — Home appliances
Sina Garshasbi — Home appliances
Naeim Khalaj Abadi — Furniture manufacturing


Afshin Azadi — Clothing


Ahmad Nikounejad — Gas appliances (sale and repair)
Feizollah Nikounejad — Bike repair


Serrollah Hekmatshoar


Daryoush Talaee — Shoes store
Farshid Kian — Eyeglasses store
Afshin Sobati — Eyeglasses store

According to Bahai News, the reason for sealing these businesses has been the closure of these shops during the nine Bahai religious holidays. This is despite the fact that according to the Executive Regulations of Article Twenty-eight of the Trade Law, commercial units can keep their businesses closed for up to 15 days without providing prior notice to officials.

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

August 16, 2016

Saba Golshan granted furlough for medical treatment

Bahai News, August 14, 2016.

Mr. Saba Golshan ( صبا گلشن ), a Bahai from Isfahan who is serving a 3-year sentence for his Bahai beliefs, was released from prison on August 14 for medical treatment. He had previously been granted a 2-month medical furlough for surgery and other treatment, and a request to extend this leave, early in February this year, was refused. His treatment was therefore interrupted.

On August 1, 2011, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided many Bahai homes in the cities of Yazd , Isfahan, Kerman and Arak, and arrested 17 Bahais. Two weeks later, three more Bahais were arrested in Yazd. These 20 Bahais have been given sentences totaling 58 years (or 78 years, of which 20 years are suspended sentences) by the Revolutionary Court in Yazd. Mr. Golshan’s sentence is 4 years, of which one year is suspended. He began his sentence on August 12, 2015.

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

August 9, 2016

17 Bahais in Yazd arrested, and later released

Bahai News (Persian), August 4, 2016, and updates

In recent days, seventeen Baha’is in Yazd were arrested in raids on homes, conducted without a search warrant. Security agents climbed over the gate of a house in Yazd belonging to Mr. Sahil Rouhani-Fard and Mr. Azzatullah Khorram (سهیل روحانی فرد و عزت الله خرم). They arrested all those present (the number is not stated), and searched the house. Mr. Rouhani-Fard was previously imprisoned for two years because of his Bahai beliefs.

During the following night they raided the home of two other Bahais and arrested them. The arrested Bahais were interrogated and released within a few hours, except that

Gold News reports that on the morning of August 8, security forces in Yazd simultaneously raided the home and workplace of Mr. Mehran Bandi (مهران بندی), a Bahai whose home was raided in February 2014, and who was previously imprisoned for three and a half years, and exiled for three and a half years, because of his Bahai beliefs. The agents seized books, computers, a satellite receiver, mobile phone and images of Bahai sacred places. Mr. Bandi has been told to report to Bureau of Public Places in Yazd today, August 9, along with his son.

They also raided the home of Mr. Mashallah Shadepour (ماشاالله شادپور) [during the day]. Because his wife was not at home, they went to his work place. After searching that, they took him with him to his home and searched it. Mr. Shadepour’s elderly mother, Mrs. Safa Zarandeyun (خانم صفا زرندیون) is not able to walk, and for that reason had not opened the door for the agents.

The agents also went to a downstairs apartment used by Mr. Shadepour’s aunt, Mrs. Ridvan Shadepour (رضوان شادپور), and searched it. She is the wife of the Ali Motahari (علی مطهری), a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of Yazd, who was executed for his Bahai beliefs on September 8, 1980. Their daughter, Mrs. `Azam Motahari (اعظم مطهری) is now serving a one-year sentence in the central prison of Yazd.

The sequence of events and scale of the raids is not entirely clear from these reports. A Facebook report from Bahai News states that Sahil Rouhani-Fard and Mr. Azzatullah Khorram were freed from detention on August 4. It is possible that a number of their friends visited them to congratulate them on their release, and the raids followed this gathering.

May 10, 2016

Fariba Kamalabadi begins five-day prison furlough

Bahai News (Persian, facebook), May 9, 2016.

Fariba Kamalabadi (فریبا کمال آبادی ) one of the seven “Yaran” (National facilitators for the Bahai community) who are serving ten-year prison sentences as prisoners of conscience, has been granted a five-day leave from prison following the birth of her grandchild. In November, 2014, she was denied leave to attend her daughter’s wedding. According to the normal prison rules (which do not necessarily apply for Bahai prisoners), she should be due for early release now, having served 8 years of a 10-year sentence.

The seven ‘Yaran’ served as national facilitators assisting the Bahais of Iran in their dealings with government organs until their arrest and imprisonment. They were appointed following the disappearance and execution of the elected leadership of the Bahais in Iran in 1980, and again in 1981. The elected leaders in many cities were also executed at that time, notably in Tehran, Tabriz, Yazd and Hamadan, where a total of 33 members of the local Bahai “Assemblies” were executed, in addition to the 18 members of the two national “Assemblies” and two assistants. In August 1983, the government declared the elected assemblies illegal. In accordance with the principle of obedience to government, the Bahais then dissolved all elected bodies. Nevertheless, seven former members of the national Assembly were arrested and executed. (see this Wikipedia article).

National and local facilitators were later appointed, principally because government bodies needed to have a Bahai representative to discuss necessary matters and to transmit government instructions to the Bahais, which were not publicised in the media. One of the most important tasks of the facilitators was to arrange for Bahai burials, as Bahais are often barred from burial in public cemeteries, and Bahai practice requires a coffin, which is not allowed in many public cemeteries.

On 5 March 2008, one of the Yaran, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet (مهوش ثابت) – a schoolteacher and mother of two – was arrested having been summoned to the Iranian city of Mashhad to discuss some matters regarding a Bahai burial. Two months later, on 14 May, the other six Yaran were arrested in raids of their homes. Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi was one of these, the others being Jamaloddin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی), Afif Na`imi (عفیف نعیمی), Sa`id Reza’i (سعید رضایی), Behrouz Tavakkoli (بهروز توکلی), and Vahid Tizfahm (وحید تیزفهم).

After twenty months in prison without charge, a trial began on January 12, 2010, under Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای). Throughout their long wait for justice, the seven had received barely one hour’s access to their legal counsel, and suffered appalling treatment and deprivations, including psychological and physical hardship. They were charged with spying for Israel, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, and the establishment of an illegal administration – charges that were all rejected completely and categorically by the defendants. According to the defence lawyer, the charge of spying for Israel was based only on the fact that the Bahai properties in Israel are tax exempt. However Bahai properties are tax exempt in almost every country, and Islamic holy sites in Israel are tax exempt! The trial of the seven accused ended on 14 June 2010 after six brief sessions, characterized by their lack of due legal process.

The initial sentence of 20 years imprisonment for each of the defendants, met with outrage and condemnation throughout the world. One month later, the appeal court revoked three of the charges, including that of spying for Israel, and reduced their sentence to 10-year jail terms. In March 2011, the prisoners were informed that their original 20-year sentences were reinstated. In November, 2015, the 20-year sentences were again reduced to ten years. Despite repeated requests, neither the prisoners nor their attorneys have ever received official copies of the original verdict or the ruling on appeal.

Mrs. Kamalabadi was initially detained in Evin Prison in Tehran. On July 29, 2010, all the Yaran were transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison (Gohar Dasht prison), about 50 kilometers West of Tehran. On May 6, 2011, when the women’s block at Raja’i Shahr was closed, she and Mahvash Sabet were transferred to Gharchak Varamin prison, 40km south of Tehran, where conditions are particularly inhumane. Two weeks later she was again transferred to Evin Prison, where she has remained.

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

May 5, 2016

Six Bahai businesses closed in Ramsar and Sari; total now 39

Bahai Community News, May 2, 2016.

On May 1, local authorities closed down one Bahai-run business in Sari and five Bahai businesses in Ramsar. Both these centres lie in the province of Mazandaran, where 12 other Bahai-run businesses have been closed in the past week. This brings the total number of Bahai businesses closed in the past month, in Iran as a whole, to 39: 16 in Qaem Shahr, two in Babol, three in Tenakabon, five in Babolsar, two in Bahnamir, five in Fereydunkenar, and the six mentioned in this new report. All the closures appear to be related to the observance of Bahai festival days of Ridvan, and are contrary to Article 23 of the Constitution which forbids investigations of individuals’ religious beliefs, and also contrary to the regulations which allow businesses (except essential services) to close for 15 days per year without notifying the authorities.

According to a HRANA report, all the closures have been done in the absence of the owners, without written notice or informing the trades guild in advance. In Qaemshahr, authorities have told the Bahais that they cannot be accepted as residents and their businesses would be shut down, because they are Bahais and therefore have security files. One interesting aspect is that the Office of Public Places in Babolsar had told the Bahai businesses there that they would not be closed if they left their lights burning or the shop shutters raised during the Bahai Holy Days. It is not clear whether they complied (there is no reason why they should not) and were shut down anyway, or if they failed to comply. However this does suggest that the issue for the local authorities in Babolsar is that, on Bahai Holy Days, there should be no obvious sign in the commercial district of the number of Bahai-run businesses in the town. In other towns however, the closures are part of a general pattern of persecuting the Bahais at any opportunity. In 1934, when the Shah wished to close down the Bahai schools in Iran, he used the observance of Bahai Holy Days as an excuse.

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

January 26, 2016

24 Bahais in Gorgan sentenced to a total of 193 years in prison

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sen @ 06:07

Bahai News (Persian, facebook), January 26, 2016.

The court in Gorgan which has been hearing the cases of small groups of Bahais since April 25, 2015, has issued sentences in 24 cases, sending these Bahais to prison for 193 years, collectively. These sentences are one of the heaviest rulings issued in the past few years, for Bahais. The names and sentences of these 24 Bahais are listed below:

Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) from Minudasht and Shayda Qodousi (شيدا قدوسي) from Gorgan were each sentenced to 11 years in prison.

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) 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 were each sentenced to 9 years in prison.

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) from Gorgan, along with Kamelia Bideli (کاملیا بیدلی) and Navid Moalemi (نوید معلمی) from Minudasht were each sentenced to 6 years in prison.

These sentences will be reviewed by the Provincial court of review. Three of the women sentenced now 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 was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Among the 24 Bahais sentenced on this occasion, Shohreh Samimi is the wife of Shahnam Jadhbani, while Kamelia Bideli is the wife of Navid Moalemi.

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