Sen's daily

2012-10-12

2012 October/November/December (in reverse order)

Shopkeeper in Semnan fined heavily, stock confiscated

PCED, December 27

It was previously reported that security forces raided the home and optician’s shop of Mr. Akbar Por-hoseini (اکبر پورحسینی) in Semnan, and took his entire stock. He was arrested, along with Afrasiyab Subhani ( افراسیاب سبحانی ), and was later released on bail. The court has now sentenced him to a fine of 3.6 billion Rials (225,000 euro, 293,000 US dollars) and the confiscation of all his stock, for not having a “green card” (permitting the entry of goods through customs). [This is curious, as green cards are required for importers, to obtain the release of the goods at customs. It is not clear why the authorities would expect a retailer to have such a card ~ Sen]
~~~~~

Three arrests in Zahedan

PCED, December 27

On December 23, security agents arrested Mushtaq Anvari, Farshid Dadvar and Sadiqeh Shawqati ( مشتاق انوری، فرشید دادور و صدیقه شوکتی ), Bahai residents of Zahedan. The agents first searched their home, seizing books and personal effects. Mushtaq Anvari is one of the Bahai students excluded from tertiary education in Iran. The three are being held by the Ministry of Intelligence, and no further information has been provided.
~~~~~~~

Bahai student expelled in Tehran

PCED, January 1

Mithaq Imam Verdi ( میثاق امام وردی ) a Bahai student of Computer Science at the K.N.Toosi University of Technology in Tehran, has been expelled because of his “adherence to the Bahai Faith.” About two weeks before the final examinations of his first Bachelor’s year, he was summoned to the University’s security office, and was later told indirectly that he had been expelled. Only after he had gone to the university’s Director of Security was he told that he had been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. However staff at the University’s central office described this as “bizarre and illogical.” Two years ago, Mithaq’s sister, Mina Imam Verdi ( مینا امام وردی ), was expelled for the same reason from Zanjan University, where she was in the third semester of a degree in agriculture.
~~~~~~~

Concern for health of Kourush Ziari in prison

HRANA, December 30

Kourush Ziari ( کوروش زیاری ), a Bahai from Gonbad-e Qabus in North-eastern Iran, was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in Gonbad on October 17, 2012, and later transferred to Gorgan. In the company of 6 other Bahai prisoners in Gorgan, he was transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran and finally to Raja’i Shahr prison, on December 22. He is in poor physical condition, but officials are refusing to allow him to be freed on bail. About two months before his arrest he was in an accident and suffered a torn tendon and underwent an operation, and at the time of his arrest he was still receiving physiotherapy. The treatment has stopped since his arrest, but he still needs physiotherapy and other treatment since the flow of blood to his feet is impeded and his condition is worsening by the day.
~~~~~~~

Two prison babies transferred to hospital in Semnan

HRANA, January 2

Rosam Nik-A’in ( سام تبیانیان ), a 12-month old child who is in prison in Semnan with his mother, Zahra Nik-A’in ( زهره نیک آئین ), was transferred to Emir al-Mumenin hospital on December 18, suffering from a severe ear infection and fever. Zahra Nik-A’in had repeatedly asked for prison furlough so that he could be treated, but this was denied, although she was taken to the hospital for two brief visits, under guard. Latest reports (January 2) are that she has now been given 5 days leave to be with Rosam in hospital. She is serving a 23-month sentence for propaganda against the regime, participating in the Bahai “19th-day feast”, participating in Ruhi classes and organising morality classes for Bahai children.

On December 26, Barman Ehsani ( بارمان احسانی ), a child of 6 months who is in prison in Semnan with his mother Taraneh Torabi ( ترانه ترابی ), was taken to the Fatemiyyeh hospital in Sangsar, suffering from a severe lung infection. His mother is serving a 30-month sentence for propaganda against the regime and participation in Bahai activities.

The women’s block at Semnan prison contains 70 prisoners, crowded into 50 square meters, and does not have enough beds for all prisoners. It is very cold in the winter (as now), which is dangerous for the 7 infants who are with their mothers in the room.
~~~~~~

Bahai sentenced to 1 year in Semnan

HRANA, December 26

The review court in Semnan has reduced the sentence of Faramarz Firuzeyan ( فرامرز فیروزیان ) from four and a half years to one year. He was charged with propaganda against the regime.
~~~~~

Mona Majidi and child begin six month sentence in Semnan

HRIRAN, December 27

Mona Majidi, a Bahai from Sangsar, was arrested at her home on December 18, 2012, and taken with her infant to serve her six month sentence in Semnan Prison. Mona Majidi is the third Bahai mother with her infant in Semnan prison, joining Zahra Nik-A’in and Taraneh Torabi ( زهره نیک آیین و ترانه ترابی ), sentenced to 24 and 20 months in prison respectively, who began their sentences in July 2012.
~~~~~

Cemetery in Sansgar obliterated

Iran Daily Brief, December 31

According to a report by the human rights organization in Iran (Dec. 28), an old Baha’i cemetery in Sangsar was completely destroyed by bulldozers and trucks, and all tombstones were covered with sand and dirt. Three years ago, the cemetery was vandalized by anonymous persons, with the support of the security forces. During the attack, parts of the cemetery were burned and slurs and threats were recorded. Following this event, the Baha’i were not allowed to continue to bury their dead at the site.
~~~~

Puya Tabiyaniyan begins his sentence

PCED, December 24

Puya Tabiyaniyan ( پویتبیانیانا ) reported to Semnan prison on December 22, to begin serving his sentence of six years and six months imprisonment. He is charged with acting against national security and propaganda against the regime. He was one of a number of Bahais arrested in Semnan in February 2011, and was freed on bail after 23 days in prison. He has been imprisoned for his faith previously. In the winter of 2008-9 he was arrested, and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after serving 14 months in prison. He joins five other Bahais who are serving prison sentences in Semnan’s central prison.
~~~~~~

Seven Bahai prisoners from Gorgan taken to Raja’i Shahr prison

PCED facebook, December 23

The six Bahai prisoners from Gorgan who were recently transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, and one Bahai prisoner from Gonbad, were transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj on December 22. They were among about 20 Bahais who were detained in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht. Siamak Sadri, Fu’ad Fahandezh, Payam Markazi, Fahrmand Sana’i, Farhad Fahandezh, Kamal Kashani and Kourush Ziari ( سیامک صدری، فواد فهندژ، پیام مرکز، فرهمند ثنایی، فرهاد فهندژ , کمال کاشانی و کوروش زیاری), who were arrested in Gorgan on October 17, and taken to Evin prison in Tehran on November 22, were taken to the quarantine section of Rajai Shahr prison “to serve their sentences,” although they have not yet been charged, tried or sentenced. On August 5, five Bahai prisoners were transferred from Evin Prison to Rajai Shahr prison, although their sentences did not include exile, and two more were transferred on October 3. Rajai Shahr prison also ‘houses’ the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators) who are now in the fourth year of 20-year sentences for their Baha’i beliefs.
~~~~~~~

Local Bahai Centre in Samoa destroyed by floods

Samoa Observer, December 22

Cyclone Evan has brought the worst flooding residents can remember to Samoa. Four people are known to have died, and eight fishermen are still missing at sea. Authorities say 4,500 people are in emergency evacuation centres. The local Bahai Centre at Lelata was washed away by a flooding river, and its caretaker, Pene Lealatasi, had to take refuge with his family on a nearby hill. The destruction of infrastructure and the lack of rain since the cyclone mean that there is no fresh water in the area.
~~~~~~

Three Sari Bahais free on bail in Mashhad

HRANA, December 22

On December 20, Behzad Dhabihi, Anvar Moslemi and Eshkan Zamani ( بهزاد ذبیحی، انور مسلمی و اشکان زمانی ), were freed on bail. They were arrested in Sari by security forces on December 2, and then transferred to Mashhad. Behzad Dhabihi and Anvar Moslemi were freed on bail of 50 million tumans (31,000 euros, $41,000 US), and Eshkan Zamani provided the operating licence of his business as surety. It is said that the case has been found to be outside the jurisdiction of the court in Mashhad, and has been transferred back to Sari.
~~~~~

20 Bahais arrested in Karaj, 17 released

HRANA, December 18

At 2.15 on December 14, security forces raided a home in Karaj where 20 Bahais were gathered, and arrested them all. When two of those present asked to see the search warrant, they were beaten up. Security officers filmed the whole proceeding, for the time of their arrival until the prisoners were taken away. At the detention centre, one of the ladies was beaten in the interrogation room, and she was then denied medical attention although her physical condition was bad. Following the interrogations, security forces raided the home of the one of the detainees and seized personal effects such as a lap top, books, gold and cash. All but five of the detainees were released in the middle of the night. Two more were released on December 17. There is no information about the conditions of the three Bahais who are still detained.
~~~~~

Nava and Nika Khalusi detained 10 weeks without explanation

HRANA, December 16

The sisters Nava and Nika Khalusi ( نوا و نیکا خلوصی ) from Mashhad were detained by security forces on September 26. They were held for two months by the Ministry of Intelligence, and then transferred to Vakil Abad prison near Mashhad, where a large number of Bahais are being detained. So far, no reason for their detention has been given to their family.
~~~~~

Six Bahai prisoners from Gorgan meet families

PCED, December 15

The six Bahai prisoners from Gorgan who were recently transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran were permitted to meet their families for 20 minutes on December 10. They are Siamak Sadri, Fu’ad Fahandezh, Payam Markazi, Fahrmand Sana’i, Farhad Fahandezh and Kamal Kashani ( سیامک صدری، فواد فهندژ، پیام مرکز، فرهمند ثنایی، فرهاد فهندژ و کمال کاشانی). Farhad Fahenadezh’s health is reported to be poor. They were among about 20 Bahais who were detained in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht. Some of those arrested have been released on bail. These six however were transferred to Tehran on November 28. Although two months have now passed since their arrest, there is no indication of what charges they face, and the judge in the case has indicated that they may be transferred to Rajai Shahr prison to serve their sentences.

Another Bahai prisoner, Kourush Ziari ( کوروش زیاری ), who was arrested in Gonbad, has also been permitted to meet this family. The report implies that he was also detained in relation to the wave of arrests in Gorgan and Minudasht, but his name has not appeared in previous reports.
~~~~~~

Rozita Vatheqi’s suffering continues

PCED, December 15

Rozita Vatheqi ( رزیتا واثقی ), a Bahai serving a 5-year sentence in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad, is still being denied leave from prison, although she has served two years and nine months of her sentence. Prison officials have approved the leave, but the Ministry of Intelligence is preventing it being granted. By law, she should be eligible for parole after serving half her sentence, and leave from prison is normally granted earlier. Her old and ill mother, who has also been imprisoned, has been granted leave [or parole, the text is not clear ~Sen].

She was arrested at her home in Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence on March 14, 2010. After her arrest she was held for 12 days in quarantine before being transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence’s private jail, where she was held in solitary confinement for more than six months. She was interrogated for more than two months during this confinement. On April 25, 2010, she was transferred to solitary confinement in Mashhad’s central prison. During this period she only met her family once. On June 26, 2010, bail of 50 million tumans was set and paid by her family, but not only was she not freed, the authorities did not give her family any clear and adequate explanation. Her health deteriorated because of the poor conditions during this long period. Finally, on December 20, 2010, she was tried in the Revolutionary Court, along with 3 other Bahais, on charges of propagating the Bahai Faith and blasphemy. The trial was behind closed doors, and the judge did not permit a defence, or allow the accused to speak. She was sentenced to 5 years in prison, which was confirmed by the court of review, and she was then transferred to Vakil Abad prison near Mashhad to serve her sentence. The officials at this prison have made conditions for female prisoners of conscience especially harsh, by limiting their visitation rights and telephone calls, and the time allowed outdoors for exercise. They are not permitted to use the library. On June 29, 2011, Rozita Vatheqi was again tried, on a charge of teaching the Bahai Faith. Reports do not indicate what sentence was imposed.
~~~~~

One arrest in Qazvin

PCED, December 15

Behnam Momtazi ( بهنام ممتازی ), a Bahai from Qazvin, was arrested on December 11. Security officers searched his home and confiscated some personal effects including books, CDs and a laptop, before arresting him. The charges against him are not know.
~~~~~

Four prisoners in Semnan pressured for televised confessions

PCED, December 9

Afshin Iqani, Siamak Iqani, Behfar Khanjani and `Erfan Ehsani ( افشین ایقانی، سیامک ایقانی، بهفر خانجانی و عرفان احسانی ) who are serving their sentences in Semnan prison, were pressured by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence for more than four hours on December 4 to give “interviews” for television. They were taken to the prayer room at Semnan prison at 8 a.m. Officers who claimed to be representing the judicial authorities initially asked the four to speak to them in front of television cameras. When they refused, the officers said they were reporters from a national news network (Seda o Sima) and pressured them severely for four hours to speak in front of television cameras. Then the four, who have medical records showing they suffer from physical ailments and heart complaints, were taken to the prison’s clinic for monitoring. Afshin Iqani suffered a heart attack there. They were threatened with transfer to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities in Semnan, where false confessions would be forced from them by severe pressure, solitary confinement, beating and abuse. Political and religious prisoners in Semnan Prison are at the mercy of the presiding judge, Ruhollah Esmaili ( روح الله اسماعیلی ) who makes their conditions very harsh.

Afshin Iqani is serving a sentence of 4 years and 3 months on charges of acting against national security, and has served 17 months of his sentence. Siamak Iqani is serving a 3 year sentence for propaganda against the regime and teaching the Bahai Faith, and has already served 25 months of his sentence. Behfar Khanjani is serving a 4 year sentence for membership of illegal Bahai groups and attending Bahai prayer meetings and the 19th-day ‘Feast.’ He has served 20 months of his sentence. `Erfan Ehsani is serving a one-year sentence for propaganda against the regime and acting against national security, and has served one month of his sentence. The prosecutor for Semnan province has prevented them being granted leave from prison, or better conditions.

[Update, December 21. Reports indicate that the film crew concerned also attempted to persuade other Bahais, not mentioned in this report, to participate. A fuller report in English was published by Rooz on December 21]
~~~~~~

Concerns for the health of 2 detainees in Shiraz

HRANA, December 10

Hamid Eslami ( حمید اسلامی ) and Rahman Vafa’i (رحمان وفائی ), who were arrested in Shiraz on July 14, have now been in “temporary custody” (detention without trial) for five months, including 68 days in solitary confinement. According to reports from relatives, the two have been subjected to harsh conditions such as cramped quarters, severe cold, malnutrition and being stripped of their clothes as well as lack of medical facilities. They have also been placed in a cell with murderers and drug users. Although their interrogation has ended, the court has not released them on bail and has even extended their remand.
~~~~~

Two Bahais from Minudasht free on bail

HRANA, December 10

Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) and Navid Mu`allem ( نوید معلم ), two of the Bahais detained on October 17 in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht, were released on bail on December 4. It is reported that Shahnam Jadhbani suffered a heart attack during his detention, and spent 3 days in hospital, but was then returned to his cell and remained there for a month, despite suffering severe pain.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sanaz Tafazzoli begins her sentence in Mashhad

HRANA, December 12

Sanaz Tafazzoli ( ساناز تفضلی ) a Bahai from Mashhad, was taken to Vakil Abad prison on December 11 to begin serving a 6-month sentence. She was arrested in Mashahd on June 27, 2011, and was initially sentenced to 18 months in prison, reduced to 6 months by the court of review. She joins six other Bahai women who are imprisoned for their beliefs in Vakil Abad prison.
~~~~~~~
Another arrest in Shiraz
HRANA, December 12

`Adnan Rahmat-penah ( عدنان رحمت‌پناه ), a Bahai from Shiraz, was arrested at his home in the early hours of the morning on December 12. Security officers searched his home and seized books, CDs and a laptop. He was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility (Unit 100) in Shiraz. `Adnan’s brother Eyman ( ایمان رحمت پناه ) was one of a groups of Bahais who were arrested in Shiraz early in March 2012.
~~~~~~~~~~

“Links with Bahais” among charges against 28 arrestees

Radio Zamaneh, December 11

Tehran’s Prosecutor General, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, said on Tuesday that 28 individuals have been arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence for collaboration with “anti-Revolutionary networks.”

He told reporters that the detainees were “working in various parts of the country, were organized, and their arrest has been a heavy blow to the anti-Revolutionary [movement].” He added that some of the networks “collaborated with the Baha’is.”

He did not give details about the identities of these detainees, but an earlier report by state news agency Reporters Club indicated on Monday that following the arrest of the “director of a satellite network”, at least 30 people have been arrested and charged with activity in “underground studios” and “collaboration with satellite networks.”

The report indicated that the individuals “collaborated with foreign satellite networks… enemies of the Iranian people, and were linked to the Baha’i sect.” [Despite some reports, it is not clear from this report that the arrestees are Bahais, or even have contact with Iranian Bahais: the Iranian government and government sponsored propaganda outlets regulars claim that the BBC is a Bahai organisation ~ Sen]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two arrests in Isfahan

PCED facebook feed, December 6

Mr. Puya Pour-Korsand and Mrs. Elmira Basiri ( پویا پورخرسند و المیرا بصیری ), a Bahai couple living in Isfahan, were arrested on December 3. Security agents went to Mr. Pour-korsand’s work place on November 29 and searched it, seizing some personal effects. The couple were then summoned to appear at the Ministry of Inteligence offices on December 1. They presented themselves, and were questioned, and were then summoned again for the next day. This time they arrested, and taken to the jail in Isfahan.
~~~~~~

Two families united in prison, briefly

PCED facebook feed, December 4 and 5

Mrs. Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) and Kamran Rahimiyan ( کامران رحیمیان ), a Bahai couple who were both serving 4-year prison sentences for their work as teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE), have been able to meet briefly in Evin Prison. The couple have a son, Artin, who is four years old.

Brother and sister Fu’ad and Leva Khanjani, who are both students excluded from university because of their Bahai beliefs, were able to meet briefly in prison on December 4. Fu’ad, who was a student in Isfahan until his explusion, is serving a four-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison. Leva is serving a two year sentence in the women’s wing at Evin prison. Their grandfather, Jamaluddin Khanjani ( جمال الدین خانجانی ) is one of the seven Yaran (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran) who are serving 20-year prison sentences.
~~~~~~~~~~

Three Bahai detainees transferred from Sari to Mashhad

HRANA, December 5

On December 2, security forces arrested Behzad Dhabihi, Anvar Moslemi and Eshkan Zamani ( بهزاد ذبیحی، انور مسلمی و اشکان زمانی ) in Sari. After 48 hours in detention, they have been charged and their immediate transfer to Mashhad has been authorised. More details of the arrests have also emerged. On the morning of December 2, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence went to the workplace of Behzad Dhabihi, and then took him to his home, which they searched, before arresting him. On the same day they went to the home of Anvar Moslemi. As he was not at home, his wife refused to open the door to unknown people. The agents forced entry by climbing a wall, and searched the house while uttering blasphemies. Finally, at 5 p.m., they left a summons for Mr Moslemi. At about noon, agents went to the home of Mr. Zamani, and when he came home from work at 2 p.m., beat him up in front of his wife and two-year-old child, handcuffed him and arrested him.

The charge the three will face in Mashhad is “propaganda against the regime, in favour of the Bahai Faith.” The warrant for the searches and arrest did not bear the letterhead of the judicial authorities, and had the names of the three detainees added by hand. The court official whose name and seal was on the document has denied any knowledge of it.

Mr. Zamani suffers from a heart condition and has to take medicine every day. Although he took his medication with him when he was arrested, the officers would not allow him to have them for the first 24 hours of his detention. Mr. Dhabihi has a peptic ulcer, for which he was being treated, and Mr. Moslemi has a lung condition.

Behzad Dhabihi has been arrested twice previously, in March 2011 and April 2012, on charges of propaganda against the regime. On the first occasion he was held for 72 hours in Sari, and on the second occasion he was held for 15 days Tenakabon. He was acquitted of these charges. Anvar Moslami has also been arrested twice in the past on the same charge, in December 2008 and June 2009. One the first occasion he was sentenced to one year in prison, and on the second occasion he was acquitted.
~~~~~~~~~~

Eshkan Badiyyeh-ye Azani bailed in Karaj

HRANA, December 3

Eshkan Badiyyeh-ye Azani ( اشکان بدیعی ارانی ), a Bahai resident of Karaj who was arrested with his brother Saman (سامان ) in early November, has been released on bail of 50 million tumans (31,000 euros; 41,000 US dollars). There has been no news from his brother for over a month, and the family have not been able to contact him.
~~~~~~~~~

Three new arrests in Sari

HRANA, December 3

On December 2, security forces arrested Behzad Dhabihi, Anvar Moslami and Eshkan Zamani ( بهزاد ذبیحی، انور مسلمی و اشکان زمانی ) in Sari. The officers went to their home and workplace. Their home was searched and personal items including books and CDs were confiscated. The three were taken to the Ministry of Intelligence in Sari. Behzad Dhabihi was arrested twice previously, in March 2011 and April 2012, and released on bail after a period in detention. Anvar Moslami has also been arrested twice in the past, in December 2008 and June 2009, and was sentenced to one year in prison. He was released only recently, after completing this sentence.
~~~~~~~~~

Egypt to exclude Bahais from education

Muslim network for Bahai rights, November 30

On November 30th, Egypt’s Minister of Education, Ibramim Ghanem, gave an interview to the Egyptian newspaper al-Sabah. In the context of a discussion of Egypt’s changing education policy, one question affirmed the long-standing legacy of marginalized minority religions such as the Baha’i faith across Egyptian society. The newspaper asked, “What is the position of the ministry regarding the right of Baha’is to enroll their children in school?” His response was: “State law in accordance with government procedures only recognizes three religions, and the Baha’i faith is not among them. Thus their children do not have the right to register in government schools.”

Full story (in English)
~~~~~~~~~

Bahai shop looted in Semnan

PCED, November 29

On the morning of November 29, security forces raided the home of Mr. Akbar Por-hoseini (اکبر پورحسینی) in Semnan, and then went to his optician’s shop and took his entire stock of glasses out of the shop. At the time the report was written, they were still busy looting the shop and loading the goods onto a truck. Mr. Por-hoseini has been sentenced to 2 years and 2 months in prison for his Bahai beliefs, and this sentence has been confirmed by the review court. This is the second time this year that his house and shop have been raided by security forces.
~~~~~~~~~~

German court requires state recognition of Bahai community

Tagesschau, November 28

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has ruled that the Ministry of Religions in the State of Hesse, in central Germany, must recognise the Bahai community as a body corporate. The Baha’i community has 5600 members in Germany, and applied for recognition as a corporation in the state of Hesse, because the National Spiritual Assembly is based in Hesse. The Hesse state government rejected the request on the grounds that Bahai membership was less than one per thousand in the population, which would require 6089 members. The court said that neither the absolute number of Bahais, nor the proportion of the population, was a decisive indication of whether a religious community would continue to exist. The court gave more weight to the fact that the Bahai community had already existed in German for more than a hundred years, is part of a world-wide community, and were able to reorganise themselves after they were banned under the Nazis, and following the reunification of Germany. The legal recognition will reduce the taxes and fees the Bahai institutions pay.
~~~~~~~~~~

Six prisoners transferred from Gorgan to Tehran

HRANA, November 28

Siamak Sadri, Fu’ad Fahandezh, Payam Markazi, Fahrmand Sana’im, Farhad Fahenadezh and Kamal Kashani ( سیامک صدری، فواد فهندژ، پیام مرکز، فرهمند ثنایی، فرهاد فهندژ و کمال کاشانی), six of the Bahais detained in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht, were transferred to Tehran on November 28.
~~~~~~

Sentences announced for 11 Bahai youth in Mashhad

HRANA, November 26

On October 28, eleven Bahais in Mashhad were tried on charges of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and membership of the Bahai community. Most were youth, who had been holding a handcraft exhibition to raise funds for the disadvantaged. Their sentences have now been handed down: six months imprisonment each. Their names are given as :
Fattaneh Hajipour (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17, freed on bail on March 17 ( فتانه حاجی‌پور )
Navid Nabili (arrested in the handicrafts exhibition case, freed on on bail March 17) ( نوید نبیلی )
Mr. Azatollah Ahmadiyan ( عزت الله احمدیان )
Negin Ahmadiyan (arrested in the handicrafts exhibition case, freed on bail April 4) ( نگین احمدیان )
Shahzad Khalili (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17) ( شهزاد خلیلی )
Noghmeh Dhabiheyan-Esami (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17; held at Valikabad prison)( نغمه ذبیحیان )
Negar Mulkzadeh (arrested April 2, following a summons in the handicrafts exhibition case) ( نگار ملک زاده )
Behnaz Hodadzadeh (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17)( بهناز حداد‌زاده )
Houriyyeh Mohsani (arrested at home on March 7) (حوریه محسنی)
Arman Mukhtari (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17; held at Vakilabad prison) ( آرمان مختاری )
Shayan Tafazzoli (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17) ( شایان تفضلی )

Houriyyeh Mohsani, Negar Mulkzadeh and Negin Ahmadiyan were also fined 300,000 tumans (190 euros; 250 US dollars)for possessing satellite dishes.
~~~~~~~~~~

Two Bahais released in Gorgan

HRANA, November 26

Shohreh Samimi and Kamelya Bidelyan ( شهره صمیمی و کاملیا بیدلیان ), two of the Bahais detained on October 17 in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht, have been released on bail. They had been held in Gonbad prison, near Minudasht. Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) the husband of Shohreh Samimi, and Navid Mu`allem ( نوید معلم ), the husband of Kamelya Bidelyan, were arrested at along with their wives, and after a month in Gonbad prison, were transferred to Gorgan. Shahnam Jadhbani has not yet had any contact with his family.
~~~~~~~~~~~

40+ Bahai businesses closed in Hamadan

PCED, November 22

On November 17, more than 40 businesses linked to Bahais in Hamadan Province, in cities such as Malayer and Bahar, were closed down for “procedural violations.” After five days, the enquiries of their owners have remained fruitless, although the businesses pay taxes and municipal dues. The authorities have refused to answer questions about the reason for the closures. In recent years, and especially in recent months, numerous businesses belonging to Bahais in cities such as Shiraz and Semnan have been closed by the authorities. [November 17 this year fell on Muharram 2 in the Islamic lunar calendar (in Iran, but Muharram 3 in some other countries). Bahais in countries using that calendar celebrate the births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah on Muharram 1 and 2, respectively, and close their businesses for these holy festivals. It may be that this has assisted the authorities in identifying which businesses are run by Bahais ~~ Sen.]
~~~~~~~~~

Four more arrests in Gorgan

HRANA, November 21

Farhad Eqbali ( فرهاد اقبالی ), a Bahai resident of Gorgan, was arrested on November 20, and on November 18, Siamak Sadri, Payam Markazi and Fu’ad Fahandezh ( سیامک صدری، پیام مرکزی و فواد فهندژ ) were arrested in their homes by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence. This follows the arrest of 17 Bahais in Gorgan on October 19, of Tina Mauhabati ( تینا موهبتی ) on October 23, and of a number of Muslims accused of associating with Bahais.
~~~~~~~~

Two more arrests in Karaj

HRANA, November 20

Two Bahais from Karaj, the brothers Saman and Eshkan Badiyyeh-ye Azani ( سامان بادیه‌ای آرنی و اشکان بادیه‌ای آرنی ), have been in detention in Karaj for about two weeks. It is reported that they were tried today (November 30.)It is not known where they are being held. Eshkan was able to contact their family after about 7 days in detention, but there has been no word from Saman. Saman was arrested previously, about 4 years ago, and has been free on bail.
~~~~~~~~~

Two pdf booklets on Abdu’l-Baha’s visits to the United Kingdom

NSA of the UK, November 20

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United Kingdom has produced two PDF booklets commemorating the first and second visits of Abdu’l-Baha to the United Kingdom. They can be downloaded free from the NSA’s web site.
~~~~~~~~~

Trial of the earthquake aid group under way

PCED, November 19

On August 23, 35 social activists who were hastening with aid to the areas in Eastern Azerbaijan affected by a major earthquake were arrested. The trial of 20 members of this group has now begun in Tabriz, with the reading of a courageous joint statement of defence. They include three who were previously identified as Bahais: Shayan Vahdati, Farid Ruhani and Vahid Khalusi (شایان وحدتی، فرید روحانی و واحد خلوصی ).
~~~~~~~~~~

Another student expelled in Qazvin

Personal communication, November 16

A reliable source in Iran reports that another Bahai student has been expelled from one of Qazvin’s universities. This time it is Sepehr Hasim ( سپهر حصیم ), a student of computer science at the Shahid Baba’i University. He was summoned to the security office by telephone, on October 28 (thus, before the other 3 Bahai students whose expulsions were reported recently). When he made enquiries regarding his status with the Vice-Chancellor, on the same day, he was told the decision to expel him had been made by the national office of evaluations of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. This office is responsible for entrance examinations and other qualifications, and for determining degree equivalencies. When he asked for the reason, university officials told him they had no information, and he was referred from office to office until someone at the Department of Education eventually gave him his expulsion order. It stated that the security office had determined that he was a Bahai. Mr. Hasim had achieved a high (entrance examination) score and was accepted to study at the Islamic Azad University, a chain of privately run universities with 400 branches across Iran, but since this university refuses to accept Bahai students, he had enrolled at the government-run institution in Qazvin.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Foad Khanjani’s condition serious

A day after undergoing surgery for internal bleeding and a cyst in the abdomen, the health condition of Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی) is a cause for grave concern. On the night following his surgery, the officers from Rajai Shahr prison who were responsible for guarding him in the hospital shackled him hand and foot throughout the night and subjected him to religious insults, with the result that his blood pressure rose and his condition deteriorated.
~~~~~~~~~~

Two more students expelled in Qazvin

PCED, November 13

Nova Hamidi and Mona Ashrafi ( نوا حمیدی و مونا اشرفی ), who had been studying computer science at at Imam Khomeini International Technical University in Qazvin, have been barred from further study because of their Bahai beliefs. They began their studies in 2011. When they were summoned by telephone and presented themselves the university’s security office, they were told that questions of religious belief would be dealt with by the central security office since officers from the Ministry of Intelligence would be questioning them about their religious beliefs, and their further study would depend on their signing a promise. They were presented with a text saying:

“I promise that, so long as I am at the university, I will not pay any attention to messages from the Universal House of Justice and will have no links with them, or those linked to them, and that I will put the regulations and principles of the regime and of the university before any instructions from the House of Justice.”

When the students refused to sign this they were asked to sign a second text saying “I testify that I am only obedient to the House of Justice which is free of error.”

Since they refused to sign these statements, they were expelled, without being given any evidence of their expulsion. This [along with the case of Tanin Torabi reported here on November 10] represents a new way of building a case against Bahai students.
~~~~~~~~~~

Student expelled in Sari

HRANA, November 12

Samiyyeh Quli-nezhad ( سامیه قلی‌نژاد ), a Bahai from Sari who was studying applied mathematics, has been expelled from Behshahr University because of her Bahai Faith. She was in the first year of her study. The decision was conveyed to her in a telephone call from the university’s security office on November 10. She reports that the officials told her that the only way she could be allowed to return to the university was if she announced that she had become a Muslim. On November 11, her family went to the security office with the offer that she could conceal her real beliefs and become a Muslim under pressure, and conceal the reasons for her expulsion from other students. [The offer was apparently rejected.] Samiyyeh’s sister, Suna Quli-nezhad ( سونا قلی‌نژاد ) was also expelled from university because of her Bahai beliefs, in 2009, after one semester of study in herbal medicine.
~~~~~~~~~

Adib Sho`a`i free on bail in Mashhad

HRANA, November 12

Adib Sho`a`i ( ادیب شعاعی ), a Bahai from Mashhad who was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on October 6, has been freed on bail of 50 million tuman (32,000 euro, $US 41,000).
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Afif Na`imi transferred to Pars Hospital, Tehran

PCED, November 11

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 Pars Hospital in Tehran. He suffers from severe inflammation of the lymph glands in his throat, exacerbated by the lack of medical care in prison. He also suffers from goitre. He is 49 years old. He has been detained since May 2008, without even one day of prison leave.
~~~~~~~~~

Bahai student expelled in Qazvin

HRANA, November 10

Tanin Torabi ( طنین ترابی ), a Bahai student in the third semester of a course in English translation at Imam Khomeini International University in Qazvin, has been barred from further study because of her religious beliefs. She was summoned to the University’s security office on October 28. Security officers asked her to promise that, so long as she was at the University, she would pay no attention to messages from the Universal House of Justice, and have no links to the House of Justice and its associated institutions, and would put principles and regulations of the regime and the university before any instructions from the House of Justice. Since she was not willing to sign this promise, she was expelled on the spot, without being given any documentation of her expulsion.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Foad Khanjani receiving medical care

PCED, November 10

Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), a former student of industrial management at Isfahan University who was expelled because of his Bahai beliefs, and who is serving a 4-year sentence in Raja`i Shahr prison near Tehran, has (at last) been taken to hospital for treatment. He is suffering from a cyst in the abdomen, causing pain and bleeding. Although he obtained all the necessary permissions for hospital treatment weeks ago, prison authorities had refused to act.
~~~~~~~~~~

Two arrests in Karaj

HRANA, November 10

Kamran Qaysari and Afshin Seyyed-Ahmad ( کامران قیصری و افشین سیداحمد ), Bahai residents of Karaj (near Tehran), have been arrested by security forces. Mr. Qaysari was arrested at his work on November 5, and taken away. On November 7, the agents and Mr. Qaysari appeared at his home, which was searched thoroughly. Religious books and images were seized, and Mr. Qaysari and the agents departed again.

Also on the morning of November 7, security forces went to the workplace of Mr. Afshin Seyyed-Ahmad, in Tehran, conducted a search, and arrested him.
~~~~~~~~~

Bahai home confiscated in Mashhad

HRANA, November 8

The home of the late Hussein al-Hourdizadeh ( حسین الهوردیزاده ) in Mashhad has been confiscated, although his grandchildren were living in it at the time. Some time ago the home, in the Sa’ad Abad quarter of Mashhad, was confiscated by the Committee for Implementing the Instructions of the Imam, and put up for auction. Kayan and Sepehr Thabeti (کیان و سپهر ثابتی), the children of Mr. al-Hourdizadeh’s only daughter, were living in the house and were required to vacate it by an eviction order. The confiscation order, originally issued in the 1980’s, provided for the confiscation of all of Munireh al-Hourdizadeh’s possessions (منیره الهوردیزاده), moveable and immovable, because she was a Bahai and membership of the Bahai Local Spiritual Assembly for Mashhad. It has now been used, 30 years later, to seize a house which belonged not to Munireh al-Hourdizadeh, but to her father, the late Hussein al-Hourdizadeh.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Rozita Watheqi denied leave from Mashhad prison

HRANA, November 6

Rozita Watheqi ( رزیتا واثقی ), a Bahai serving a 5-year sentence in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad, has been denied leave from prison, although she has served more than half of her sentence. Prison officials have approved the leave, but the Ministry of Intelligence’s is preventing it being granted. She was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in March 2010, and pressured to sign a promise not to teach the Bahai Faith, which she refused to do. She was then subjected to six months of harsh interrogation in the Ministry of Intelligence’s facilities before being transferred to Vakil Abad prison. By that time she was in a very weak condition. She shares her imprisonment there with her mother, who is old and ill.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Another Bahai student expelled from university

HRANA, November 7

Farid Muhammadzadeh ( فرید محمد‌ز اده), a Master’s student at the University of Isfahan, was expelled because on November 4, because of his Bahai beliefs. He is a student of theoretical physics, and had successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree at Isfahan University. Because of his high grades, he was admitted to the Master’s course in fundamental physics without having to take the admissions examination. At the time he was told that he had been expelled, he had completed all the requirements for a Master’s degree except for his dissertation. He was allowed 10 days to lodge an objection [which he has done], but has not received any reply. An unusual aspect of this expulsions is that the University of Isfahan originally sent him a letter of disenrollment two years ago, and after that, accepted his enrollment [in the Master’s course].
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Farzam Arbab and Kiser Barnes to retire

November 6.

In a letter dated November 5, 2012, the Universal House of Justice has announced the resignations of two of its members, Dr. Farzam Arbab and Mr. Kiser Barnes, with effect from the completion of the election of the Universal House of Justice at Ridvan 2013. Dr. Arbab was first elected to the Body in 1993 and Mr. Barnes in 2000.

The letters is available as a PDF document in my documents archive.
~~~~~~~~~

One arrest in Sari

HRANA, November 1

Shirin Foroughiyan ( شیرین فروغیان ), a Bahai resident of Sari, was arrested at her home on October 30. Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched her home and seized a computer, printer, and religious books and images. They had a search warrant, and wrote in the word “arrest” themselves. The warrant was in any case invalid, since it did not bear the letterhead of a court, and was not signed by a judge. It is notable that `Abas Alizadeh ( عباس علیزاده ), a Ministry of Intelligence interrogator specialising in Bahai matters, was present during the raid. When Shirin Foroughiyan persisted in demanding a valid warrant, he threatened to beat her harder. Shirin Foroughiyan and her husband `Adel Samimi ( عادل صمیمی ) were arrested previously, in the winter of 2008, when they were fined 300,000 tumans each (about 210 euros, 300 USD).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dari Amri begins serving reduced sentence in Mashhad

HRANA, October 31

Dari Amri ( دری امری ), a Bahai resident of Mashhad, was arrested on October 29, to begin serving his sentence for “propaganda against the regime by teaching the Bahai Faith.” He has been summoned to the review court, but when he appeared he was summarily taken to prison. He was originally arrested by officers of the Ministry of Intelligence on June 18, and later sentenced to 12 months in prison, but this has been reduced by the review court to 6 months.
~~~~~~~~~

`Erfan Ehsani begins his sentence in Semnan

CHRR, October 31

`Erfan Ehsani ( عرفان احسانی ) an Iranian Bahai from Sangsar, Semnan province, was arrested yesterday and taken to the Semnan Central Prison to serve his sentence, although he is still waiting to hear from the review court whether his sentence has been upheld. He was arrested on March 21, and later freed 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 ) is already in prion, serving a 20-month sentence for her religious beliefs: their young child is in prison with her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eleven Bahais tried in Mashhad

HRANA, October 29

On October 28, eleven Bahais in Mashhad faced trial on charges of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and membership of the Bahai community. The verdicts have not yet been announced. Their names are given as :

Negin Ahmadiyan (arrested in the handicrafts exhibition case, freed on bail April 4) ( نگین احمدیان )
Mr. Azatollah Ahmadiyan ( عزت الله احمدیان )
Negar Mulkzadeh (arrested April 2, following a summons in the handicrafts exhibition case) ( نگار ملک زاده )
Navid Nabili (arrested in the handicrafts exhibition case, freed on on bail March 17) ( نوید نبیلی )
Houriyyeh Mohsani (arrested at home on March 7) (حوریه محسنی)
Fattaneh Hajipour (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17, freed on bail on March 17 ( فتانه حاجی‌پور )
Shayan Tafazzoli (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17) ( شایان تفضلی )
Arman Mukhtari (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17; held at Vakilabad prison) ( آرمان مختاری )
Shahzad Khalili (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17) ( شهزاد خلیلی )
Behnaz Hudadzadeh (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17)( بهناز حداد‌زاده )
Noghmeh Dhabiheyan-Esami (arrested at a handcrafts exhibition on February 17; held at Valikabad prison)( نغمه ذبیحیان )
~~~~~~~~~~~

Five prisoners freed in Gorgan

PCED, October 29

Five of the Bahais living in Gorgan who were arrested in Gorgan on October 4 have been freed on bail. Their names are reported as Parivash Shoja`i ( پریوش شجاعی ), Shiva Rouhani ( شیوا روحانی ), Mitra Nouri ( میترا نوری ), Houshmand Dehqan ( هوشمند دهقان ) and Soudabeh Mehdinezhad ( سودابه مهدی نژاد ). A further 10 Bahais remain in detention. There is no indication of the charges against them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shohreh Azemi begins 8-month sentence in Semnan

HRANA, October 29

On October 22, Shohreh Azemi ( شهره اعظمی ) a Bahai resident of Semnan, reported to prison to begin serving her 8-month sentence. She was initially sentenced to 5 years in prison, on the charge of membership of the Bahai community. This was reduced to 8 months by the court of review.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Witch-hunt in Gorgan targets friends of the Bahais

HRANA, October 28

As previously reported here, on October 17, security agents arrested 18 Bahais in Golestan Province, in the North of Iran, most of the them in the city of Gorgan, and at least one other Bahai is known to have been arrested in Gorgan since then. Now HRANA reports that since then, there has been a wave of arrests of Muslims in the city of Gorgan who might have been in contact with Bahais.

The arrests began on October 17, when four people were arrested in their homes and taken for interrogation. One of these was released on the same day after signing a written promise not to have any contact with Bahais. Two others were released after one week, and one is still in detention in the Ministry of Intelligence’s facilities. On October 23, two more people were arrested in Gorgan, on the charge of having contact with Bahais, only to be released later that day. One of them is reported to have been severely beaten and abused during the interrogation. Next day, another person was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence, and there has been no news of him or her since. On October 25, another person received a telephone summons. The charge against one of the detainees is said to be “propaganda against the regime.” It is likely that more Muslims have been detained in Gorgan in the same way, but sources of information on the security situation in Gorgan are limited.
~~~~~~~~~

UK Parliament debates the situation of the Bahais in Iran

They work for you, October 24

The UK Parliament has again been discussing the situation of the Bahais of Iran, at the initiative of Naomi Long, MP for Belfast East. What is new (for me) is that “They work for you” has the full Hansard text of the consultation, including the interruptions and responses. Mrs Long asks the Foreign Secretary to give high priority to the UK’s existing initiatives at the UN. “In doing so, the Government would not only place the sustained abuse and persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran in the international spotlight, thus creating pressure for that to end, but hold out hope to many people around the world, of all faiths and of none, that religious persecution will not go unseen or unchallenged by the international community and that the cause of religious freedom and freedom of conscience will have a strong, international advocate in the UK Government.”

Alistair Burt (Under Secretary of State) responds by outlining what the UK has been doing, and is asked by one MP: “Does such action have any positive impacts on the treatment of Baha’is in Iran?” to which he replies, “it is genuinely difficult to tell. It is a closed society …. but the objective information we get is not good. However, what it does have an impact on is the population. The UK is not so daft as to believe that the Iranian regime speaks for all the Iranian people. We monitor carefully what the Iranian people say to each other, on social network sites and the like. The Iranian people are a savvy internationally based people. They are actually more aware and concerned about their human rights position than perhaps they appear to be … They are disturbed that there is a sense that as a good Muslim nation they are put in the dock for offences committed by their own Government that they feel very keenly about. Accordingly, although there may not be an impact every day on the day-to-day life of Baha’is or other minorities, the sense of outrage of the Iranian people is building up. That is why it is so important to raise such issues, for us to talk about them in Parliament and for us to do things through the international agencies … to ensure this is known to the Iranian people.”

Full report
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another arrest in Gorgan

HRANA, October 24

In the evening of October 23, security forces in Gorgan arrested Tina Mauhabati ( تینا موهبتی ) as she was waiting at the bus station for a bus to Tehran. Her mother, Shiva Rouhani ( شیوا روحانی ) was one of the 14 Bahais arrested in Gorgan last week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two arrests in Eslamshahr

PCED, October 22

Farzin and Ramin Shahryari ( فرزین و رامین شهریاری ), Bahai residents of Eslamshahr, in Tehran province, were arrested on October 21 and taken in handcuffs to Evin Prison in Tehran. They had been summoned to the Revolutionary Court and were arrested when they responded. On October 14, security agents raided their home and confiscated Bahai books, and personal effects including a computer, laptop and i-pad, and [unspecified] materials which they had legal permits from the anti-contraband authorities to possess. The charges against them are not known.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Akbar Pourhoseini sentenced in Semnan: 28 months

HRANA, October 21

Akbar Pourhoseini ( اکبر پورحسینی ), a Bahai from Semnan, has been sentenced to 28 months in prison. He was charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of the Bahai community. The sentence is subject to review by the Review Court. He was arrested in May 2012, and released on bail some time later.
~~~~~~

14 arrested in Gorgan, 4 in Minudasht, 2 more sought

PCED, October 17

In an update and correction of the previous report of the arrest of Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) and his wife Shohreh Samimi ( شهره صمیمی ) in Minudasht, Golestan Province, and Navid Mu`allemi and his wife Kamelya Bidelyan ( نوید معلمی و کاملیا بیدلیان ) in the provincial capital, Gorgan, PCED reports that these four were in fact arrested in Minudasht, and adds the names of those arrested in simultaneous raids on Bahai homes in Gorgan. The arrests, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, were made without a judicial warrant. Bahai homes homes were searched, with the seizure of computers, books and family photo albums. The names of those arrested in Gorgan are given as Parivash Shoja`i, Bhenam Hosseini, Nazi Tahqiqi, Houshmand Dehqan, Farhad Fahenadezh, Fahrnaz Tabayanian and his wife Fahrmand Sana’i, Shayda Qodousi, Shiva Rouhani, Mitra Nouri, Hana Aqiqiyan, Kamal Kashani, Puna Sana’i, Soudabeh Mehdinezhad and Mariyam Dehqan ( پریوش شجاعی(فنائیان)، بهنام حسنی، نازی تحقیقی(خلخی)، هوشمند دهقان، فرهاد فهندژ، فرحناز تبیانیان و همسرش فرهمند سنایی، شیدا قدوسی، شیوا روحانی(موهبتی)، میترا نوری(موهبتی)،هنا عقیقیان، کمال کاشانی، پونه سنایی، سودابه مهدی نژاد و مریم دهقان. ). Agents also raided the home of Rufiya Pakzadan and Maral Roushani ( روفیا پاکزادان و مارال روشنی ) and seized some of their personal effects, but did not arrest them as they were not home. There were also raids on other Bahai homes, including those of Siamak Sadri, Foad Fahandezh and Katarin Sana’i ( سیامک صدری،فواد فهندژ و کاترین سنایی ), in which some belongings were confiscated. In some of the raids, the agents’ behaviour was violent, with insults and beatings and even damage to the house. The reasons for the arrests, and the whereabouts of those arrested, are still unknown.
~~~~~~~

At least four new arrests in Golestan province

HRANA, October 16

On the morning of October 16, agents from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence in Golestan province (formerly part of Mazandaran, in the Northeast), staged simultaneous arrests of a number of Bahais. In the city of Minudasht, the home of Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) and his wife Shohreh Samimi ( شهره صمیمی ) was searched, and the couple were arrested. At the same time, in Gorgan, the provincial capital, agents arrested Navid Mu`allemi and his wife Kamelya Bidelyan ( نوید معلمی و کاملیا بیدلیان ) and several other Bahais.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bahai sentenced in Tonekabon: 6 months

Bahai News Service (Persian), October 9

Mr. Ali-Reza Khanlari ( علیرضا خانلری ) of Tonekabon has been sentenced to 6 months in prison for his Bahai beliefs. He was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on June 6, 2010, following a search of his home in which Bahai books, images, CD’s and a computer were seized. He was later freed on bail.
~~~~~~~

Bahai fined in Tonekabon

Bahai News Service (Persian), October 9

Mr. Vahid Iqani ( وحید ایقانی ), a Bahai resident of Tonekabon, on Iran’s Caspian coast, has been fined 5 million rials (about 300 euros; 400 US dollars). He was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on October 16, 2010, following a search of his home. He was later freed on bail.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sentence reduced for Anisa Fana’ayan

HRANA , October 14

The review court has reduced the sentence of Anisa Fana’ayan ( انیسا فناییان ), a Bahai resident of Semnan, from 4 years and 4 months to 22 months. She was charged with propaganda against the regime and participation in the Bahai administration. Her husband, Siamak Iqani ( سیامک ایقانی ) is serving a 3-year sentence in Semnan prison. The couple have two children, aged 4 and 9.
~~~~~~

85-year-old Bahai sentenced to 3 years

HRANA, October 15

Muhammad Hussein Nakh`i ( محمد حسین نخعی ), an 85-year-old Bahai from the village of Khusf in Birjand County, South Khorasan Province, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. He has been detained in Birjan prison for five months, on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership of the Bahai Community. He previously sent five years in prison in Gonbad, in the first decade after Iran’s 1979 revolution.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Five Christian converts to be tried in Shiraz

Mohbat News, October 10

Five Christian converts, who have spent eight months in prison, are to be tried in Shiraz on Monday, October 15. They are charged with “creating illegal groups”, “participating in house church service”, “propaganda against the Islamic regime” and “defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing.” Since their arrest, all five have been held without bail, in wings of Adel-Abad prison that house dangerous criminals and drug dealers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beirut Film Festival: Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s ‘The Gardener’ wins Best Documentary

LFA News, October 12

The 12th annual Beirut International Film Festival has presented the Gold Aleph Best Documentary award to Mohsen Makhmalbaf for The Gardener. ‘The Gardener’ is a poetic documentary made in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Akka, in Israel. It is the story of a debate between two Iranian generations; it is about the positive aspects of religion. The film also sheds light on the beauty of the Baháí gardens. According to critics at Busan Festival, ‘The Gardener’ is reminiscent of Makhmalbaf’s Gabbeh and Sokout. They have praised the poetic simplicity and the peace-loving message of the film.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who at the time of the presentation was at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, sent a visual message to the audience in Lebanon. In this message he comments, “I would like to offer ‘The Gardener’ and this important prize from the Beirut International Film Festival to all those people who are working around the world for peace and who are striving to prevent wars which are the causes of destruction committed in the name of God”.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Foad Khanjani still waiting for admission to hospital

HRANA, October 10

Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), a Bahai excluded from higher education who is serving a 4-year sentence in Raja`i Shahr prison near Tehran, is suffering from a cyst in the abdomen, causing pain and bleeding. He requires immediate surgery. Although he obtained all the necessary permissions for hospital treatment several weeks ago, he is still in prison. On September 27 he was taken to one hospital, but because a place for him had been reserved in a different hospital, the doctors refused to admit him.

Update: A HRANA report dated October 31 indicates that Foad Khanjani is still waiting for treatment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update on prisoners of conscience in Semnan

CHRR, October 10

A half-yearly report from the Committee of Human Rights Reporters contains news of a Bahai prisoner in Semnan whose imprisonment has not previously been reported here. Her name is Rofia Beydaghi ( روفیا بیداقی ), and she has served 6 months of a one-year sentence. Her father is also in prison. The report lists 13 Bahai prisoner and exiles from Semnan, but omits to note that `Adel Fana’ayan ( عادل فناییان), so in fact 14 of the 19 prisoners of conscience from Semnan who are listed, are Bahais.

Full list of prisoners of conscience in Semnan
~~~~~~

`Adel Na`imi now 70 days in solitary

HRANA, October 9

`Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ), who with his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی ) was among a group of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, is still being held in solitary confinement, 70 days later. Their son Shamim (شمیم) was also arrested, a few days after his parents. All three were held in Evin Prison in Tehran. Shamim and Elham have since been released on bail but `Adel Na`imi, who suffers from diabetes, is held in solitary confinement, and denied access to a lawyer or a telephone. He has had one brief opportunity to talk to his wife.
~~~~~~

One arrest in Mashhad

HRANA, October 9

Adib Sho`a`i ( ادیب شعاعی ), a Bahai from Mashhad, was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on October 6, following a thorough search of his home. The agents seized his computer, and religious books and images. It is not know where he is being held.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Health concerns for Hoshang Fana’ayan in prison

PCED, October 1

Hoshang Fana’ayan ( هوشنگ فنائیان ), a 49-year old Bahai imprisoned in Babol, is in poor health. Earlier this year he suffered from kidney stones, and for the past 8 months he has suffered from pains in his neck and arm, and the doctor has said that the vertebrae of his neck and the muscles of his arm are out of place. However prison officials have not allowed him leave for medical treatment. Hoshang Fana’ayan is a resident of Amol who was arrested on March 14, and is serving a 4-year sentence on charges of acting against national security, membership of the Bahai community and of Facebook, and writing letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader.
~~~~~

Keyvan Rahimiyan and Azizullah Samandari in Raja’i Shahr prison

HRANA, October 3

Keyvan Rahimiyan ( کیوان رحیمیان ) and Azizullah Samandari ( عزیز‌الله سمندری ) were transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj on October 3. Both are serving 5-year prison sentences. After spending a night in qurantine, they were moved to wing 12 of the prison. However the PCED reported on August 5 that Azizullah Samandari was one of six Bahais transferred from Evin to Raja’i Shahr.
~~~~~~~~~~

Sentences of three Bahais announced in Semnan

HRANA, October 4

Three Bahais in Semnan have had their sentences announced by the review court. Taher Eskandriyan ( طاهر اسکندریان ) was sentenced to three years in prison, Afrasayab Sobhani ( افراسیاب سبحانی ) was sentenced to one year, and the six and half year sentence of Puya Tabiyaniyan ( پویتبیانیانا ) has been confirmed.

Taher Eskandriyan was arrested on June 23. In 2009 he served a six-month sentence in Semnan prison. Afrasayab Sobhani was arrested on May 14 and tried on charges of propaganda against the system and membership of the Bahai administration. He has been free on bail since shortly after his arrest. He has already served five years in prison for his beliefs, in the 1980’s. Puya Tabiyaniyan was one of a number of Bahais arrrested in Semnan in February 2011, and was freed on bail after one month in prison. He has been imprisoned for his faith previously. In the winter of 2008-9 he was arrested, and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after serving 14 months in prison.
~~~~~~~

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: