Sen's daily

2012-07-09

Update on 3 arrests in Mashhad

PCED, September 29

It was previously reported that security forces arrested Nava and Nika Khalusi ( نوا و نیکا خلوصی ), young Bahai residents of Mashhad, on September 26. PCED reports that Mahsa Mahdavi ( مهسا مهدوی ) was also arrested on that day. It appears that the security forces first arrested Nika Khalusi, and then searched her home and arrested her sister, Nava. Mahsa Mahdavi, aged 19, was arrested on the same day, following a search of her home. The father of Nika and Nava was arrested several years ago, on the charge of adhering to the Bahai Faith, and was initially condemned to execution, but he was released after several years in prison.
~~~~~~~~~~

Shahnaz Zanjebur arrested in Qaemshahr

Khabar Navard, October 2

Shahnaz Zanjebur ( شهناز رنجبر ), a Bahai from Qaemshahr, was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence on September 30, which she obeyed. She was arrested on the same day. Following enquiries by her husband, Parviz Awladi ( پرویز اولادی ), the public prosecutor told him that, since she was not willing to cooperate, a judicial warrant had been issued to transfer her to prison. Following persistent enquiries from her husband, he was told that she was accused of acting against national security and propaganda against the regime. Further enquiries about the duration of her detention remained unanswered. It was eventually discovered that she is being held in the general wing of Qaemshahr prison.

Shahnaz Zanjebur’s home was searched on July 30, when agents from the Ministry of Intelligence seized all the Bahai books and images as well as cassettes and CDs. She was previously arrested in June, 2010, and was held in solitary confinement in the Sari jail for three weeks, before being fined 400,000 tumans. On that occasion the charges were acting against national security and cooperating with Shirin Ebadi ( شیرین عبادی ).
~~~~~~~~~

Correction

October 3: The arrest of Farhad Pourmahi-Abadi ( فرهاد پورمحی‌آبادی ), said to be a Bahai resident of Kerman, turns out to have been a joke perpetrated by some of his friends. HRANA have withdrawn the story. (see https://hra-news.org/1389-01-27-05-24-07/13706-1.html ). It appears he is neither arrested, nor a Bahai.
~~~~~

Two arrests in Mashhad

Khabar Navard, September 27

On September 26, security forces arrested Nava and Nika Khalusi ( نوا و نیکا خلوصی ), young Bahai residents of Mashhad. There whereabouts and condition are unknown.
~~~~~~~

5-year sentence confirmed for Emanullah Mostaqim

PCED, September 10

The review court has confirmed the 5-year sentence handed down to Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran. He was charged with “membership of the Bahai community” and supporting the University, and has been freed on bail pending the beginning of his sentence.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Anti-Bahaism mixed with anti-zionism in Iranian propaganda

PCED, August 20
Iranian Taboo (facebook), August 21

At the "Jerusalem Day" protests in Isfahan on August 17, two portraits of Abdu'l-Baha was burned alongside portraits of Qatar's king Hamad bin Khalifa, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Barrack Obama. Western, Celtic and Coptic crosses were also included in the general assault on sanctities and good taste, while a large spider and web indicate the fantastic conspiracy theory which underlies the display.

+ + + +

Advertisements in Tehran's subway recently have depicted the shrine of the Bab in Haifa, along with a text stating “Only a few days after the UN officially recognized formation of the usurping State of Israel, in turn Israel recognized Bahaism as an official religion, and the Bahais established their own House of Justice. And as a payback the Baha’is raised funds dedicated to the aid of Israel, in such wise that in 1356 [Solar A.H.], they were able to raise 120 Milliom Tumans [at that time, before inflation, 7 Tumans =$1.00]. Through the effort of Habib Sabit, this sum of money was then channeled to the Israeli armed forces.
~~~~~~

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani acquitted of apostasy, released

Iran Human Rights, September 8

Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor accused of apostasy and sentenced to death, was released from prison on Saturday, September 8. Nadarkhani’s lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, said, “At the court session on Saturday, Youcef Nadarkhani was acquitted of the charge of ‘apostasy,’ as well as the new charge of ‘extortion.’ He was only sentenced to three years in prison on the charge of ‘propaganda against the regime,’ and as he had already spent this time in prison, he was therefore released after his court session.”
~~~~~~~

Navid Khanjani begins 12-year sentence

CHRR, September 5

Navid Khanjani, who was among those arrested in Azerbaijan 2 weeks ago while helping earthquake victims, has been transferred to Rajai Shahr prison. He spent the previous day in Evin prison’s Ward 2-A, which is under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Navid Khanjani was arrested in March 2010 and spent about 2 months in prison before being released on bail. Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court handed down a 12-year prison sentence, which was later upheld by the appellate court.Government-affiliated media have published several negative articles about the activities of Baha’i citizens recently, using Navid Khanjani as an example.

Some of the volunteers arrested while helping earthquake victims have been released on bail but most are still being held: there is no news of their condition. Some of them are being held at Evin prison.
~~~~~~~~~~

Nine Bahais freed in Mashhad, Yazd and Shiraz

HRANA, September 1

Two Bahais from Mashhad, Shayan Tafazolli ( شایان تفضلی ) and Sina Aqdas-zadeh ( سینا اقدس زاده ), have been freed on bail of 100 million tumans (65,000 euros; 81,000 US dollars), after two months of ‘temporary’ detention by the Ministry of Information. They were released on August 25 and 26 respectively.

On August 27, six Bahais from Yazd were released on bail, after 28 days in detention. Bail for Iman Rashidi and Faribourz Baghi (ایمان رشیدی و فریبرز باغی) was set at 80 million tumans. Bail for Nateq Na’imi, Fariba Ashtari, Shabnam Mottahed and Fahrnaz Mithaqian ( فریبا اشتری، شبنم متحد و فرحناز میثاقیان ) was 50 million tumans. The arrest of Shabnam Mottahed and Fahrnaz Mithaqian has not previously been reported on this blog. The others were among those arrested in the wave of arrests in central Iran reported on August 1.

On August 28, Vahdat Dana ( وحدت دانا ) was released from prison in Shiraz, after completing his 10-month sentence. He was charged with propaganda against the regime in support of the Bahai Faith.
~~~~~~

Keyvan Rahimiyan to begin his 5-year sentence

PCED, September 5

Keyvan Rahimiyan ( کیوان رحیمیان ), a Bahai from Tehran and one of the teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, has been informed by telephone that he will begin serving his 5-year sentence, in Tehran’s Evin Prison, within 12 days. The judgement of the court of review, regarding his sentence, has not yet been communicated to him. He has been charged with collaborating with the Bahai Open University.
~~~~~~

35 arrested in relation to the Azerbaijan earthquake: 4 Bahais still held

Khabar Navard, August 25

On August 23, 35 social activists who were hastening with aid to the areas in Eastern Azerbaijan affected by the recent earthquake, were arrested. The activists, who had volunteered to travel to the area, were intercepted by security forces and arrested. They included five Bahais: Navid Khanjani, Shayan Vahdati, Mithaq Afshar, Farid Ruhani and Vahid Khalus ( نوید خانجانی، شایان وحدتی، میثاق افشار، فرید روحانی و واحد خلوصی ). Many of those arrested have since been released, including Mithaq Afshar, free on bail of 5 billion Rials, but the remaining four Bahais are still being held.

[Because of a typing error in the Persian, and confusion about “long” and “short” billions, the amount of Mithaq Afshar’s bail is unclear: probably (32,000 euros, 41,000 US dollars is intended – Sen]
~~~~~~~

Data on religious minorities in Shiraz gathered through Unions

HRANA, August 25

Local security officers in Shiraz have recently been distributing a form to “labour” unions (actually state-controlled organisations), which asks about the religion and other personal details of workers and their wives or husbands. The report indicates that this action is directed against religious minorities, and the Bahais in particular.
~~~~~

One arrest in Tehran province

PCED, August 27

Peyman Hejabian ( پیمان حجابیان ) was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, acting without a warrant, on August 26. The report does not indicate where the arrest occurred, but the fact that his family have enquired as to his whereabouts — without success — at Raja’i Shahr prison indicates that he was arrested in or near Tehran. He was beaten and threatened during his arrest, and the security agents insulted his religion and seized all his books, a computer and a laptop. He has been charged with “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.” His whereabouts are unknown.
~~~~~~~

Leva Khanjani begins 2-year sentence

Persian Icons, August 27

Leva Khanjani, a Bahai citizen banned from continuing her education, appeared at Tehran’s Evin Prison on Saturday, August 25, 2012 to begin serving her two-year prison term.

Leva Khanjani and her husband, Babak Mobasher, were first arrested on January 3, 2010 and were later transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison. The couple was released on bail on March 1, 2010. The Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced the couple to two years in prison on September 29, 2010. Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court under Judge Movahed later upheld the sentence.

Leva Khanjani is granddaughter of Jamaleddin Khanjani, one of seven Bahai leaders who were sentenced to 20 years in prison after their May 2008 arrest. She is also sister of Foad Khanjani, who was sentenced to four years in prison by Tehran Revolutionary Court on January 17, 2012. Both Jamaleddin and Foad Khanjani are now serving their sentences inside Rajaee Shahr Prison.

Leva Khanjani’s father, Alaeddin Khanjani was also arrested by security forces on February 10, 2010 and was released on bail on March 16, 2010.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two Bahais named in Iran’s Ramadan amnesty

Free Bahai Prisoners (FB Group), August 16

Among the 73 prisoners granted amnesty by Iran’s Supreme Leader on August 16, to mark Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan, were two Bahais, Mr. Sarang Etehadi ( سارنگ اتحادی ) and Mrs. Sadaf Thabetayan ( صدف ثابتیان ). Sarang Etehadi was awaiting trial and had recently been granted bail. He was arrested in Tehran on June 27, in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz that netted almost 20 Bahais. Sadaf Thabetayan ( صدف ثابتیان ), from Sari, is one of the Bahais arrested in the raids targetting the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). She was serving a two-year sentence, which began on May 27 this year.
~~~~~~~~~~

Shahram Mokhtari sentenced in Birjand

HRANA, August 10

Shahram Mokhtari ( شهرام مختاری ), a Bahai from Birjand (South Khorasan) has been sentenced by a revolutionary court to four months imprisonment and a 32-month suspended sentence, on charges of “propaganda against the regime.” He was arrested on April 24, which means he has already served 3 months of his sentence and is due for release on August 28. However the Ministry of Intelligence is pursuing another case against Shahram, in the public court, and on August 7 he was taken from prison to the court, and later returned to prison. The sentence in this case is expected shortly. Another Bahai, the 85-year-old Muhammad Hussein Nakh`i ( محمد حسین نخعی ), has been held in the same prison for three months, without any clarification.
~~~~~~~~~

Nahid Zahra’i free on bail

PCED, August 10

Nahid Zahra’i ( ناهید زهرایی ), one of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, has been freed on bail from Evin Prison in Tehran. `Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ) and his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی ), two of those arrested, are still being held incommunicado, without any telephone contact or meeting with their families, after almost one month in detention.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gamal Abdel-Rahim to edit Egypt’s Al-Gomhuriya newspaper

Ahram online, August 9

Egypt’s Shura Council, the upper, consultative house of parliament, has named editors-in-chief for state-owned newspapers, including the appointment of Gamal Abdel-Rahim as the editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhuriya daily newspaper. Abdel-Rahim, a former member of the Press Syndicate Council, caused controversy in the past with his stance against religious freedoms in Egypt. In 2008, he stopped a conference about religious freedoms in Egypt because it discussed the issues of religious minorities, notably Baha’is. In 2009, Basma Moussa, a Baha’i activist for religious freedom, filed a complaint against Abdel-Rahim, accusing him of calling for her murder on air during a television programme discussing the rituals and traditions of Egypt’s Baha’i community. During the programme, Abdel-Rahim said Moussa should be killed because she is a Baha’i. In the same year, six human rights organisations accused Abdel-Rahim of inciting hatred towards Baha’is after he praised locals in Al-Sharoniya village in Sohag after their attack on the houses of Baha’is. Abdel-Rahim has frequently attacked Baha’is in his column in Al-Gomhuriya daily newspaper, which he is now to lead. Al-Gomhuriya is a major state-owned newspaper with a number of daughter publications, also administered by the editor of al-Gomhuriya.

Full story
~~~~~~~~~

Shahab Dehqani and Sarang Etehadi free on bail

PCED, August

Shahab Dehqani and Sarang Etehadi ( شهاب دهقانی و سارنگ اتحادی ), two of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, have been freed on bail from Evin Prison in Tehran. Nasim Ashrafi, Shamis Mohajer and Zhinous Rahimi ( نسیم اشرفی، شمیس مهاجر و ژینوس رحیمی ), also arrested in Tehran, have already been released on bail. This leaves six Bahais still detained in Tehran in connection with this ‘case’ (the accusations are still unclear). Their names are `Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ) and his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی ),
Shamim Na`imi ( شمیم نعیمی ), Amir Maqami-Far ( امیر مقامی فر ), Amir Mazidi ( امیر مزیدی ) and Nahid Zahra’i ( ناهید زهرایی ).
~~~~~~~~~~

Tragedy in Turkey

Huffington Post, August 7

Tragedy has struck an Iranian Bahai family living as refugees in Kayseri, Turkey, ending in the avoidable death of their 10-year old daughter. Forouz and Haifa had travelled to Turkey 10 months ago, with their daughter Farnaz, hoping to obtain asylum in another country, and so ensure that Farnaz would be able to continue her education beyond the school level.

On July 30 around noon, Firouz arrived home and became outraged that his wife Haifa had not prepared lunch to his standards. She threatened to leave him, and Firouz then grabbed Farnaz and a kitchen knife and threatened to kill his daughter and wife. Haifa fled to the police station, in the hope that a police officer would accompany her home to save her daughter. Unable to understand Persian, the officers called in Ali, an Iranian translator. Haifa explained what had transpired, adding that her husband has a history of mental illness. Ali, addressing Haifa and the authorities, said: “If your husband was capable of killing your daughter he wouldn’t have issued a threat beforehand. You and your daughter are not in real danger. She’s lying about all this to get out of Turkey faster. In the past, we have had many other refugees act in the same manner.”

Then the authorities inquired about Haifa’s religion. When Ali heard she was a Baha’i, he convinced the authorities that her religion was artificial and not based on divinity. “She’s saying all this to get attention. Baha’is are all liars,” he added. Haifa spent at least three hours at the police station attempting to convince the authorities she was telling the truth. Around 6 p.m., Firouz murdered Farnaz, and attempted to kill himself. When the police finally arrived they found Firouz unconscious; he was taken to hospital.

Full story (contains some graphic details).
~~~~~~~~

Six Bahai prisoners moved to Raja’i Shahr prison

PCED, August 5

Six Bahai prisoners held in section 350 of Tehran’s Evin prison have been transferred without warning to the quarantine section of Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, just west of Tehran, where twelve other Bahai prisoners (most of the Yaran, and a number of BIHE teachers) are also being held. Five prisoners were transferred this morning, August 5. Their names are Didar Ra’ufi (دیدار رئوفی ), serving 3 years; Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), serving 4 years; Shahrukh Ta’if (شاهرخ طائف ), serving 4 years; Payman Kashfi (پیمان کشفی), serving 4 years; and Afshin Hirtiyan (افشین حیرتیان), serving 4 years. Azizullah Samandari ( عزیز‌الله سمندری ) was transferred from Evin to Raja’i Shahr a few days earlier. There are now 18 Bahais imprisoned at Raja’i Shahr.
~~~~~~~~

One new arrest in Yazd, further information on the recent arrestees

HRANA, August 3

Following the recent arrests of 10 Bahais in Isfahan and Yazd, Shahin Shahr, their detentions have been extended, and more Bahais have been arrested. Mrs. Tahereh Reza’i ( طاهره رضایی ), who was arrested in Shahin Shahr, Khosro Dehqani (خسرو دهقانی ) who was arrested in Vila Shahr, and Noghmeh Farabi ( نغمه فارابی ), a resident of Najafabad, have been transferred to Isfahan prison. It was previously reported that Vida Parvani ( ویدا پروینی ) had been arrested in Vila Shahr. According to the latest report, security agents raided her home, seizing a computer and some religious books. Later Vida Parvani received a summons by telephone, but since this is not officially valid, she has not responded. The arrest of Mr. Navid Haqiqi ( جناب نوید حقیقی ) in Arak has been confirmed. Security agents raided his home and seized religious books and images. He is being held in a detention facility in Arak province.

In addition, security agents raided the home of Shahram Falah ( شهرام فلاح ) in Kerman, seizing a computer and mobile phone, religious books and images and, as they were leaving, told his wife that Shahram had been arrested in Yazd.
~~~~~~~~~

Bahai homes, workplace and shop searched in Qaemshahr

HRANA, August 3

On July 30, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided the home and workplace of Husayn Fana’ayan and Shahnaz Zanjebur ( حسین فناییان و شهناز رنجبر ), two Bahais in Qaemshahr. The agents had a search warrant, and seized a computer, CDs, religious books and photographs. Husayn Fana’ayan and Shahnaz Zanjebur were not at present at the time; the search took places in the presence of their spouses. On the same day, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, with a search warrant, went to a shop run by another Bahai, Zhekrullah Babayan ( ذکرالله بابایی ), searched it, and told Mr. Babayan that, because he is a Bahai, he would no longer be permitted to sell drink syrups, or other liquids such as sour grape juice (verjus, used instead of vinegar), and that his shop would be closed down if he did so. The agents then searched his home and seized some religious books and images.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Daily News, Egypt, August 1

On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is concerned with a rise in religious discrimination in Egypt in the wake of Islamist President Mohamed Morsy’s ascension to power and media reports of sectarian violence and discrimination. Mahmud Ghozlan, media spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, has responded that the statements are incorrect: “Non-Muslims in Egypt receive equal rights to Muslims in terms of freedom of worship and public freedoms.”

Dr Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights, however, agreed with the contents of the US State Department’s report on International Religious Freedoms. “Religious freedoms in Egypt [are] actually worse off than they were before. Morsy’s government is incapable of protecting Copts or including them within the national scene.” Gabriel cited the constituent assembly’s religious makeup as a reason. The assembly came under fire from religious and rights advocates due to a proposed amendment to article two of the Constitution, which only grants followers of the three heavenly religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – the right to practice their religions openly.

“This is only normal,” Ghozlan said, advocating the amendment: “We don’t want to have new sects like the fire worshippers exercising their beliefs in a way which goes against general order and threatens national security.” Ghozlan furthermore promised the inclusion of the Baha’i faith as one of the religions which shall not be openly practiced under the proposed amendment, describing the Baha’i faith as “being of a Zionist origin.” However Ghozlan said the amendment would still grant Shias the right to practice their beliefs openly “as long as they don’t strive for Shia expansion.”

Full story
~~~~~~~~~

Wave of arrests in central Iran

PCED, August 1

At least 10 Bahais have been arrested over the past 24 hours, in Isfahan, Shahin Shahr (a city in Isfahan province), Vila Shahr (on the outskirts of Najafabad, also in Isfahan province) and in Yazd. Sasan Haqiri, Shahram Eshraqi, Adhar Pourkhourasand, Mr. Naqipour and Saba Golshan ( ساسان حقیری، شهرام اشراقی، آذر پورخرسند، آقای نقی پور و صبا گلشن ) were arrested in Isfahan city. Mrs. Tahereh Reza’i ( طاهره رضایی ) was arrested in Shahin Shahr. Khosro Dehqani, Vida Parvini and Noghmeh Farabi ( خسرو دهقانی، ویدا پروینی و نغمه فارابی ) have been arrested in Vila Shahr. Faribourz Baghi, Fariba Ashtari, Nateq Na’imi, Farhnaz Rostami and Iman Rashidi ( فریبرز باغی، فریدا اشتری، ناطق نعیمی، فرحناز رستمی و ایمان رشیدی ) have been arrested in Yazd. A number of Bahais have also been arrested in Arak, in Iran’s Central Province, but their names have not been confirmed. These arrests follow almost 20 arrests of Bahais in Iran in the past three weeks, in Tehran Shiraz and Mashhad.

Update, August 1: a private source indicates that one of those arrested in Arak is Mr. Navid Haqiqi ( جناب نوید حقیقی ), who is accused of propaganda against the regime and forming trouble-making groups. He was arrested at his work place by plainclothes police
~~~~~~~~~

Three Tehran Bahais free on bail

PCED, July 30

A court in Evin Prison in Tehran has released three women who were among almost 20 Bahais arrested in early July in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz. Their names are Nasim Ashrafi, Shamis Mohajer and Zhinous Rahimi ( نسیم اشرفی، شمیس مهاجر و ژینوس رحیمی ). Bail was set at 1000 million rials each (66,500 euro, 816,000 US dollars). Seven of the Bahais who were arrested with them are still being held incommunicado in Tehran. Their names are `Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ) and his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی ), Sarang Etehadi, Shahab Dehqani, Amir Maqami-Fard, Amir Mazidi and Shamim Na`imi ( سارنگ اتحادی، شهاب دهقانی، امیر مقامی فر، امیر مزیدی و شمیم نعیمی ). It is reported that they are in Evin prison, and that their detention was at the initiative of the Information Security Corps.
~~~~~~~~~~

Zhinous Nourani and Roufiya Bidaqi accused of reporting prison conditions, and punished

HRANA, July 30

Zhinous Nourani and Roufiya Bidaqi ( ژینوس نورانی و روفیا بیدقی ), Bahai prisoners in Semnan central jail, have had their rights to communication and prison leave suspended. They began serving their one-year sentences on May 27 2012, and are being held in the general women’s block of Semnan prison, where HRANA reports that conditions are poor as more than 90% of the prisoners are serving terms related to drug use, and the facilities are crowded, with more than 70 prisoners in one room. Zhinous Nourani and Roufiya Bidaqi had been allowed a short leave from prison. On their return, they were charged with spreading lies and undermining public security. The prison disciplinary committee ruled that they could have no contacts (with family) until August 12, and no right to prison leave until September 22. They were given a statement saying that they had met with the opposition (i.e., HRANA) to discuss prison conditions, and they were forced to sign this. In fact, HRANA published its report on conditions in the prison while these two Bahai prisoners were serving their sentences (before they had prison leave).
~~~~~~~

Ramin Zeba’i gets 3 days leave from prison


HRANA, July 29

Ramin Zeba’i ( رامین زیبایی ), a teacher at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) who is serving a 4-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, has been granted a 3-day leave, beginning on the afternoon of July 28. He was charged with acting against national security, because he gave university-level education to Bahai students who, under Iran’s discriminatory laws, are not allowed to receive higher education.
~~~~~~~~~

Two Bahais sentenced in Semnan

HRANA, July 28

Nader Kesa’i ( نادر کسایی ), a Bahai from Semnan, has been sentenced to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith. He was arrested in February 2011, and released on bail in March 2011. He was later sentenced to three years in prison. He was arrested in the Summer of 2011, to serve his sentence in Semnan prison, but after 3 months he was released on bail because his sentence was overturned by the country’s supreme court. Now, he has been given a new sentence of one year in prison. His wife, Shohreh Azimi ( شهره اعظمی ) was also sentenced recently, to 8 months in prison.

In a separate case, Neda Majidi ( ندا مجیدی ) a Bahai from Mehdishahr (also known as Sangsar), in Semnan province, was fined 40 million rials (2,600 euros; 3200 US dollars). In November 2011, she was interrogated continually by the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan for one month, although she was pregnant at the time.
~~~~~~~~~

Security forces try to arrest Bashir Ehsani

Khabar Navard, July 28

At dawn on July 25, security agents raided the home of Bashir Ehsani ( بشیر احسانی ) in Tehran and sought to arrest him, but he was not at home. Bashir Ehsani is an activist in for the rights of children, and against discrimination in education, and one of the members of the PCED (whose web site today has the text and translation of a heart-rending account of the visit of 2-year old Artin to his mother Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) in Evin prison).

Bashir Ehsani had been sentenced to 2 years in prison, suspended for five years. This is the second time in a month that security forces have come to his house to arrest him. He was first arrested on February 10, 2010, along with his mother and several other Bahais, following the Ashura protests of 2009, which the regime tried to blame on a Bahai conspiracy. He was held in solitary confinement in Evin prison and interrogated for 27 days before being released on bail, and since then has been repeatedly summoned for interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence.
~~~~~~~~

Baha’i demonstration in Tehran, against the oppression of Muslims

PCED, July 26

Today (July 26) a small number of Iranian Bahais held a demonstration outside the offices of the United Nations in Tehran, to protest the killing of Muslims in Myanmar. A statement issued by these Bahais says, “The defence of human rights, regardless of religion, race and thinking, is the duty of every human rights activist. Recently the world has witnessed a deplorable tragedy in Myanmar that rends the soul of humanity, yet the people of the world remain sunk in silence. In Syria, innocent people are killed under the most heinous circumstances and human dignity is trampled underfoot; the tears of the children of Palestine and Gaza fall on the shoulders of their fathers, and the world watches indifferently. The Muslims of Chechnya have been deprived of the right to life, which is the most basic human right, while the people of the world continue to life in relative prosperity. … We, a group of Iranian Baha’is, condemn the brutal genocide and massacre of Muslims in Myanmar, demand an investigation, and draw the attention of the international community and human rights organizations to these outrages….”
~~~~~~~~~

Three members of the Rasekhi family free on bail

PCED, July 24

Bakhtiyar Rasekhi (بختیار راسخی) and his wife and daughter, Farhnaz Na`imi and Farin Rahimi ( فرحناز نعیمی و فرین رحیمی ), after almost 7 months of detention without trial, have been freed on bail of 70 million tumans (47,000 euros; 57,000 US dollars) each. They were among those detained in Kerman on January 5 when agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, accompanied by a film crew, raided there home, where the Bahais were marking the day of Iranian Youth. They are charged with propaganda against the regime in favour of oppositional organizations and groups; spying for the benefit of foreigners; promoting deviant Baha’i ideas; supporting the apostasy of a large number of Muslims; and blasphemy against Islamic sanctities.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two more arrests in Tehran

PCED, July 24

Two more Bahais have been arrested in Tehran: Shamim Na`imi ( شمیم نعیمی ) and Nahid Zahra’i ( ناهید زهرایی ). During a recent raid on the home of `Adel Na`imi, in which a number of Bahais were arrested, the security forces left a summons for Shamim. When he responded to the summons, to the court in Evin prison in Tehran, on July 23, he was arrested. Nahid Zahra’i, the wife of Amir Mazidi ( امیر مزیدی ) who was arrested on July 10, was arrested herself in a new raid on their home in Tehran on July 23.

Another of those arrested in the recent raids in Tehran, Shamis Mohajer ( شمیس مهاجر ), had telephone contact with her family yesterday. Officials have refused to answer questions about the whereabouts and situation of the other Bahais arrested in those raids.
~~~~~~~~~

Two nursing mothers sent to Semnan prison

HRANA, July 24

Zahra Nik-A’in and Taraneh Torabi ( زهره نیک آیین و ترانه ترابی ), two Bahai mothers who have previously been sentenced to 24 and 20 months in prison, respectively, have been summoned to Semnan prison to begin serving their sentences, although both are breast-feeding infants. Zahra Nik-A’in was one of six Bahais arrested in Semnan on March 11 and 12, 2011, and released on an exceptionally bail on April 3.

Zahra’s child Rosam ( رسام ) is 5 months old, and Taraneh’s child Barman ( بارمان ) was born one month prematurely, and is now just one month old. Given the limited space, and the lack of washing and feeding facilities in the prison, it is not a suitable place for caring for children. It is not clear what the children’s fate will be. The situation for Taraneh Torabi is particularly serious, because her husband `Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ) was arrested during the last months of her pregnancy, and has just been sentenced to one year in prison, and this along with the searches of their home and insulting behaviour of officials has not been good for her physical and mental condition.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

`Erfan Ehsani sentenced: one year

HRANA, July 22

`Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ), a Bahai of Sangesar in Iran’s Semnan province, has been sentenced to one year in prison. He was arrested on April 21 this year, and held for some time before being released on bail. He was tried in Semnan on May 27, on charges of propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith. His wife, Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ) has also been sentenced to 20 months in prison. They have a child, aged one month.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gudarz Bidaqi begins his prison sentence

HRANA, July 22

Gudarz Bidaqi ( گودرز بیدقی ), a Bahai from Mehdishahr in Semnan province, has begun serving his 12-month sentence in prison in Semnan city. He was arrested in March, 2011, and sentenced in September 2011 to one year in prison and three years of exile from the province, on the charge of “propaganda against the regime through teaching the Bahai Faith.” He was summoned to begin serving his sentence on July 17, 2012, and transferred to Semnan city prison today. Mr. Bidaqi is in his sixties, and has already served one term in prison for his beliefs, after the 1979 revolution. His daughter, Roufiya Bidaqi ( روفیا بیدقی ), has also been sentenced to one year in prison, on charges of propaganda against the regime and participation in Bahai activities. She began serving her sentence on May 27. The family’s business has also been closed by the authorities.
~~~~~~~~~~

Aziz Samandari begins his 5-year sentence

Iran Press Watch, July 21

Aziz Samandari, a 40 year-old Baha’i IT specialist, was arrested on 7 July 2012 in his home in Tehran, to begin serving his 5-year prison sentence, in Evin prison. he was sentenced in October 2011 after a 10-minute trial, in which the only question he was asked was whether he belonged to the Baha’i community. The very short judgment – which was read out but not handed over – speaks of his “active membership in the misguided Baha’i sect” and his association with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education.
~~~~~~~~~

Bahai business closed down in Bojnurd

HRANA, July 21

In the town of Bojnurd, in North Khurasan province (and just over the border from Eshkabad, where the first big Bahai House of Worship was built in 1908), the public order police have closed down a Bahai-operated business. The shop, selling health and beauty products, was run by Houshmand Sana’i ( هوشمند ثنایی ), was shut down for no apparent reason in late June. Mr. Sana’i and his wife, Sho`eleh Shahidi ( شعله شهیدی ) and their son Shayan ( شایان ثنایی ) were arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence in Bojnurd in mid-April, and released on bail some time later.
~~~~~~~

Sara Mahbubi begins her sentence

PCED, July 19

Sara Mahbubi ( سارا محبوبی ), a Bahai student excluded from higher education, reported to Sari Prison this morning to begin serving a 10-month sentence. This will be her third period of imprisonment. The first began on June 14, 2010, when she was called to the Ministry of Intelligence building in Sari and held for 24 days before being freed on bail. On July 21, 2011, she was again arrested and held for 17 before being freed on bail. Her brother Wasal Mahbubi ( وصال محبوبی ) was also imprisoned for a time last year.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Mi`ad Afshar free on bail

PCED, July 18

After 10 days of detention, Mi`ad Afshar (میعاد افشار) has been freed by the Ministry of Intelligence in Bandar Abbas, on bail of 60 million Tumans (40,000 euros, 49,000 US dollars). Mi`ad Afshar is a Bahai student excluded from university who was arrested in Tehran on the morning of July 9, and transferred to the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence in Bandar Abbas.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Confirmation and details of three arrests in Tehran, Shiraz

PCED, July 17

On the July 10, as already reported, the home of `Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ) in Tehran was raided and he and his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی ), and a number of guests, were arrested. One of those guests has been named as Amir Maqami-Fard ( امیر مقامی فرد ).

On the same night, security agents with a search warrant and arrest warrant raided the home of Amir Mazidi ( امیر مزیدی ), seizing some personal effects and arresting him. His whereabouts are unknown.

The PCED report also confirms an account previously published here, on the basis of a personal communication: on the morning of July 14, security agents raided the home of Mr. Hamid Eslami ( حمید اسلامی ) in Shiraz. They searched his home, seized some personal possessions, and arrested him. He was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Detention Centre 100 in Shiraz.

Update, July 18: HRANA reports that nine Bahais were arrested in Tehran. Security forces raided the home of Amir Mazidi ( امیر مزیدی ) at about 8 p.m. on July 10 (and arrested him as noted previously). On the following morning they raided the homes and offices of a number of Bahais across Tehran, without search or arrest warrants, in some cases forcing entry. They conducted searches and seized mobile telephones, laptops, computers, cameras, marriage certificates, property deeds, financial documents, personal IDs, bank cheques and family photograph albums. Nine Bahais were arrested: their whereabouts is unknown. In one case, four agents entered a home and, without discussion with the lady of the house, entered the daughter’s bedroom, woke her and arrested her. In another case, 15 agents broke in via a gate, entered the courtyard quietly, and when they reached the house door, they knocked and entered.

Those arrested are:
– `Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ) and his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی )
– Sarang Etehadi and his wife Nasim Ashrafi( سارنگ اتحادی و نسیم اشرفی ),
– Shahab Dehqani and his wife Shamis Mohajer ( شهاب دهقانی و شمیس مهاجر )
– Amir Maqami-Fard( امیر مقامی فرد )
– Amir Mazidi ( امیر مزیدی )
– Zhinous Rahimi ( ژینوس رحیمی )
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ministry enforces the shunning of Bahais in Khuzestan

HRANA, July 17

The information department of the Ministry of Intelligence in Khuzestan (on the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq) has been summoning and threatening families who have contact with Bahais. In one town, the Ministry has summoned about 20 families in the past month, and threatened them, saying that if they continue to have links with Bahais or socialize with them, their economic activities will be blocked, and there will be problems for their children. Officials from the Ministry also told the teacher of a cultural class for children to stop teaching Bahai children, or there would be trouble. In most cases, those who were summoned did not agree to the demands of the Ministry. However in a handful of cases they were frightened and, with apologies to their Bahai friends, have broken the contact. [For reasons that are not clear, HRANA explicitly does not identify this town, which means its report cannot be verified. However I have always found HRANA meticulous and reliable ~ Sen]
~~~~~~~~~

Raid and arrest in Shiraz

PCED, July 16

On the morning of July 14, security forces raided the home of Rahman Vafa’i ( رحمان وفائی ), a Bahai resident of Shiraz. After conducting a search and seizing some personal effects, they arrested him and took him to the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility 100 in Shiraz. It appears he was not at home when they began their raid, and called him by telephone to come, so he could be arrested.
~~~~~~~~~

Hoda Mahmoudi takes up the Baha’i Chair for World Peace at Maryland U.

US Bahai News site, July 16

Hoda Mahmoudi is the new holder of the Baha’i Chair for World Peace, at the University of Maryland. The Baha’i Chair — founded in 1993 — is an endowed academic program dedicated to advancing interdisciplinary study of, and discourse on, major issues of global peace. The first two Baha’i Chair incumbents were Suheil Bushrui (1993-2006) and John Grayzel (2006-2011). Following a period of deliberation and reflection, Mahmoudi will announce a new program of research as well as at least one new undergraduate course offering. Prior to assuming the professorship in July 2012, Mahmoudi was head of the Research Department at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, where she served since 2001.

Full story
~~~~~~~~~~~

Afif Na`imi transferred to hospital

HRANA, July 16

Afif Na`imi ( عفیف نعیمی ), one of the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators) who are now in the fourth year of 20-year sentences for their Baha’i beliefs, has been transferred from Raja’i Shahr prison to hospital. Three months have passed since he obtained the necessary documents from the prosecutor’s office and the prison authorities. He suffers from severe inflammation of the lymph glands in his throat, and this has been exacerbated by lack of medical care. He has been detained since May 2008, without even one day of prison leave.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Faran Hesami begins her sentence

PCED, July 15

Mrs. Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) was detained this morning to begin serving a four year sentence in connection with work for the Bahai Open University (BIHE). She had been asked to go to the prison in connection with legal matters relating to her husband, Kamran Rahimian ( کامران رحیمیان ), who is already serving a 4-year term in Raja’i Shahr prison for his work for the BIHE. When she got to the prison, she was arrested. This is surprising, since her sentence is still before the review court, and she has not been informed that it has been confirmed. She is charged with membership of the Bahai community and meeting and conspiring to harm national security. The couple have a son, Artin ( آرتین ) who is three years old.
~~~~~~~~~

Detention without trial extended for 3 Bahais of Kerman

PCED, July 15

Bakhtiyar Rasekhi (بختیار راسخی) and his wife and daughter, Farhnaz Na`imi and Farin Rahimi ( فرحناز نعیمی و فرین رحیمی ) were among those detained on January 5 when agents from the security forces raided a home where the Bahais were marking the day of Iranian Youth. The security forces were accompanied by a film crew. After six months, their detention without trial has been extended. They are charged with propaganda against the regime in favour of oppositional organizations and groups; spying for the benefit of foreigners; promoting deviant Baha’i ideas; supporting the apostasy of a large number of Muslims; and blasphemy against Islam. During their six months detention, Bakhtiyar Rasekhi spent 45 days in solitary confinement, and Farhnaz Na`imi and Farin Rahimi spent 35 days in the quarantine facility where conditions are poor [these rooms are intended for short stays and do not have hygiene or sleeping facilities]. Farhnaz Na`imi became ill during her detention, but prison authorities did not allow her to be treated. On February 14, Farhnaz and Farin were transferred to the women’s wing of Kerman prison, and in May, Bakhtiyar Rasekhi was transferred to the general detention block at the prison. The efforts of their family to arrange for release on bail have been fruitless. Every two months, the Ministry of Intelligence extends their detention without trial.
~~~~~~~~~~

On not being Bahai: Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas

Ha-Aretz, July 15

In an interview with Haaretz, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) says (after many other things) that he is still awaiting an apology by former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit, who said in a newspaper interview that Abbas belongs to the Bahai faith. Shavit explained at length in the interview that a Bahai cannot become a Palestinian leader. That false rumor has been lately disseminated by people with ill-will toward Abbas. He is angry at The Jerusalem Post for prominently reporting that posters claiming he is Bahai are appearing in Arab countries. “This is not the first time that people spread that malicious rumor. I sued a Jordanian newspaper for publishing it. Regrettably, the person I sued passed away before the court ruled unequivocally that the report was false. I am a believing Muslim, son of a family of believers, and committed to the religion’s commandments.”
~~~~~~~~~~

One arrest in Shiraz

Personal communication, July 15

On the morning of July 14, security agents raided the home of Mr. Hamid Eslami ( حمید اسلامی ) in Shiraz. They searched his home, seized some personal possessions, and arrested him. He was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Detention Centre 100 in Shiraz.
~~~~~~~~

Fu’ad Moqaddam and Emanullah Mostaqim sentenced: 5 years

PCED, July 14

Fu’ad Moqaddam and Emanullah Mostaqim ( فواد مقدم و امان‌الله مستقیم ), two of those arrested in the course of raids and closure of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) have been sentenced in Tehran to five years in prison. Fu’ad Moqaddam, from Shiraz, was tried on June 23, while Emanullah Mostaqim was tried on June 30. One of the charges against them was “membership of the Bahai community.” They were arrested on May 22, 2011, and freed on bail on June 15 and June 28 respectively.
~~~~~~~

Family has contact with Mi`ad Afshar

PCED, July 14

Family members have received a telephone call from Mi`ad Afshar (میعاد افشار), a Bahai student at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) who was arrested with his brother Mithaq ( میثاق افشار ) in Tehran on the morning of July 9. Following his arrest he was transferred to the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence in Bandar Abbas, and he was allowed a telephone call on July 13. He said that he was in good condition. There is no indication of the charges against him. Family enquiries with the Prosecutor’s office have received the response that Mi`ad has complained about his detention and will therefore have to be detained longer.


Update, July 16
: PCED reports that the Information office of the Ministry of Intelligence has refused permission for his family to meet him.
~~~~~~~~~~

The Bahais and Egypt’s new constitution: two steps back

Thawra / Thoughts, translating from Watani Weekly, July 13 (paraphrase)

Egypt’s new constitution has, so far, acknowledged only the “three heavenly religions”: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Other religions are not acknowledged; their members have no rights under the new constitution. Among the prime victims of the new constitution’s concept of freedom of belief are the Shia, Baha’is, Sufis, and others. The Baha’is especially feel threatened, since they had gone through several battles in court during the years before the 25 January 2011 Revolution, according to which they had gained significant rights. Major among them was that they were able to have the religion box in their IDs vacant, instead of having to choose between one of the three heavenly religions.

Saïd Abdel-Messih, the lawyer who represents the Baha’is says that the new constitution curtails freedoms and threatens the civil character of the State. Egypt’s new constitution places the Baha’is in a position where they are prime targets for discrimination. It also defies all the court rulings that were issued in their favour.

According to Ishaq Ibrahim, a rights activist and researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the new constitution violates the basic principle of freedom of belief, and violates international treaties to which Egypt is signatory. Freedom of belief, Ibrahim reminds, secures the freedom to adopt whichever faith an individual chooses, as well as the freedom to move from one faith to another, and not be forced into a certain faith.

For his part, the head of Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination calls upon all the national forces to stand up to the curtailed freedoms in the new constitution which, if passed as such, threatens the entire community and its social peace on account of the discrimination it is bound to foster. “Religious belief is, in the first place, a relation between an individual and his or her god,” says Baha’i activist Basma Moussa. “And the new constitution should represent every sector, no matter how small, in the Egyptian community.”

Full story
~~~~~~~~

Bahais participate in high-level discussions on demographic challenges

EU Midday Briefing, July 12

More than twenty senior representatives from Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions and from the Hindu and Bahai communities from all over Europe met today in Brussels, under the motto ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Setting the Parameters for Tomorrow’s Society in Europe’. This high-level meeting was called by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and co-chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and László Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament representing President Martin Schulz. In a frank and open spirit, the leaders discussed intergenerational solidarity and other important demographic challenges for Europe, such as tackling unemployment, fostering active ageing, and reconciling work and private life. President Barroso encouraged religious leaders to engage in public dialogue and show the specific contributions that churches and religious communities can make to explain the need for solidarity. [A text of the Bahai submission would be greatly appreciated ~~ Sen.]
~~~~~~~~~

Two raids, three arrests in Mashhad

Khabar Navard, July 11

This morning, security forces in Mashhad searched the home of Khoshayar and Shayan Tafazolli ( خشایار و شایان تفضلی ), and also the home of Sina Aqdas-zadeh ( سینا اقدس زاده ), and arrested them. Shayan Tafazolli was among the eight Bahais arrested in February, in relation to a handcrafts exhibition organised by Bahai youth in Mashhad.
~~~~~~~~~

Home searches and at least 7 arrests in Tehran

PCED, July 11

Last night and this morning, security forces raided Bahai homes in Tehran and arrested at least six Bahais. Those known to have been arrested are Nasim Ashrafi, Sarang Etehadi, Zhinous Rahimi, Shahab Dehqani, `Adel Na`imi and Elham Faramani
(نسیم اشرفی، سارنگ اتحادی، ژینوس رحیمی، شهاب دهقانی، عادل نعیمی و الهام فراهانی ). The raids are said to have been accompanied by violence and beatings.

In a raid on the home of `Adel Na`imi, brother of Afif Na`imi (49), one of the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators) who are now in the fourth year of 20-year sentences for their Baha’i beliefs, the security forces arrested him and his wife Elham Faramani, and a number of guests whose names are not available. They also seized personal possessions including a computer, and left a summons for Shamim Na`imi ( شمیم نعیمی ).

Nasim Ashrafi, Sarang Etehadi, Zhinous Rahimi and Shahab Dehqani were arrested during a raid on their home this morning. Sarang Etehadi’s workplace was also searched, without a warrant. The officers broke down the door to enter.

The charges against those arrested, and their whereabouts, are unknown.

Update, July 12: PCED confirms that Shamis Mohajer ( شمیس مهاجر ), the wife of Shahab Dehqani, has also been arrested.

~~~~~~~~~~

Two Bahai students arrested in Tehran

PCED, July 10

Mi`ad Afshar (میعاد افشار), a Bahai studying development at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) and his brother Mithaq Afshar ( میثاق افشار ), a member of the PCED (an organisation that protests discrimination in higher education in Iran), were arrested when a large number of security agents raided their home in Tehran on the morning of July 9. The security forces searched their home and took all their personal possessions away. A court official at Evin Prison said that Mi`ad Afshar has been transferred to Bandar Abbas, which is apparently his home town. In March this year he was summoned to the “news” office (a euphemism for Iran’s secret service) in Bandar Abbas and threatened with arrest. On July 3, plain clothes agents appeared at his home (in Tehran) and searched his belongings, and showed a summons calling his brother Mithaq Afshar to appear in court at Evin Prison on July 8. Mithaq Afshar was recently expelled from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran (see the report on this blog, July 5)
~~~~~~~~~~~

Farhad Sadeqi returns to prison

Lissnup, July 7

Farhad Sadeqi ( فرهاد صدقی ), one of the imprisoned teachers from the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has returned to prison after a medical leave that lasted 3 days, beginning on June 30. He is serving a 4-year sentence in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj (near Tehran).
~~~~~~~~~~

Water and electricity to a Bahai hamlet cut off

Iran Press Watch, July 7

Since 2006, the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan has been pressuring the Bahai residents of Dazgareh-Afshar, a hamlet near Sangesar (about 180 km East of Tehran), seeking to destroy the hamlet and force its residents to leave. The pressure has increased in recent months. Security forces have destroyed the water supply, cut off electricity, issued warnings from the water department about filling wells which were under construction, and has taken measures towards demolishing homes. The earthen water supply dam for Dazgareh was built under an authorization from the water department in 2000. In 2009, a confidential letter from the Ministry of Intelligence to the Office of the Attorney General in Semnan ordered the destruction of the dam.
Agents of the water department then asked the owners of the dam to pay about $49,000 for costs incurred in the destruction. As the owners did not pay, the agents confiscated livestock to about the same value.

In addition, without prior notice, in August 2009, the region’s electricity supply for agriculture was cut off. Following initial visits, the Electricity Department of Mehdishahr (Sangesar) stated that they had been unaware of this, and the head of the department referred the matter to the electricity department of the province. It eventually became clear that the Security Council of the province of Semnan had issued the cutoff order. Legal complaints have been made at the local and state levels, but no response has been received.

Full story at Iran Press Watch

~~~~~~~~~~

Bahai student expelled from Tehran University

HRANA, July 4

Mithaq Afshar ( میثاق افشار ), a student of political science at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and a member of the PCED has been expelled after eight semesters of study. The expulsion order was signed by the deputy head of the University Disciplinary Council, and stated that he lacked “general suitability” as a student. In response to further enquiries, he was informed that the decision had been taken at the orders of the Ministry of Intelligence. Mithaq Afshar was one of a few Bahai students who were able to compete in the University Admissions Examination in 2008. He was accepted as a student of political science at Tehran University. On February 17, 2011, at 2 a.m., his home was raided by security forces, who seized his personal possessions and arrested him. He was held in Evin Prison in Tehran for 28 days.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Review court in Semnan cuts sentences for two Bahai women

HRANA, July 2

The review court in Semnan has reduced the sentence of Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ) from 5 years and 10 months to 1 year and 8 months. She was charged with creating and running an illegal group intended to benefit foreigners, membership of an illegal group and propaganda against the regime. “Membership of an illegal group” apparently refers to attending Bahai religious meetings.

Elham Ruzbehi (الهام روزبهی), had been sentenced to 3 years in prison, which has been reduced to 2 years. She was arrested, with several other Bahais, on March 12, 2011, following a search of her home and the seizure of some of her personal effects. She was pregnant at the time.

Both women are presently free on bail, pending a summons to begin serving their sentences.
~~~~~~~~~

Samin Ehsani sentenced: 5 years

HRANA, July 2

Samin Ehsani ( ثمین احسانی ), a Bahai activist for children’s rights, has been sentenced to five years in prison. The trial was held on June 10, and the sentence was announced to her lawyer in recent days. She was charged with propaganda against the regime, acts against national security, and de facto membership of the Bahai community. She engaged in teaching and assisting Afghan children who had been excluded from education. She was detained on August 17, 2011, in relation to some problems with her passport, and taken to Evin Prison in Tehran. Following that, security agents searched her home and seized her personal effects, computer, and items relating to the Bahai Faith. She was held for one month, before being released on bail of 175 million tumans (113,000 euros, $US142,000).
~~~~~~~~~

Farhad Sadeqi granted leave for medical care

HRANA, July 1

Farhad Sadeqi ( فرهاد صدقی ), one of the imprisoned teachers from the Bahai Open University (BIHE), was granted medical leave beginning yesterday (June 30). He is serving a 4-year sentence in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj (near Tehran).
~~~~~~~~~~

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: