Sen's daily

2010-12 (Dec)

Fired for being a Bahai

HRANA, December 31

Heshmatollah Furutan ( حشمت الله فروتن ), a Bahai of Abadeh who had been employed in a school there for almost 40 years, has been dismissed by the local authority because of his commitment to the Bahai Faith. Abadeh lies on the main road, about halfway between Shiraz and Isfahan in Iran.

Source (in Persian)
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Five raids, three arrests in ‘Orumiyeh

RAHANA, December 31

On 28 December, security agents raided the homes of five Bahai families in ‘Orumiyeh, a substantial city situated between Tarbiz and the Turkish border, and arrested Shiva Karimi, Hamira Parvizi and Navid Maraghi ( شیوا کریمی، حمیرا پرویزی و نوید مرغی ).

Source (in Persian)
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Sho’leh Ta’ef begins sentence

RAHANA, December 31

Sho`leh Ta’ef ( شعله طائف ), a Bahai of Semnan, has been summoned to begin her one-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

One arrest in Shiraz

RAHANA, 30 December

Adib Haq-pazuh ( ادیب حق پژوه ), a Bahai of Shiraz, was arrested at his home on 30 December. Agents of the Ministry of Information searched his home before arresting him.

Source (in Persian)
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Mohin Taj Rouhani summoned in Sari

HRANA, 29 December

On December 19, security agents contacted Mohin Taj Rouhani ( مهین تاج روحانی ) in Sari and summoned her to the office of the Ministry of Information to answer questions. On December 25 security agents came to her home and searched it, confiscating a computer and some personal effects, and summoned her to report to the Ministry of Information in Sari on December 29.

Source (in Persian)
January 6: Fuller story in English
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UK Parliament seeks Bahai chaplain

The Telegraph, 28 December

Muslim, Bahá’í and Zoroastrian chaplains, and representatives of Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist religions, are to be recruited for the House of Commons under plans by the Speaker’s office to be more inclusive of different faiths. However, constitutional reform would be need to allow them to read the daily prayers. At present, the Speaker’s Chaplain is the only person allowed to say the prayers before each day’s sitting and the role has been filled by an Anglican cleric since the office was created in 1660.

Full story
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Egyptian proposal to register married Bahais

Bahai Faith in Egypt, 27 December

Egypt’s Al-Shorouq newspaper reported today that a law is being put forward by Egypt’s government-sponsored National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) that would allow the official registration of Baha’i marriages in the State’s Authority that deals with certifying all official transactions and registrations. This would make it possible for married Bahais to obtain identity cards. At present, Baha’i married couples, widows/widowers, and divorced persons cannot obtain an ID card since the application for a national ID number/ID Card requires the individual to state his/her marital status, and Bahai marriages cannot be registered. If the person is single, then an ID can be issued to the applicant without much delay.

The law will amend Article-V [No. 143, 1994] of the Civil Status/Affairs Law, using the words “united in belief” rather than “united in religion.” Current official marriage registration is restricted to only three types of cases, namely, when the couple belong to two separate recognized religions, or to separate denominations/sects within the same recognized religion, or used for registering marriages between Egyptian nationals and foreign nationals.

The proposed amendment does not appear to consider the case of a Bahai-Christian or Bahai-Muslim couple, nor does any legislation in Egypt allow rights for non-believers, Hindus, Buddhists, etc..

Full story
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Dorsa Sobhani sentenced to 1 year

RAHANA, 27 December

Dorsa Sobhani ( درسا سبحانی ), a Bahai student excluded from education, who participated in the “one million signatures” campaign for women’s rights in Iran, has been sentenced in Tehran to one year in prison. She was charged with being a Bahai, signing the petition protesting discriminatory laws, membership and participation in human rights activities, and spreading false information by email including news of the imprisonment of three innocent Bahais in Shiraz. The sentence was handed down on 12 December. She was arrested in Sari on 7 March and released on bail 45 days later, having spent 27 of those days in solitary confinement.

Source (in Persian)
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Two Bahais released in Ramsar

RAHANA, 28 December

Majid Safri and Saraj Keyan ( مجید صفری و سراج کیان ), who were arrested at a Bahai ‘Feast’ (religious meeting) in Ramsar on 22 November, were released today.

Source (in Persian)

~~~~~

Bashir Ehsani summoned

Hambastegi Melli, 26 December

Bashir Ehsani ( بشیر احسانی ), a Bahai excluded from tertiary education and activist for educational rights, who was arrested following the Ashura disturbances of 2009, has been summoned to a court at Tehran’s Evin prison. The summons came by telephone, on 25 December. In the previous hearing, on March 9, he was charged with propaganda against the regime, actions endangering national security, disturbing public opinion and disturbing public order through the assembly and conspiracy. He was released on bail on March 9, following that hearing.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Ruya Qanbari and Fataneh Nouri released

HRANA, 27 December

Ruya Qanbari and Fataneh Nouri ( رویا قنبری و فتانه نوری ), Bahais of Sari, were released on 23 December, having provided a business license and security as surety. Ruya Qanbari was arrested on 20 December. Agents of the security services sought Fateneh Nouri on several occasions, before she went herself to the Ministry of Information office on 22 December. She is the wife of Omid Qanbari ( امید قنبری ) who has been detained by the Ministry of Information in Sari since 9 December, without reason or contact.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~

Contact with Anisa Safaryan

RAHANA, 27 December

Anisa Safaryan ( انیسا صفریان ), a Baha’i student at Iran University of Science and Technology in Behshar, was detained on December 20th and transferred to an unknown location. She has since contacted her father and told him about her transfer to the Babolsar Prison. The security forces entered her house in the morning and detained her after searching the house and seizing some of her personal belongings. She was a mathematics student at Iran University of Science and Technology in Behshar and was expelled for believing in the Baha’i faith.

Source
~~~~~~~~~~~

Two Bahai students expelled in Tabriz

PCED, 23 December

Faraneh Mansuri ( فرانه منصوری ), a student of Biomedical Engineering of Sahand University in Tabriz, was expelled after three semesters of study, on 23 December. She was informed orally, with no clear reason. Another unnamed Bahai was expelled in the same way. University officials said simply that no student cards had been issued to these two individuals. At the end of the second semester, the Dean of the University said, “this was not my doing, I know nothing about it.” During the third semester, Faraneh Mansuri was able to continue her studies by internet, but that too has now been blocked. In recent years at least three other Bahai students have been expelled from this university: Sama Nouri, Seena Dana and Faraz Vazirzaeh ( سما نورانی، سینا دانا، فراز وزیرزاده ).

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fataneh Nouri arrested in Sari

HRANA, 24 December

Fataneh Nouri ([ فتانه نوری [قنبری) ) was arrested in Sari on 22 December, after reporting to the Ministry of Information in the city. Her husband Omid Qanbari ( امید قنبری ) has been detained there for the past two weeks. Her sister-in-law, Roya Qanbari, was also arrested in recent days. The family were told they were being held as hostages until such time as Fataneh Nouri (who had been travelling elsewhere) would surrender herself.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Home and shop searched in Qaemshahr

HRANA, 23 December

On the morning of 21 December, security agents searched a health food shop owned by Changiz Derakhshaniyan ( چنگيز درخشانيان ) and his home, and seized computers, and religious books and pamphlets. He was summoned to appear at the Office of Information.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~

Noura Nabilzadeh fined

Bahai Community News Service (in Persian), 23 December
Noora Nabilzadeh ( نورا نبیل زاده ), a resident of Mashhad, was arrested on 22 June while playing music for children. She was initially charged with propaganda in support of the Bahai Faith and blasphemy, but has been fined one million Rials (about 73 Euros) for possession of a satellite dish. She has been free on bail since 19 September. The report does not indicate whether the original charges have been dropped.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Kashan: Payman Faroughi arrested, free on bail

Bahai Community News Service (in Persian), 23 December

On 5 December the home of Payman Faroughi ( پیمان فروغی ) in Kashan was searched by officials from the local prosecutor’s office. They arrested him and confiscated all materials relating to the Bahai Faith, as well as a satellite dish and computer. On the following day his wife was interrogated, and Mr. Faroughi and his wife were released, having handed in their business license as surety.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Three Bahais of Nour released

On the morning of 20 November, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Shayda Ta’id ( شیدا تایید ) and her mother Farideh `Ali Baba’i ( خانم فریده علی بابائی ) and took them to the prison in Sari. Mrs Baba’i was released on 7 December, and her daughter on 13 December. Mahmud Razi ( محمود رزی ) was arrested on 3 November, and released on bail on 24 November. All are residents of Nour, in Mazandaran province.

Source (in Persian)
Source for Mahmud Razi (also in Persian)
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Anisa Safaryan arrested

RAHANA, 22 December

Anisa Safaryan ( انیسا صفریان ), a Bahai student who was expelled from the University of Science and Technology in Behshahr because of her religious identity, has been arrested in her home town, Babolsar. Her home was searched by security agents, and personal effects were seized. She was then taken to detention in Sari.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~

House of deceased Bahai seized

HRANA, 22 December

On 23 October the Isfahan home of a deceased Bahai, Nireh Gondam Pakekan ( نیره گندم پاک‌کن ) was appropriated for the Foundation for the Underprivileged of Isfahan. Before the 1979 Revolution the property had been deeded a Trust associated with the Bahai community. Following the revolution, all the Trust’s assets were seized. In the following years officials came to the house several times, seeking to pressure Mrs Pakekan to leave, but she replied that she would remain in her home as long as she lived. She died of old age in 2008. Now, two years later, the family have been forced to abandon the home.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~

Trial of Mashhad four adjourned

HRANA, 22 December

Sonya Ahmadi, Noura Nabil-zadeh, Rozita Waseqi and Nahid Qadiri ( سونیا احمدی ، نورا نبیل زاده ، رزیتا واثقی و ناهید قدیری ) were tried in Mashhad on 20 December. They and five other Bahais are charged with teaching the Bahai Faith: the other five are to be tried on another day. A further nine Muslims are charged with having links with Bahais. The judge did not allow the four defendants’ attorney to speak, or any form of defence, but adjourned the trial for reasons unknown.

Rozita Waseqi and Nahid Qadiri are presently serving five-year prison terms, in Vakil-Abad prison in Mashhad.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~

Arrest and attempted arrest in Sari

RAHANA, 21 December

On 20 December, security agents arrested Ruya Qanbari ( رویا قنبری ) in Sari. The arresting agents had no warrant. On 19 December, eleven security officers with a handwritten warrant for the arrest of Fataneh Nouri ( فتانه نوری ), raided the homes of her father and father-in-law. They seized Bahai books and CDs and a very old Quran.

Fataneh Nouri is the wife of Amid Qanbari ( امید قنبری ) , whose mobile telephone shop in Sari was raided on 20 October, and who is himself detained.

Source (in Persian)
22 December: RAHANA has a fuller report in English
~~~~~~~~

More arson in Rafsanjan

HRANA, 20 December

In the latest of a series of arson attacks targeting Bahai businesses in Rafsanjan, an appliance parts store belonging to Mr. Ali Shakr ( علی شاکر ) was again attacked at 3 a.m. on 19 December. After previous attacks, Mr. Shakr had rented adjoining premises and had taken measures to prevent arson attacks. The arsonists introduced a flammable substance through the ceiling.

Source (in Persian)
23 December, update with video
~~~~~~~~~~~

Dorsa Sobhani tried

Population of Combat Against Educational Discrimination, 14 December

Dorsa Sobhani ( درسا سبحانی ), a Bahai student excluded from tertiary education, and a social activist, was tried on 12 December. She was charged with propaganda against the regime, participating in a campaign against the regime, sending emails opposing the regime, and teaching the Bahai Faith. She was arrested on 7 March this year, at her parents’ home in Sari, and was held for 45 days in Evin prison in Tehran, of which 27 days were in solitary confinement. She was released on bail on 21 April.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~

Farid Ruhani and Fu’ad Khanjani tried

Committee to defend political prisoners, 13 December

Farid Ruhani and Fu’ad Khanjani ( فرید روحانی و فؤاد خانجانی ) appeared in court in Tehran on 11 December. Farid Ruhani was arrested on 3 January, along with a number of other Bahais, following the Ashura protests, and was released on bail on 28 February. He is charged with collusion against public order. His work place was also closed down, following his release, on the orders of the Ministry of Infomation. Fu’ad Khanjani was arrested on 27 April.

Source (in Persian)

Update, January 3 : Farid Ruhani’s written defence, in Persian, is published by Iran Press Watch
~~~~~~~~~~~

More arson in Rafsanjan

کانون دفاع از حقوق بشر در ایران , 14 December

There have now been eight cases of arson directed at Bahai businesses in Rafsanjan, over the past 40 days. This appears to be an organised campaign by some group acting outside the law. In one case, the target was the “Coffee Shop 19,” operated by a Muslim, which had mistakenly been identified as a Bahai business in a newsletter published by the Mahdi Ma`ud Cultural Foundation. When the complaints of the Bahais about these arson attacks became known, the Friday prayer leader commented, during Friday prayers, “What right do these Bahais have to complain? They are not even entitled to live.”

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~

Omid Qanbari arrested in Sari

HRANA, 10 December

On the morning of 9 December, agents of the Ministry of Information went to the shop of Omid Qanbari ( امید قنبری ), a Bahai resident of Sari and arrested him. It is not known where he has been taken. They telephoned his wife on her mobile phone and demanded that she present herself to the Ministry of Information. As she was travelling at the time, she said she could not. Omid Qabri had been summoned for interrogation three times in recent months, and his shop was searched on 20 October.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~

Haleh Ruhi and Sasan Taqvi released early

RAHANA, 8 December

Haleh Ruhi (pictured) and Sasan Taqvi ( هاله روحی و ساسان تقوی ), two Bahais of Shiraz, have been freed after three years in prison. They had been sentenced to four year terms for social activism such as education and assistance to needy children in the deprived villages around Shiraz. They were released this morning, the last year of their sentences having been remitted.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~

Bahais write to Iran’s head of judiciary

Freedom of Pen, 8 December

The Bahai International Community has addressed an open letter to Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, head of Iran’s judicial system, to protest the sentencing of the seven ‘Yaran‘ to 10 years in prison. It points out that Ministry of Information has used illegal detention and methods of interrogation, and denied access to lawyers, things which even Iran’s laws do not permit. It then raises specific legal issues with regard to the trial, appeals to the standards of Islamic justice, and points out that a government which oppresses its citizens becomes discredited. It protests the conditions of detention for all prisoners in Gohardasht Prison.

The letter, dated 7 December, is in Persian and is available here and here. A full English translation is available from the Bahai International Community

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trial date for nine Bahais in Mashhad

HRANA, 6 December

The court in Mashhad has fixed 20 December as the trial date for nine Mashhad Bahais who have been in administrative detention since they were arrested at various times over the past year. Their names are reported to be Noura Nabilzadeh, Sonya Ahmadi, Wasal Muhammedi, Amir Qanvati, Behman Yazdani, Nahid Qadiri, Rozita Waseqi, Shahab Ta’ifi and Afshin Nik-a`in ( نورا نبيل زاده ، سونيا احمدي ، وصال محمدي ، امير قنواتي ، بهمن يزداني ، ناهيد قديري ، رزيتا واثقي ، شهاب طائفي و افشين نيك آئين . )

Rozita Waseqi and Nahid Qadiri are presently serving five-year prison terms, in Vakil-Abad prison in Mashhad. On 23 November they were summoned to the court to complete preparations for the next trial. The same occurred for Shahab Ta’ifi and Noura Nabilzadeh on 24 November.

In addition to these nine Bahais, another nine are serving prison terms in Mashhad. The charge in most cases is propaganda against the regime.

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~

Adel Fana’yan free on bail

HRANA, 2 December

Adel Fana’yan ( عادل فنائيان ), a Bahai of Semnan who has been held since 15 November, was freed on bail on 29 November. The bail was set at 200 million tumans (14,600 euros; 19,250 US dollars). Three other Bahais of Semnan remain in prison there: Siamak Iqani, Behnam Muta’arefi, and Ali Ehsani (سیامک ایقانی، بهنام متعارفی و علی احسانی ).

Source (in Persian)
~~~~~~~~~~~

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