Sen's daily

April 9, 2017

Sima Keyani free on bail in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian), April 8, 2017.

Sima Keyani (سیما کیانی), a Bahai who was arrested in Rey (on the outskirts of Tehran) on the morning of March 8, has been released on bail of 200 million tumans (58,000 euros ; $US 61,000). Since her arrest she has been in solitary confinement in Evin Prison. At the time of her arrest, her home was also searched, and a pickup truck was used to take away her religious books, along with religious images and family photographs.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2S9

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

March 31, 2017

Sorur Foroughi bailed in Yazd


Bahai News (Persian), March 28, 2017.

Sorur Forughi Mahdiabadi (سرور فروغی مهدی آبادی), a 69-year old resident of Yazd who was arrested in Tehran on February 21, has been released from Yazd prison on bail of 200 million tumans. She was taken from Tehran to Yazd on March 27. Her home in Yazd was then raided, before she was released on bail. Mrs. Forughi Mahdiabadi, who suffers from cancer and high blood pressure, had gone to Tehran to celebrate the marriage of her son, planned for February 23.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2S3

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

March 26, 2017

Shamim Na’imi released after 3 years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), March 17, 2017.

Shamim Na’imi ( شمیم نعیمی), a Bahai from Tehran, has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison at the end of a 3-year prison sentence. His mother Elham Faramani (الهام فراهانی) and his father `Adel Na`imi (عادل نعیمی) are both serving prison terms for their Bahai beliefs. Shamim Na’imi was among a group of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July, 2012, in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz. He began his sentence on May 11, 2014, in Evin Prison, and was transferred to Raja’i Shahr, where many male Bahai prisoners and other prisoners of conscience are held, shortly after.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2RA

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

March 8, 2017

One arrest in Rey: Mrs. Sima Keyani


Bahai News (Persian), March 8, 2017.

Sima Keyani (سیما کیانی), a Bahai living in Rey (on the outskirts of Tehran), was arrested at her home by security forces on the morning of March 8. Her home was also searched, and a pickup truck was used to take away her religious books, along with religious images and family photographs. Her place of detention is not yet known, but it is likely she would be taken to Evin prison.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2R4

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

March 7, 2017

Haleh Gholami free on bail


Bahai News (Persian), March 7, 2017.

Haleh Gholami (هاله غلامی), a Bahai from Tehran who has been detained in Evin Prison since January 27, was freed on bail on March 6. She was arrested because of her activism in child protection matters, such as the care of orphans, and for participating in a charity working to suppress child labour. At the time of her arrest her home was searched by security agents who confiscated her mobile phones and tablets.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2R0

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

March 1, 2017

Keyvan Pakzadan sentenced to 5 years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), March 1, 2017.

Keyvan Pakzadan (کیوان پاکزادان), a Bahai from Tehran, who was arrested as he was leaving his sister’s home on June 1, 2016, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison by Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای). Judge Moqayesseh was also responsible for the sentencing of the seven ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran) and more recently the artist Shahriar Cyrus (شهریار سیروس), who was also given five years in prison.

Mr. Pakzadan was arrested as he was leaving his sister’s home. At the time of his arrest, agents not only searched his home and workplace and seized some of his personal effects, they also searched through his sister and brother-in-law’s effects and seized a laptop, flash drives, contracts, a Will, receipts, signed cheques and working notes. He was held for 34 days before being released on bail. Some of his possessions and those of his sister were also returned to them. He was tried on January 22, and the sentence was haded down on February 27, on the charge of “membership of Bahai organisations.”

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2QJ

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

February 26, 2017

Faruq Izadinia free on bail


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), February 26, 2017.

Faruq Izadinia (فاروق ایزدی نیا ) was released on bail from Evin Prison in Tehran this morning (February 26). Mir. Izadinia, a well-known Bahai scholar, writer, and translator, was arrested when his home was raided at 10.30 a.m. on February 12. Agents from the security forces seized about 1300 books and various electronic equipment and personal effects.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Qz

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

February 24, 2017

69-year-old invalid arrested in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), February 21, 2017.

At 7.30 a.m. on February 21, three male and one female security agent arrested Sorur Forughi Mahdiabadi (سرور فروغی مهدی آبادی) in Tehran, and took her to Evin Prison. She is described as a 69-year old resident of Yazd, suffering from cancer and high blood pressure, who had gone to Tehran to celebrate the marriage of her son, planned for February 23.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Qr

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

February 15, 2017

Details of the arrest of Faruq Izadinia


HRANA, February 14, 2017.

Faruq Izadi-nia (فاروق ایزدی نیا ), a well-known Bahai scholar, writer, and translator living in Tehran, was arrested when his home was raided at 10.30 a.m. on February 12. Agents from the security forces seized about 1300 books and various electronic equipment and personal effects. He is now under interrogation in Evin prison, and his daughter has been told the interrogation will last 10 days. He is accused of illegal activities against national security. This is his thrid arrest. He was arrested and condemned to death in the 1980s. His sentence was later commuted to 10 years in prison, and he was freed after five years. He was arrested again in 1996. Family members said that he is currently physically weak and ill. Among his symptoms are frequent bleeding of the nose, which doctors have not been able to explain. At the time of his arrest he was suffering from pain on the left side of his body, and he has low blood pressure and a low heartbeat rate.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2PS

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

February 13, 2017

New arrests in Tehran and Shiraz

Faruq Izadi-nia

Faruq Izadi-nia


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), February 12, 2017.

On the morning of February 12, security agents arrested Faruq Izadi-nia (فاروق ایزدی نیا ), a Bahai living in Tehran who has already served two prison terms for his religious beliefs. He is a scholar and translator. It is presumed he has been taken to Evin Prison.

In Shiraz, security forces searched the home of (فرزان معصومی) and arrested him. This is in addition to the arrest of Farhad Sabet (فرهام ثابت), also on the morning of February 12.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2PK

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

February 6, 2017

One arrest in Tehran


Iran Press Watch, February 2, 2017.

The website of Human Rights in Iran reports: on January 27 Haleh Gholami (هاله غلامی), a Bahai from Tehran, was detained by security agents in the Shahrara area of Tehran because of her belief in the Bahai Faith, as she was participating in charity work for child laborers. Bahai News reported that after her arrest, they searched her home and confiscated her mobile phones and tablets.

December 30, 2016

Another Bahai student expelled


Bahai News (Persian), December 29, 2016.

Peygah Dehqani-Mohammadi (پگاه دهقانی محمدی) has been expelled from Al-Taha Institute of Higher Education in Tehran because of her Bahai beliefs. She was in the first semester of a degree, and preparing for examinations. On December 29, officials left a telephone message at her home saying that, since she was a Bahai, the Institute could not accept her and she need not go to the Institute any more. However she does intend to return to the Institute on December 31, to follow up on the matter. She lives in Eslamshahr, in Tehran Province, and was taking an applied science degree in computer software.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2MU

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

December 19, 2016

Elham Faramani, Bahai prisoner of conscience, hospitalized


Iran Press Watch, December 18, 2016.

Last week, Elham Farahani ( الهام فراهانی ), a Bahai prisoner in the women’s section of Evin Prison, was transferred to hospital and operated upon, after she lost her balance, fell and broke her right elbow. She was first transferred to Taleghani Hospital, but then taken back to prison, owing to the lack of specialists and adequate facilities at that hospital. After a few days and with follow-ups by her family, she was transferred from prison to Jam Hospital, and is currently being treated there. It is reported that two surgeries have been done on her arm but her condition has not improved due to the severity of her injuries. She suffers from severe arthritis in the arms and neck.

Elham Farahani was arrested by security agents on July 10, 2012, along with her husband Adel Na`imi (عادل نعیمی). Their son Shamim (شمیم) was also arrested, a few days after his parents. After two months of interrogation in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, she was released on 100 million tumans (equivalent then to 66,500 euro; 81,600 US dollars) bail. She was sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court, and her son is serving a three-year sentence. They began their sentences on May 11, 2014. Her husband Adel Na`imi is serving a 10-year sentence. In December, 2015, Mrs. Farahani was allowed a 7 day prison furlough and was able to meet her husband and son in Rajai Shahr Prison.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Mg

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

October 31, 2016

Shahriar Cyrus sentenced: 5 years


Bahai News (Persian), October 30, 2016
August 1, 2015.

Shahriar Cyrus (شهریار سیروس), a Bahai painter and a respected art critic and teacher, was sentenced to 5 years in prison by Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای) in Tehran. Judge Moqayesseh was also responsible for the sentencing of the seven ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahais in Iran). The sentence was delivered on September 5, but has only just been reported. Mr. Cyrus was charged with founding an illegal organisation, a charge that relates to his painting classes.
Mr. Cyrus was arrested by eleven agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, who raided his painting class at about 4pm on June 30th, 2015. He was kept in solitary confinement for 48 days. He was held in block 209 of Evin Prison, a section which is operated by the Pasdaran militia. He was released on bail two months after his arrest.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Kf

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

September 29, 2016

Yashar Rezvani free on bail


Bahai News (Persian), September 28, 2016.

Yashar Rezvani (یاشار رضوانی), a Bahai from Kerman who has been living in Tehran, has been freed on bail. He was arrested in a raid on his home on August 3. After over a month of solitary confinement and interrogation in Evin Prison, he was transferred to a general wing of the same prison. He is to be charged with membership of Bahai organisations. Bail was set at 200 million tumans (56,000 euros; 64,000 $US), and was apparently approved in mid-Septmber, but for some reason his actual release on bail was then delayed for 10 days.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Iz

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

September 22, 2016

Yashar Rezvani still held, without bail


Bazdasht, September 19, 2016.

Mr. Yashar Rezvani (یاشار رضوانی), a Bahai from Kerman who has been living in Tehran, was arrested in a raid on his home on August 3. During his interrogation he was held for 33 days in solitary confinement before being transferred to a general wing of Evin Prison in Tehran, and his file was then sent to Bench 28 of the Revolutionary Court. Ten days later his family was able to meet with court officials, who told them that he would remain in custody since the investigator needed two weeks to determine the amount of bail. Yet Mr. Rezvani had been told, in prison, that bail was confirmed. Two weeks have passed but his family has had no response to their enquiries. It would appear that the relevant officials have gone on holiday. It appears that he is charged with membership in a Bahai organization, a charge that he has rejected since there is no such organization [in Iran, because they were disbanded on government orders].

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2I1

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

September 13, 2016

Zhila Shahriyari free on bail in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian), September 13, 2016.

Mrs. Zhila Shahriyari (ژیلا شهریاری) has been freed from Evin prison in Tehran, after posting bail. She was arrested in the city on August 13 by a squad of agents travelling in two cars and a pickup, and taken to her home. The agents searched her home for two hours, seizing religious literature, a PC, laptop and mobile phone and all her bank cards.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2HN

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

August 15, 2016

New arrest in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian), August 14, 2016.

Mrs. Zhila Shahriyari (ژیلا شهریاری), a Bahai living in Tehran, was arrested on August 13. She was arrested elsewhere in the city by a squad of agents travelling in two cars and a pickup, and taken to her home. The agents searched her home for two hours, seizing religious literature, a PC, laptop and mobile phone and all her bank cards. She was then taken away — she is believed to be in block 209 of Evin Prison. Mrs. Shahriyari is the sister in law of Mahvash Sabet (مهوش ثابت), one of the seven Yaran or national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran, who are serving long prison sentences. Mrs. Sabet is also in Evin prison.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Gh

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

August 3, 2016

House raid and arrest in Tehran


Bazdasht, August 3, 2016.

Mr. Yashar Rezvani (یاشار رضوانی), a Bahai from Kerman who has been living in Tehran, was arrested this morning when agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided his home, breaking two doors in the process. His personal possessions were seized and he was taken away. The charges against him are not known.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2FI

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

June 10, 2016

Afif Na`imi returned to prison, Adel Na`imi remains in hospital


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), June 8, 2016.

Afif Na`imi (عفیف نعیمی), one of the seven imprisoned ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran), has been transferred from a Coronary Care unit in Tehran to Raja’i Shahr prison, despite his poor condition. He suffers from blood clots and recurrent fainting. He has been imprisoned for 8 years without any prison furlough. His health problems are described as “severe,” and the prison’s Medical Examiner has determined that he is not fit for prison because of his failing health.

His brother Adel Na`imi (عادل نعیمی), another Bahai prisoner in Raja’i Shahr, suffers from diabetes and from low blood pressure, which has worsened. He remains in hospital. He is serving a 10-year sentence for his Bahai beliefs. He was arrested (along with his wife Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی )) during wide-spread raids on Bahai homes in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz on July 10, 2012.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Ec

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

Keyvan Pakzadan still held incommunicado


Bahai News Today (Persian), June 9, 2016.

Keyvan Pakzadan (کیوان پاکزادان), a Bahai from Tehran, who was arrested as he was leaving his sister’s home on June 1, is still being held, without contact with his family. At the time of his arrest, agents not only searched his home and workplace and seized some of his personal effects, they also searched through his sister and brother-in-law’s effects and seized a laptop, flash drives, contracts, a Will, receipts, signed cheques and working notes. A previous report stated that Mr. Pakzadan was allowed to contact his family briefly, and told them that he has been taken to section 209 in Evin Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. This is not confirmed in the present report, but in the days following their son’s arrest, his parents came from the city of Kalaleh, in Gulestan Province, to seek information from the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran, where Evin Prison is located, but have received no news of the whereabouts of their son. It would appear that their requests for information are being sent to a Court named after the late Moqaddas Ardabili (شهید مقدس اردبیلی), which has not responded. Mr. Pakzadan must therefore be considered to be detained incommunicado, location unknown.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2E7

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

June 5, 2016

One new arrest in Tehran


HRANA, June 1, 2016.

On June 1, security forces arrested Keyvan Pakzadan (کیوان پاکزادان), a Bahai from Tehran, as he was leaving his home. The agents also searched his home and seized some of his personal effects. They then took him to his workplace, which they searched, seizing a laptop and some documents. Later in the day, Mr. Pakzadan was allowed to contact his family briefly, and told them that he has been taken to section 209 in Evin Prison, a prison within the prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. There was no arrest warrant, and no indication of the reason for his arrest.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2DG

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

April 15, 2016

BIHE teacher Faran Hesami released after 4-year sentence


Bahai News (video in Persian), April 15, 2016.

Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ), one of the imprisoned teachers from the Bahai Open University (BIHE) was released from Evin Prison in Tehran today, at the end of a four-year sentence for educational activities.

Mrs. Hesami and her husband Kamran Rahimiyan (کامران رحیمیان) were arrested in September 2011. Both were charged with membership of the Bahai community and assembly and collusion to undermine national security in relation to their work for the Bahai Open University, which offered courses to Bahai students who had been excluded from Iranian tertiary institutions because of their Bahai beliefs. Both received four-year sentences, handed down by Judge Salvati (قاضی ابوالقاسم صلواتی). As Mr. Rahimiyan began his sentence earlier, he was released on August 17, 2015. In March 2015, Mrs. Hesami was awarded the Raha Südwind Award which honours individuals who have participated in the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran.

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

March 27, 2016

Sarmad Shadabi, Tara Houshmand and Rouhiyyeh Safajou bailed


Bahai News (and on Facebook), March 15, 2016.

Sarmad Shadabi, Tara Houshmand and Rouhiyyeh Safajou (تارا هوشمند، سرمد شادابی و روحیه صفاجو) have been released on bail after 20 days in Evin Prison in Tehran. Mr. Sarmad Shadabi’s bail was set at 200 million tumans (600 Euros, $660 US) while bail for Ms. Houshmand and Safajou was 50 million tumans each. These three students, expelled from tertiary education for their religious beliefs, had all tried to pursue their supposed right to education using legal means. They were arrested in Tehran and the nearby city of Karaj on March 8. Soroush Shadabi (سروش شادابی), a Bahai from Karaj, was arrested on March 11, and his business was shut down. This appears to be related to the other three arrests. He remains in prison.

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

March 11, 2016

Four more Bahais arrested in Iran


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), March 10, 2016.

On March 8, four more Bahais were arrested simultaneously in Tehran, Karaj and Sari. Their names are given as Tara Houshmand (تارا هوشمند), Rouhiyyeh Safajou (روحیه صفاجو) and Sarmad Shadabi (سرمد شادابی), in Tehran and the nearby city of Karaj, and Behzad Dhabihi (بهزاد ذبیحی) in Sari. It is not known where they are being detained.

Tara Houshmand (pictured top right) was arrested by security agents in her home in Tehran, which was searched. Her personal effects including a computer, a mobile phone and books were seized. She was one of a group of Bahais excluded from education who responded to a claim made in 2014, by Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the Human Rights Council of the Judiciary, that Iranian authorities do not discriminate against Bahais, and challenging the Bahais excluded from education to send documentation. The Bahai students took their documentation to the authorities as requested, thus exposing Mr. Larijani’s lie. The story is detailed here.

Mr. Sarmad Shadabi (pictured top left) was arrested at the Roudehen campus of the Islamic Free University, near Tehran. He was a signatory of a letter about the breaches of Bahais’ civil rights, written to a Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights. An interview with him, about his expulsion from University, was cited on the BBC Persian service.

Rouhiyyeh Safajou (pictured bottom right) was arrested by 8 security agents posing as workers from the gas supply company. When she opened the door to them, they entered and searched her home, and took her away. She is also a student excluded from education. She was one of a group of Bahai students excluded from tertiary education who met with Ali Reza Mahjoub (علی‌رضا محجوب), a reformist Member of Parliament, to argue for the right of education. The meeting was reported on this blog in September 2014.

No details are available on the arrest of Behzad Dhabihi in Sari, but it appears to be unrelated to the arrest of the three students. Mr Dhabihi, who name was spelled Zabihi in a previous Iran Wire report, managed one of the three Bahai-run optometry businesses in Sari which were closed in November, 2015. At that time the Bureau of Public Places in the Province of Mazandaran shut down 23 businesses belonging to Bahais in the cities of Sari, Qa`em Shahr, Tenakbon and Babolsar.

Update, March 14: Human Rights in Iran reports that Rouhiyyeh Safajou is being held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, and has had contact by telephone with her family, in which she said that she is well.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2Aa

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

 

February 28, 2016

Peyman Koushk-Baghi arrested in Tehran

Bahai News (Persian, facebook), February 29, 2016.

Peyman Koushk-Baghi (پیمان کوشکباغی), who has also been sentenced to five years in prison for cooperation with BIHE, has been arrested in Tehran. He was visiting his wife Azita Rafizadeh (آزیتا رفیع‌زاده), who is serving a four-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison for her own work in educating Bahai youth. He was arrested in front of the East gate to Evin prison, and his present whereabouts are unknown. Azita Rafizadeh began her sentence on October 19, 2015. The couple have a six-year-old son.

Azita Rafizadeh was tried by Judge Moghisseh of Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court in June 2014, and her husband Peyman Koushk-Baghi was separately tried by him in May 2015. Moghisseh sentenced them respectively to four and five years in prison for “membership in the illegal and misguided Baha’i group with the aim of acting against national security through illegal activities at the BIHE educational institute.” The Appeals Court upheld their prison sentences.

In an earlier interview, Azita Rafizadeh said, “I was one of the BIHE professors when the homes of professors of this online university were stormed in June of 2010. … The news was widely reported. They came to our house with a warrant to arrest me and my husband. They searched the house and interrogated us. They asked us to promise not to work for the BIHE. If we had agreed, the case would have been closed, as was the case for a few others. But my husband and I did not agree. So they only let us go temporarily on 50-million-tuman [approximately $16,700] bail.”

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2zZ

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

January 28, 2016

Another Bahai student expelled in Tehran


Campaign against the Harassment of Bahais, January 21, 2016.

Ma`ideh Khalili-Amiri (مائده خلیلی امیری) has been expelled from Tehran University because of her Bahai beliefs. She was enrolled at the University for four months. In conversation with the “Campaign” she said that one day in religion class she was told to report to the University’s central office. She did not do so, and was summoned by telephone to the University’s Office of Student Cultural Affairs. There she was told that she had been accused of propaganda (teaching the Bahai Faith) and would need to get a certificate from the office of student evaluations. When she went there, she was told she had been expelled from the beginning (of her enrollment). She asked why they had summoned her then, and they replied that they had no summoned her, she came herself. After following this up in the course of day, I said that I would not go anywhere until they gave me something in writing, and I sent to the official responsible for expelling students. He (or she) said, “You people always pretend not to understand. Anyway, the right to education only applies to secondary schools,” and so on. I said that the Constitution says that everyone has a right to education. He said, “there are other laws that contradict that.” I said, “How can another law be contrary to the Constitution?” He said, “You are living in a Muslim country, so it is possible.”

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2yx

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

January 12, 2016

Another Bahai student expelled in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), January 13, 2016.

Elham Pakru Miandavab (الهام پاکرو میاندوآب) has been expelled from the Mallard Campus of the Azad University in Tehran because of her Bahai beliefs. She had begun a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. She was summoned to the University’s security office and told she had no right to tertiary education, because she is a Bahai. She was also excluded from a private educational initiative known as “The network era” because of her religious beliefs.

Reports coming to Bahai News indicate that a number of Bahai students have been allowed to register at a university [and pay the first installment of the fees ~Sen], only to be expelled once they have been identified.

January 26: Iran Press Watch has a fuller report of this expulsion.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2xq

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

 

December 31, 2015

Elham Faramani spends her 7-day furlough visiting prison


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 31, 2015.

Mrs. Elham Faramani (الهام فراهانی) has returned to Evin Prison in Tehran, after a seven-day furlough which she spent in visiting Raja’i Shahr prison, about 50 kilometers west of Evin Prison. Her husband `Adel Na`imi (عادل نعیمی) is serving a 10-year sentence there, and her son Shamim Na’imi ( شمیم نعیمی) is serving a 3-year sentence. She was able to meet both of them in a room reserved for face-to-face meetings. Elham Faramani and her son began their sentences on May 11, 2014, while `Adel Na`imi appears to have been held continuously since his first arrest (along with his wife) during wide-spread raids on July 10, 2012. His younger brother `Afif ( نعیمی ), one of the seven Bahai ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators), is serving a 10-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison.

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

December 27, 2015

Navid Aqdasi released


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 28, 2015.

Navid Aqdasi has been released on bail from Evin prison in Tehran. Bail was set at one billion rials (30,000 euros, $US 33,000). He was arrested on November 15, and held in solitary confinement for five weeks.

Mr. Aqdasi is a cousin of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani ( عطاءالله رضوانی ), who was murdered two years ago in the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas. He has actively pursued his cousin’s case and has been threatened by the security forces a number of times. On two occasions, graffiti insulting the Bahai Faith has been sprayed on the walls of his home in Tehran.

Short link: http://wp.me/pNMoJ-2w5

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

December 24, 2015

Sahba Farnoush freed on bail


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 24.

Sahba Farnoush (صهبا فرنوش), a Bahai from Tehran who was arrested on XX, has been freed on bail from Evin Prison. Bail was set at two million rials (60,000 euros, $US 66,000). Mr. Farnoush is one of 20 Bahais who were arrested in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad on November 15, two of whom were released within a few hours.

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December 21, 2015

Navid Aqdasi moved from interrogation to detention section


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 21, 2015.

After over a month of solitary detention for interrogation purposes, Navid Aqdasi (نوید اقدسی) was moved to a general section of Evin prison in Tehran. From there, he was able to contact his family on December 20. Mr. Aqdas is one of 20 Bahais who were arrested in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad on November 15, two of whom were released within a few hours.

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December 19, 2015

Three detainees released on bail in Tehran

Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 20, 2015.

Nava Monjazeb (نوا منجذب), Negar Baqeri (نگار باقری) and Yavar Haqiqat (یاور حقیقت) have been freed on bail in Tehran. Bail was set at 100 million tumans (31,000 euros, $US 33,000). They were among 20 Bahais arrested in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad on November 15, two of whom were released within a few hours.

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December 15, 2015

Foad Khanjani released from prison


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 15, 2015.

Foad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), a former student of industrial management at Isfahan University who was expelled because of his Bahai beliefs, has been released at the end of his four-year sentence. He was arrested in Tehran on March 2, 2010, and taken to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence, released and rearrested, and arrested for the third time on April 27, 2010, when he was sent to Evin Prison. His arrests followed the widespread unrest in Iran following the announcement of national election results. Authorities initially tried to claim that Bahais had a hand in stirring up the protests. His sister Leva Khanjani ( لوا خانجانی ), another student excluded from education for being a Bahai, was also arrested after the election unrest, along with her husband Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر). She was arrested on January 3, 2010, and sentenced to two years in prison. She was released on June 24, 2014.

Mr. Khanjani was released on bail on May 8, pending his trial which was conducted on December 11, 2010. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison, by Judge Maqiseh (قاضی مقیسه), and this sentence was confirmed in the review court by Judge Mouhed (قاضی موحد). His lawyer attempted to appeal this sentence to the Supreme Court, but the lawyer was confronted with threats from the Ministry of Intelligence. Mr. Khanjani began his sentence in Evin Prison on January 17, 2012, but on August 5 of that year he was transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison. From late September that year he was in need of urgent hospital treatment for a cyst in the abdomen, which was denied until early November. On March 2, 2013, he was denied family visits for refusing to wear prison uniform.

Foad Khanjani’s father, Ala’eddin Khanjani (علاءالدین خانجانی), known as Niki, was also arrested following the election protests, and again in August 2014, apparently because he was running an optician’s shop, and such businesses had been added — unannounced — to the list of sectors in which Bahais are forbidden to work. He was summoned to appear at Bench 5 of the court at Evin Prison in Tehran on August 10, 2015. Bench 5 has specialised in the persecution of Bahais. So far as I know, his sentence has not yet been announced.

Niki Khanjani’s father Jamalledin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی) is one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (Bahai national facilitators) who are now in the eighth year of 10-year sentences for their services to the Bahai community.

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December 4, 2015

`Afif Na`imi (corrected report)


December 4, 2015.

The item published under this heading today was incorrect, and has been withdrawn. It referred to the return of ‘Afif Na’imi to prison, which actually happened in early September (one report is dated September 8), but as previously reported here, he was taken back to hospital on taken to hospital on October 20, 2015. So far as I know he is still receiving treatment. My apologies to readers and especially to the family and friends of Mr. Na’imi. ~ Sen.

November 30, 2015

Navid Aqdasi accused of drug-making


Katayoon Taghizadeh (Facebook), November 30, 2015.

Navid Aqdasi (نوید اقدسی), a Bahai arrested in Tehran on November 15, was transferred to Evin prison on November 29 and charged with making synthetic drugs. The charge could lead to the death penalty. Mr. Aqdasi is a cousin of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani ( عطاءالله رضوانی ), who was murdered two years ago in the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas. Navid Aqdasi has actively pursued his cousin’s case and talked to the media about it. As a result, he has been threatened a number of times, including in recent months, when vandals have posted threatening graffiti on the walls of his house. On the first day after his arrest, he was able to contact his family, but there has been no further information about him, and he has not been able to meet his family.

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November 26, 2015

One new arrest in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), November 27, 2015.

Shahram Najaf-Tumara’i (شهرام نجف تومرائي), a Bahai who previously served as one of the Khademin (area facilitators) for the Bahais in District 7 in Tehran, was arrested by the security forces early this morning, and taken to Evin Prison. The police knocked on his door and said there had been an accident with his parked car, and demanded ‘compensation.’ When he came out of his house, he was taken to prison. Seven officers then searched his home.

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November 22, 2015

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab released from prison

Bahai News (Persian), November 23, 2015.

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab (میاندوآب شهرام چینیان ), a Bahai shopkeeper from Tehran who has been serving an 8-year sentence, was released from Raja`i Shahr prison on November 21. Mr. Chiniyan was first arrested in March 2009 and released on March 3, 2010, after using his business license as bail. He was sentenced to 70 lashes and 8 years in prison on a charge of insulting Islam, and began serving his sentence, first in Evin prison in Tehran and then in Raja’i Shahr prison, early in March, 2012. On May 28, 2014, he was transferred to section 1 of Raja’i Shahr, where dangerous criminals are kept. He was punished with one week in solitary from June 25 to July 1, and four days in solitary on August 20, following his first beating by prison guards. On September 20, 2014, Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab was again beaten by guards because he refused to wear the standard prison uniform when being taken to see a judge. On February 21, 2015 he was again beaten by prison guards and some prisoners from the criminal section of the prison. This followed a letter he wrote to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamene’i, complaining about prison conditions.

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November 21, 2015

Six recent detainees freed

Bahai News (Persian, facebook), November 22, 2105.

Bahai News is reporting that five Bahais who were arrested recently in Isfahan have been freed on bail, and in a separate report, that Helia Moshtaq (هلیا مشتاق) has been freed on bail in Tehran. Those freed in Isfahan are Parvin Nik-A’in(پروین نیک آیین), Keyvan Nik-A’in (کیوان نیک آیین), Zarin Aqa-Baba’i (زرین آقابابایی), Yeganeh Agahi (یگانه آگاهی) and Vahid Karami (وحید کرمی).

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November 16, 2015

Iranian authorities launch widespread crackdown: Bahais arrested, businesses closed


Iran Wire (English), November 16, 2015.

On the morning of Sunday, November 15, Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents arrested 20 Bahais in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad. They also closed down Bahai-run businesses in the Province of Mazandaran.

Among those detained was Nakisa Hajipour (نکیسا حاجی پور), who was detained at Mashhad railway station after Intelligence Ministry agents arrived at her home with an arrest warrant and were told she was traveling. According to an informed source who spoke to IranWire, she was prevented from boarding the train and arrested. Also arrested in Mashhad were Nika Pakzadan (نیکا پاکزادان), Faraneh Daneshgari (فرانه دانشگری), Sanaz Es’haqi (ساناز اسحاقی) and Naghmeh Dhabihayan (نغمه ذبیحیان). They were all arrested at their homes.

In Isfahan, agents arrested Yeganeh Agahi (یگانه آگاهی), Adib Janamian (ادیب جانمیان), Keyvan Nik-A’in (کیوان نیک آیین), Parvin Nik-A’in(پروین نیک آیین), Vahid Karami (وحید کرمی), `Arsheya Rouhani (عرشیا روحانی) and Zarin Aqa-Baba’i (زرین آقابابایی). They also arrested Sahab Rouhani (سحاب روحانی) and Matin Janameyan (متین جانمیان), but released them after several hours. In Tehran, agents arrested Helia Moshtaq (هلیا مشتاق), Negar Baqeri-Tari (نگار باقری طاری), Sahba Farnoush (صهبا فرنوش), Nava Monjazeb (نوا منجذب), Yavar Haqiqat (یاور حقیقت) and Navid Aqdasi (نوید اقدسی).

Navid Aqdasi is a cousin Mr. Ataollah Rezvani ( عطاءالله رضوانی ), murdered two years ago in the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas. Navid Aqdasi has actively pursued his cousin’s case and talked to the media about it. As a result, he has been threatened a number of times, including in recent months, when vandals have posted threatening graffiti on the walls of his house.

So far, no information has been made available about the charges against the Bahais. Their families have not been informed of their whereabouts. According to reports, it is likely that the prisoners have been taken to detention centers run by the Intelligence Ministry in their respective cities.

On the same day of the arrests took place, the Bureau of Public Places in the province of Mazandaran sealed and shut down 23 businesses belonging to Bahais in the cities of Sari, Qa`em Shahr, Tenakbon and Babolsar. This followed the businesses being closed on Saturday, November 14, a religious holiday for Bahais. Authorities have in the past objected to Bahai businesses observing holy days, threatening them with closure if they failed to keep the same business hours as non-Bahai shops and services.

Two days prior to the closure of Bahai businesses in Mazandaran, authorities also closed all Bahai businesses in the city of Rafsanjan in the southeastern province of Kerman. Among the businesses closed were shops selling cosmetics, health products, musical instruments, eyeglasses, clothes, tires and toys, and businesses offering refrigerator maintenance, photography and photocopier services. Bahais in Iran are barred from employment in most public sector jobs and many private sector jobs, with the result that many depend on small shops and workshops.

Shop and office owners were given no notice of the closure. In some cases, they were not even aware of the operation until some hours later. The town of Babolsar was the only exception. [That is, notice of closure was given in Babolsar. The ٍEnglish report on Iran Wire is incorrect on this point ~Sen]. The nature of the simultaneous arrests and closure suggests a planned operation, ordered and organized by the Intelligence Ministry.

According to reports, Bahai businesses shut down include those belonging to the following individuals:

Sari: Three optician’s shops run by Dhekrollah Rahimeyan (ذکرالله رحیمیان), Farid Alavi (فرید علوی), Behzad Zabihi (بهزاد ذبیحی) and Bozorgmehr Hor (بزرگمهر حر), the cosmetics shop of Ehsanollah Sana’i (احسان الله سنایی), and the clothing shops of Aramesh Zohouri (آرامش ظهوری) and Houshmand Goli (هوشمند گلی).

Qa`em Shahr: cosmetics and health products workshops run by Nima Miri (نیما میری) and Changiz Darakhshanian (چنگیز درخشانیان), a toyshop run by Bijan Nokhah (بیژن نوع خواه), a grocery operated by Dhekrollah Baba’i (ذکرالله بابایی), the optician’s shops of Soheil Haqdoost (سهیل حق دوست) and Zahra Golabian (زهرا گلابیان), the tire (or appliance?) business of Farzad Sabeti (فرزاد ثابتی) and a photocopy shop belonging to Shahin Sana’i (شاهین سنایی).

Tenakbon: The home security workhops of Omid Qaderi (امید قادری), the air conditioning workshops of Farhad Taqipour (فرهاد تقی پور) and of Michele and Armin Esma`ilpour (میشل و آرمین اسماعیل پور) and the refrigeration service business of Ruhollah Iqani (روح الله ایقانی).

Babolsar: The musical supplies business of Mithaq Leqa’i (میثاق لقایی), the photography business of Nasser Mir-Mohammadi (ناصر میرمحمدی) and the toyshop of Barzu Raf`ati (برزو رفعتی).

Persian source at Iran Wire
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September 14, 2015

Vahed Khalousi arrested in Tehran, transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison


Bahai News, September 14, 2015.

Vahed Khalousi (واحد خلوصی), a Bahai student who has been excluded from tertiary education, was arrested in front of his home in Tehran a few days ago. According to current reports, he has been transferred to Raja’i shahr prison and is being held in the quarantine wing. He is expected to be moved to the wing housing prisoners of conscience on Wednesday. He was arrested in March 2010, along with four other Bahais: Navid Khanjani, Sama Nourani. Eqan Shahidi and Dorsa Sobhani (نوید خانجانی ، سما نورانی، ایقان شهیدی و درسا سبحانی), and later released on bail. It appears he was arrested to begin serving a five-year sentence in connection with this arrest, although another report, in January 2014, states that he was sentenced to two years in prison, possibly on a separate charge. The charges levelled against persons accused of political and religious crimes in Iran are so vague, that it is difficult to distinguish one case from another.

Mr. Khalousi was also one of the 35 social activists, including five Bahais, who were arrested while bring aid to the victims of the the 2011 Azerbaijan earthquake. The activists were detained in Tabriz for almost two months and were charged with assembly and collusion to commit crimes against national security, endangering public health and insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader. All were acquitted in September 2013.

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August 17, 2015

Kamran Rahimiyan freed after 4 years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), August 17, 2015.

Kamran Rahimiyan ( کامران رحیمیان ), one of the teachers of the Bahai Open University in Iran, has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison, near Tehran, at the end of a 4-year sentence. His wife Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) is still serving a 4-year sentence, in Evin Prison in Tehran, also for educational activities. Mr. Rahimiyan’s father was martyred for his faith in Evin Prison, 32 years ago, following the 1979 Iranian revolution.

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Kamran-and-family
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August 14, 2015

Report on the situation of 3 imprisoned BIHE staff


HRANA, August 14, 2015.

Kamran Rahimiyan ( کامران رحیمیان) and his wife Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی), and Keyvan Rahimiyan ( کیوان رحیمیان) are serving prison terms for their work for the Bahai Open University (BIHE): Kamran and Faran have 4-year sentences and Keyvan has a 5-year sentence. All three are said to be in good health at present, Faran Hesami in Evin Prison in Tehran, and the Rahimiyan brothers in Raja’i Shahr prison. Kamran Rahimiyan should be released in a few weeks, on August 22; Faran Hesami on April 7, 2016; and Keyvan Rahimiyan in August, 2017. Kamran and Keyvan have been denied any prison leave during their sentences, but Faran has been allowed leave twice, in November 2014 and March 2015.

Kamran and Faran have a son Artin (آرتین) who is in the care of his grandmother, Mrs. Rahimiyan (his grandfather was martyred for his Faith some years ago), and Artin will begin school on September 23, by which time his father should be free. Faran Hesami has applied for leave on that day, but thus far it has been denied. She is able to meet her son and mother-in-law once a week, first for a few minutes in a visiting cubicle, when they can discuss Artin’s upbringing, and then face-to-face with her son in a room for mothers and children.

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August 9, 2015

Niki Khanjani summoned for trial (updated)


Bahai News facebook page, August 9, 2015.

Alaeddin Khanjani (علا‌ءالدین خانجانی), known as Niki (نیکی), has been summoned to present his final defence before Bench 5 of the court at Evin Prison in Tehran on August 10. Bench 5 has specialised in the persecution of Bahais.

Niki Khanjani and Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر ) — pictured above — and some of their Bahai employees were arrested in Tehran on August 24, apparently because they were selling spectacles, which was forbidden for Bahais. However the new regulations making it illegal for Bahais to sell spectacles are still officially secret: the existence of a new law is inferred from arrests of Bahai optometrists and closures of Bahai opticians’ shops across Iran in the course of 2014 and 2015. For a list of the economic sectors that are forbidden for Bahais, see “Iran’s apartheid rules” on this blog.

Niki Khanjani’s father Jamalledin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی) is one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (Bahai national facilitators) who are now in the eighth year of 20-year sentences for their services to the Bahai community. His son Fu’ad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی) is serving a 4-year sentence.

August 11: The court sitting went ahead as scheduled. Mr. Khanjani was able to present his oral defence — which was in line with the written defence he had previously submitted — and was allowed to return home.

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August 3, 2015

Mahvash Sabet transferred from Evin Prison to hospital


Bahai News (facebook page), August 2, 2015.

Mahvash Shahreyari-Sabet (مهوش ثابت-شهریاری ), one of the “Yaran” (National facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran) who are serving twenty year prison sentences, has been transferred to hospital. Mrs. Sadiqeh Moradi (صدیقه مرادی) was taken to hospital at the same time: she was arrested on May 1, 2011, and is serving a 10-year sentence for making war on God and having links to the opposition. Both women were taken to the intensive care unit at the Shohada-e Tajrish hospital in Tehran for MRI scans, On Saturday August 1. Mrs. Sabet was handcuffed for the move, and since the handcuffs stayed on for more than six hours, she suffered pain in her wrist which has persisted.

Mrs. Sabet was arrested on March 5, 2008, in Mashhad, where she had gone to make arrangements for the burial of a Bahai. She was held in solitary confinement for 175 days. Concerns for her health in prison were expressed as early as 2010, and on September 26, 2012, she suffered a hip fracture due to osteoporosis but was denied surgery. Before her arrest, she served for 15 years as Director of the Bahai Institute for Higher Education, which provides alternative higher education for Bahai youth who are excluded from all other forms of higher education in Iran.

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August 1, 2015

Family of Shahriar Cyrus denied prison visiting rights


HRANA, August 1, 2015.

Despite the orders of the Prosecutor, authorities at Evin prison, in Tehran, have refused to allow Shahriar Cyrus (شهریار سیروس), a Bahai painter and a respected art critic, to receive family visits. Mr. Cyrus was arrested on June 30th. On July 23, his wife Afsaneh Eqani (افسانه ایقانی) and their 7-year-old son went to block 209 at Evin prison, where prisoners of conscience are held. They had a visiting permit from the Tehran prosecutor’s office. However the interrogator for bench 3 of Evin court, a Mr. Hosseini (حسینی) refused to allow a visit. Mr. Cyrus has now been held in solitary confinement for a month, yet his family have not been told why he was arrested.

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July 26, 2015

Fresh graffiti in Tehran [and again, August 8]

Shahrak-e-Gharb-graffiti-2
Bahai News (Persian), July 26, 2015.

On the night of July 25-26, a Bahai home in the Shahrak-e Gharb district in North-west Tehran was defaced with the usual unimaginative slogan: “Death to Baha’i.” The house on Sazman Barnameh Avenue, in a modern and prosperous neighbourhood near Eram Park, has been occupied by the Aqdasi (اقدسی) family for many years. This is the first time that they have faced such threats there, although graffiti, threatening letters, the vandalism of cars and arson attacks are common enough for the Bahais across Iran.

August 8:
The ‘Fariba Kamalabadi‘ facebook page has a photo of a new slogan spray-painted at the entrance to the same house. This time it reads, “Bahais get out.”

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July 24, 2015

Shahrukh Ta’if released after four years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), July 24, 2015.

Shahrukh Ta’if (شاهرخ طائف) was released from Raja’i Shahr prison this morning, at the end of a 4-year sentence. Mr. Ta’if was arrested at his home in Tehran on January 14, 2009 and held for over two months in solitary confinement. He was released on bail on March 18, 2009. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison for “membership of the Bahai community” and began his sentence in Evin prison on January 17, 2012. In August that year he was transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison, where many male prisoners of conscience are detained, and remained there until his release today.

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July 1, 2015

Faran Hesami given prison furlough


Bahai News (Persian facebook page), July 1, 2015.

Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ), one of the imprisoned teachers from the Bahai Open University (BIHE) who is serving a 4-year prison sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran, has been granted a 3-day furlough, starting this morning. She has been granted such leaves twice previously, in March and November 2014. Her husband Kamran Rahimiyan ( کامران رحیمیان ) is also serving 4-year prison sentence for educational activities, in Raja’i Shahr prison, about 50 kilometres from Tehran. Their son Artin (آرتین) is in the care of his grandmother. His grandfather was martyred for his Faith some years ago. In March this year, Mrs. Hesami was awarded the Raha Südwind Award which honours individuals who have participated in the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran.

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June 30, 2015

Shahriar Cyrus, Bahai artist, arrested


Campaign against harassment of Bahais, June 30, 2015.

Shahriar Cyrus (شهریار سیروس), a Bahai painter and a respected art teacher and critic, was arrested today when eleven agents of the security forces raided his home in Tehran. The agents had an arrest warrant. They seized all his personal possessions and took him away. His whereabouts are unknown, and no other information has been released. The report does not say where he was arrested, but he was born and studied in Tehran.

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June 17, 2015

Shahab Dehqani enjoys brief furlough, returns to prison


Bahai News (Persian), June 17, 2015.

Shahab Dehqani (شهاب دهقانی), a Bahai from Tehran who is serving an 4-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison has returned to prison today, at the end of a three-day furlough. His wife Shomais Mohajer (شمیس مهاجر) was released on May 26, at the end of a one-year sentence. They were among about 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July, 2012, in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz. Mr. Dehqani was charged with propaganda against the regime and forming illegal assemblies, and sentenced to four years by Judge Moqiseh (قاضی مقیسه). He began his sentence in Evin prison on May 24, 2014, and was moved to Raja’i Shahr prison two days later.

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June 16, 2015

Afshin Heiratiyan released after 4 years in prison

Afshin-Heiratiyan
Bahai News (Persian), June 16, 2015.

Afshin Heiratiyan (افشین حیرتیان), a Bahai children’s rights activist, was released from Raja’i Shahr prison, near Tehran, today at the end of a four-year imprisonment. Mr. Heiratijyan wrote and published various articles about child labour and World Children’s Rights Day. He was arrested on June 3, 2010, and charged with propaganda against the regime. He began his prison term in Evin prison in Tehran on August 20, 2011. While he was in Evin prison, he was pressured to provide a televised “confession.” He was transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison, where most of the Yaran, and a number of BIHE teachers are also being held, on August 5, 2012.

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June 10, 2015

Sarang Etehadi free after one year in prison

sarang-etehadi
Aho Sin (facebook), June 8, 2015

Sarang Etehadi ( سارنگ اتحادی ) was released from prison in Tehran today, at the end of a one-year sentence on charges of “propaganda against the state through participation in Bahai worship and prayer groups.” His wife, Nasim Ashrafi ( نسیم اشرفی ), was freed from Evin prison on April 8, having also served a one-year sentence. The couple, both from Tehran, were arrested in a wave of detentions of Bahais in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz in early July, 2012. Mr. Etehadi was originally sentenced to five years, and Mrs Ashrafi to three years in prison, but the review court reduced both sentences to one year.

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May 26, 2015

Shomais Mohajer released after 1-year sentence


Besharat-e Bahai, May 26, 2015.

Shomais Mohajer (شمیس مهاجر), a Bahai from Tehran, has been released at the end of a one-year sentence. She was one of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July, 2012, in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz. She was charged with
propaganda against the regime and forming an illegal group, and sentenced by by Judge Moqiseh (قاضی مقیسه). Her husband, Shahab Dehqani (شهاب دهقانی), was arrested at the same time, and began serving a four-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison on May 26, 2014.

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April 24, 2015

One arrest in Tehran

farima_farzandi
ARAM (translating a HRANA report), April 25, 2015.

Farima Farzandi (فریما فرزندى), a Bahai resident of Tehran, was arrested on April 21st and taken to an undisclosed location. According to a report from HRANA, armed government security agents raided Ms. Farzandi’s residence, searching and videotaping what is described as a “violent arrest.” Farima Farzandi was engaged to be married next week. No further information has been released on her location and wellbeing.

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

April 12, 2015

In Tehran, two Bahais bailed, one arrest, two homes raided

Activists in exile, April 11, 2015.

On April 7, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence staged simultaneous raids on two Bahai homes in Tehran. They arrested Mrs. Afsaneh Yadegar (افسانه یادگار), and initially wished to arrest Zhinous Wasali (ژینوس وصلی), but did not do so because she was pregnant. It is not known where Afsaneh Yadegar is being held. One source has indicated that the raids were connected to a series of raids in Tehran and Isfahan on February 16 ad 17, which began with a raid on a Bahai meeting in Tehran, in the home of Sasan Yadegar (ساسان یادگار), and a search of the home of his brother, Mr. Ehsan Yadegar (احسان یادگار). During the search, which lasted five hours, all the books, pictures and religious symbols of those present, as well as computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, were seized, and the agents demanded that those present should sign undertakings not to participate in Bahai meetings. Five Bahais were arrested in Tehran at that time. Two of them have now been released on bail. They are Mrs. Ruhiyyeh Baqr-dokht-Akbari and Mrs. Mona Mehrabani (روحیه باقردخت و مونا مهرابی ), who had been kept in solitary confinement in Teharan’s Evin Prison since their arrest.

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April 10, 2015

Nasim Ashrafi freed from Evin prison


HRANA, April 8, 2015.

Nasim Ashrafi ( نسیم اشرفی ) was freed from Evin prison on April 8, having served a one-year sentence for her Bahai beliefs. She was arrested in a wave of detentions of Bahais in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz in early July, 2012, and began serving her sentence on May 6, 2014. She was charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of Bahai organisations, and was originally sentenced to three years in prison, reduced by the court of review to one year.

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March 11, 2015

Another arrest in Varamin

PCED, March 10, 2015.

Mr. Ehsan Yadegar (احسان یادگار), a Bahai from Varamin, has been arrested after receiving a summons by telephone from the security forces. He has been taken to Evin prison in Tehran. In recent days he was summoned for questioning several times, by the Ministry of Intelligence in Varamin, and released after questioning.

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March 10, 2015

Several Bahais detained, one arrested, in Varamin, Tehran province

Laila-Mahdinezhad
Aeen Bahai (facebook), March 11, 2015.

On the evening of March 9, Laleh Mahdinezhad (لاله مهدی‌نژاد) and a number of Bahais who were present in her home were arrested by agents from the security forces. The agents searched her home and seized some personal effects before taking her to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence in Varamin. After interrogation there, she was taken to Section 209 in Tehran’s Evin Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. Her friends were released without at about 2 in the morning, on March 10, after a short interrogation. It would appear that after being taken to Section 209, Laleh Mahdinezhad was taken back to Varamin for another interrogation, and was then returned to Section 209.

The families of the five Bahais where were previously reported to have been arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran’s 10th district — apparently another name for Varamin county (?) — on February 16 and 17 have still not been able to meet them in prison, or have telephone contact. In fact they do not know where they are being held, or other details of their case.

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March 3, 2015

Increase in anti-Bahai propaganda in Iran


Iran Press Watch, February 25, 2015.

In recent days anti-Bahai posters have been displayed in Tehran metro stations. The propaganda and the simultaneous arrest of 14 Bahais in Tehran and Isfahan in the last two weeks attest to a new wave of pressure on the Bahais in Iran. Saham News reports that the propaganda posters claim that Bahais are members of a cult devised by imperialist powers, whose aim is to spy and to change the culture and religion of the people of Iran, specifically Shiite Muslims. The posters can be seen in most Tehran metro stations.

Concurrently, extensive anti-Bahai programs are being aired on radio and TV carrying the same message: accusations of cultism, spying and propagation of immorality.

Faranak, a 31-year-old Bahai woman, says, “I was shocked to see the poster in the metro station. I didn’t expect them to treat us this way. Although we have become used to harsh and offensive treatment over the years, these posters are alarming; they make us wonder after all these years of persecution and imprisonment: what more are they going to do to us?”

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February 22, 2015

Further details on five recent arrests, and one interrogation, in Tehran

Iran Wire, February 20, 2015.

The arrests in Tehran that were previously reported began about 5 pm on Monday February 16, with a raid by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on a Bahai meeting in the home of Sasan Yadegar (ساسان یادگار) in Tehran’s 10th district. The agents brought a camcorder with them. The agents searched the house thoroughly. The six Bahais present were interrogated one by one in a separate room, and two of them, Mrs. Elham Karam Pisheh (الهام کرم پیشه) and Mrs. Mona Mehrabi (مونا محرابی) were arrested in accordance with a warrant and taken away in a car from the Ministry of Intelligence. During the search, which lasted five hours, all the books, pictures and religious symbols of those present, as well as computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, were seized. An Iran Press Watch report adds that the officers demanded that those present should sign undertakings not to participate in Bahai meetings.

Security forces then went downstairs to the home of Mr. Ehsan Yadegar (احسان یادگار), Sassan’s brother, and searched it. They seized religious books and images, and computers and mobile phones. The Iran Press Watch report adds that they seized some gold coins. He was told to present himself to the public prosecutor’s office in Varamin (the capital of Varamin County in Tehran Provine). He did so, and was released after several hours.

On the same day, officers from the Ministry of Intelligence raided the home of Ruhiyyeh Baqr-dokht-Akbari ((روحیه باقردخت (اکبری), searched it and arrested her. Next day they raided the home of Mrs. Safa Forqani (صفا فرقانی), where they seized a computer and religious books. She too was arrested. An hour later, her father, Mehrdad Forqani (مهرداد فرقانی ) was arrested in his home in Varamin. Security agents also appeared at the home of Mrs. Arghavan Eshraqi (غوان اشراقی), with a warrant for her arrest, but she was not home. The agents searched the house and seized religious books, pictures and poems.

Thus far, the families of the five detainees have not been told the reason for these arrests, and the detainees have not be able to contact their families. According to the judicial authorities, they have all been taken to Evin prison, and their cases will be heard by the court in Varamin.

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February 18, 2015

Extensive raids in Tehran and Isfahan: 14 Bahais arrested

Campaign to stop harassment of Bahais (facebook), February 18, 2015.

On February 16 and 17, security officers raided and searched the homes of Bahais in Tehran and Isfahan, and arrested 14 Bahais. In Tehran, the homes of Sasan Yadgar (elsewhere reported as Parisa Yadgar), Ehsan Yadegar, Arghavan Eshraqi and Mehrdad Furqani (ساسان یادگار، احسان یادگار، ارغوان اشراقی و مهرداد فرقانی ) were raided, and all the books, desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones were seized. Four Bahais were arrested, in line with arrest warrants, and the officers also had a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Arghavan Eshraqi, who was not at home at the time of the raids. All those arrested in Tehran are reported to have been taken to Evin prison.

On February 17, security officers in Isfahan raided the homes of Mr. Kavian Dehqan, Houshang Rahimi and Peyman `Atefi (کاویان دهقان، هوشنگ رحیمی و پیمان عاطفی), and confiscated computers, mobile phones and books. They arrested 12 Bahais. There is no word of where they are being held.

Those arrested in Tehran have been named as Mrs. Elham Karam Pisheh (الهام کرم پیشه), Mrs. Mona Mehrabi (مونا محرابی), Mr. Mehrdad Furqani and Mr. Safa Furqani (صفا فرقانی و مهرداد فرقانی).

Those arrested in Isfahan are named as Mrs. Nika Rajabi, Mona Aqdasi, Shiva Aghsani and Negar Sobhaneyan (نیکا رجبی، مونا اقدسی، شیوا اغصانی و نگار سبحانیان), and Mr. Kavian Dehqan, `Aref Dehqan, Shayan Kawthar, Peyman `Atefi, Kaushar Rahimi and Houshang Rahimi (کاویدن دهقان، عارف دهقان، شایان کوثر، پیمان عاطفی، کوشا رحیمی و هوشنگ رحیمی ). [A subsequent report omits Houshang Rahimi and substitutes Houshang Dehqan (هوشنگ دهقان): the later report appears to be the correct one ~ Sen]

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December 24, 2014

Bahais banned from the optometry sector in Tehran

HRANA, December 22, 2014.

The Association of Optometry Manufacturers and Sellers in Tehran held its eighth trade fair, the Optics Exhibition, in Wessal Avenue on December 16 to 19. Eighty business took part. Not only were Bahai-run optometry importers and sellers barred from the exhibition, participants were also told to dismiss any Bahai employees they might have. A few years ago the Association stopped issuing licences to open optometry shops to Bahais, and stated that this instruction had come from the Ministry of Intelligence. Iran has an apartheid system that banns Bahais from higher education, receiving many state benefits, and employment in various sectors, but the rules are largely unwritten, and vary from time to time and in different localities.

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December 11, 2014

Peyman Kashfi released from prison


HRANA, December 11, 2014.

Peyman Kashfi Nejafabadi (پیمان کشفی نجف‌آبادی), a Baha’i prisoner of conscience from Tehran who has served a four-year sentence in Evin and Raja`i Shahr prisons, has been released at the end of his sentence. He was summoned and arrested in Tehran on October 19, 2009, and held incommunicado in section 209 of Evin Prison for two months. He was later granted bail. In July 2010, Judge Muhammad Maqiseh (محمد مقیسه), presiding over branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, sentenced him to 4 years in prison on a charge of being part of an illegal assembly. When the written sentence was handed down, the charges had been changed to establishing a group seeking to disturb security. [This means that he was sentenced on a charge that he was not told about, and given no chance to see the evidence or provide a defence ~Sen] This sentence was upheld by the review court. He began his sentence on February 14, 2011, first in Evin prison and then, from August 5, 2012, in block 12 at Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, just west of Tehran, where most of the Yaran (Baha’i national facilitators), and a number of teachers from the Bahai Open University are also held.

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December 8, 2014

5-year sentence of Hassan Momtazi confirmed

Campaign to stop harassment of Bahais (facebook), December 9, 2014.

Hassan Momtazi (حسن ممتازی) reports, on December 8, that he has heard via his lawyer that the review court has confirmed his five-year sentence for educational activities with the Bahai Open University (BIHE). He was one of ten Bahais associated with the BIHE who were heard at the Public Prosecutor’s office in Tehran on March 12, 2013. His sentence was handed down in Tehran Revolutionary Court branch 28 by Judge Maqiseh (مقیسه) on February 25, 2014, but was not communicated to his lawyer until April 2.

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November 12, 2014

Bahais join demonstration in support of Nasrin Sotoudeh


HRANA, November 11, 2014.

On November 10, Bahai students who have been excluded from tertiary education joined the Iranian civil rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh (نسرین ستوده) in her three-week-old demonstration in front of the Bar Association building in Tehran. She is claiming the right to be reinstated by the Bar Association as a practicing lawyer, having been excluded from practicing for three years. She has been joined by a number of human rights activists, including the prominent Iranian film director Mohammad Nourizad. Mr. Nourizad reported on his face book page that a group of Bahai students who have been excluded from tertiary education had joined the protest.

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September 23, 2014

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab beaten in prison, again

HRANA, September 24, 2104

On September 20, Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab (میاندوآب شهرام چینیان ), a Bahai shopkeeper from Tehran who is serving an 8-year sentence, was beaten as he was being taken to a judge because he refuses to wear the standard prison uniform. Prisoners of conscience in Iran generally do not wear the prison uniform. Mr. Chiniyan is held in block 1 of Rajai Shahr prison, which is reserved for dangerous prisoners. One of the other prisoners told HRANA that he was summoned to a judge outside the prison, in relation to one of the cases against him that has not been concluded. At the prison gates, the prison guards demanded that he put on prison uniform, which he refused. The guards beat him and stripped him. He was bruised in many places, and was later treated at the prison clinic because of the severity of his injuries. He was also beaten on August 19, by Mr. Amirian, one of the Deputy Directors at the prison, and a number of prison guards, and his clothes were torn.

Mr. Chiniyan was first arrested in March 2009 and released on March 3, 2010, after using his business license as bail. He was sentenced to 70 lashes and 8 years in prison on a charge of insulting Islam, and began serving his sentence, first in Evin prison in Tehran and then in Raja’i Shahr prison, early in March, 2012. On May 28, 2014, he was transferred to section 1 of Raja’i Shahr, where dangerous criminals are kept. He was punished with one week in solitary from June 25 to July 1, and four days in solitary on August 20, following his first beating by prison guards.

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September 11, 2014

Kamran and Kayvan Rahimian and Faran Hessami refused prison furlough unless they recant

ICHRI, September 10, 2014

The brothers Kamran and Kayvan Rahimiyan ( رحیمیان ) and Kamran’s wife Faran Hessami ( فاران حسامی ), all imprisoned for teaching in the Bahai Open University (BIHE) have been refused prison furlough unless they recant their Bahai beliefs and promise not to teach students at the Open University.

Mrs. Afagh Khosravi-Zand, Mother of Kamran and Kayvan and mother-in-law to Faran, said, “I have written to authorities many times but I have received no reply. Kamran and Faran have a five-year-old son and Kayvan has a 14-year-old daughter and, unfortunately, he also lost his wife to cancer before he was arrested. These kids are living with me now. But I cannot do enough for a girl who’s going through puberty and a small child.”

Under Iranian law, if a prisoner has served a third of his sentence and maintained good behavior, he can be conditionally released, Khosravi-Zand noted. “But it has been ten months since Kamran and Faran submitted their request for a conditional release and every time we followed up they said it is being reviewed. I guess these reviews go on until their term ends. But the officials have said they would be released as soon as they repent and promise not to teach. And [my sons and daughter-in-law] have replied that as long as you don’t allow Baha’is to study in national universities, we have no choice but to educate them ourselves. We don’t want them to be illiterate.”

Baha’is are one of the most persecuted religious minorities in Iran and are routinely denied admission to higher education in the country.

Khosravi-Zand said the three have not been given furlough since their imprisonment and none of the officials had given a reason why. Faran Hessami, Kamran Rahimian and Kayvan Rahimian were professors at the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, an online university, when they were arrested on September 13, 2012. Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court found them guilty of “assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security” for teaching at the Baha’i university and sentenced Kamaran and Faran to four years and Kayvan to five years in prison.

“Every Tuesday I take the five-year-old boy to see his father in Rajaee Shahr Prison and his mother in Evin Prison on Wednesdays. Also Kayvan’s 14-year-old daughter, Gina, goes to see her father in Rajaee Shahr every week,” she said.

Khosravi-Zand added that the three were not being represented by a lawyer of their choice, because upon hearing the name of the lawyer they had hired, the Judge threatened a stiffer sentence if they were represented by him.

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September 7, 2014

High bail set for three Bahais in Tehran; four remain in prison (correction)


PCED, September 4; HRANA, September 6.

(Corrected: three of the four detainees for whom bail was set have not been released as the bail is excessive)

On September 3, Branch 4 of the court at Evin Prison set bail for three Bahais arrested in Tehran: Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر ), Nasr `Arshi Moqaddam (ناصر عرشى مقدم), and `Ata’ollah Ashrafi (عطاء الله اشرفى). The family of the three detainees were informed by telephone from Evin prison that bail for Babak Mobasher and Naser Arshi Moqaddam was set at 25 billion Rials (700,000 euros or 938,000 US dollars), while 20 billion Rials (560,000 euros or 750,000 US dollars) was demanded for `Ata’ollah Ashrafi’s temporary release.

These three have been charged with “subverting the economy of Iran,” and “membership in the Baha’i community of Iran.” Their family cannot afford to pay the bail, which amounts to 2.6 million dollars, or almost 2 million euros. They are being held in block 209 of Evin prison, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence. Alaeddin Khanjani (علا‌ءالدین خانجانی), known as ‘Niki,’ is also held in block 209: there is no word about his condition.

On August 11, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided the home and optician’s shop of the Khanjani family in Tehran, and arrested Babak Mobasher, his father-in-law Alaeddin Khanjani, and four employees: Naser `Arshi Moqaddam, `Ata’ollah Ashrafi, Ruhollah Monzavi (روح الله منزوى), and Javad Salehi (جواد صالحى). Javad Salehi was reported to have been released when it was discovered that he was a Muslim. Ruhollah Monzavi was released on bail of 1 billion rials (37,000 US dollars or 28,000 euros.) Iranian media reported this as the smashing of a big spectacle-smuggling network, and said there were eight arrests, without giving names.

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August 27, 2014

One arrest in Semnan


HRANA, August 26, 2014. (updated)

Noushadhar Khanjani ( نوش‌آذر خانجانی), a Bahai from Semnan who was visiting family in Semnan, was arrested by security forces this morning. He has been interviewed by the Ministry of Intelligence several times in the past months, on various pretexts, and is presently free on bail and having provided a surety. His father, Afrasiab Khanjani (افراسیاب خانجانی ) has been subject to pressure from the security forces for some time, and has had much of his property confiscated, including a factory for making spectacles. The family have been told that Noushadhar will be transferred to Tehran tomorrow.

On August 13, Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر ) and Alaeddin Khanjani (علا‌ءالدین خانجانی), known as Niki, two more members of the Khanjani family, and some of their Bahai employees, were arrested in Tehran and have been accused of smuggling spectacles [!]. They are being held in Evin prison. Noushadhar Khanjani’s grandfather Jamalludin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی) is one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (Bahai national facilitators) who are now in the seventh year of 20-year sentences, and his cousin Navid Khanjani (نوید خانجانی) is serving a 12-year sentence for promoting equal access to education. Both are in in Raja’i Shahr prison. Fo’ad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی) and Behfar Khanjani (بهفر خانجانی) are serving 4-year sentences in Raja’i Shahr and Semnan prisons respectively. Leva Khanjani and Omid Firuzeyan, two more grandchildren of Jamalludin Khanjani, have recently been released from prison. [And all this effort by the judiciary, intelligence services and prison authorities serves absolutely no purpose: they are Bahais when they go into prison and they are still Bahais when they come out. Hats off to a most illustrious family! ~sen]

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August 20, 2014

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab beaten and placed in solitary

HRANA, August 20, 2014

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab (میاندوآب شهرام چینیان ), a Bahai shopkeeper from Tehran who is serving an 8-year sentence, and who is held in block 1 of Rajai Shahr prison, which is reserved for dangerous prisoners, was placed in solitary confinement on August 19. He was moved to the block for dangerous prisoners late in May, 2014: before that he was held with the prisoners of conscience in block 12. A fellow-prisoner has reported that Mr. Chiniyan was beaten by Mr. Amirian [one of the Deputy Directors at the prison ~ Sen] and a number of prison guards, and his clothes were torn. The prison Director. Mr. Mardani, decided unilaterally to move him to solitary confinement. Mr. Chiniyan was first arrested in March 2009 and released on March 3, 2010, after using his business license as bail. He was sentenced to 70 lashes and 8 years in prison on a charge of insulting Islam, and began serving his sentence, first in Evin prison in Tehran and then in Raja’i Shahr prison, early in March, 2012. It appears that the accusation of insulting Islam was raised by his neighbour, following a legal dispute regarding the use of a right of way.

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August 11, 2014

Six arrests in Tehran: one released


“No” to the harassment and imprisonment of Bahais (facebook group), August 11, 2014. Update, August 13.

Babak Mobasher ( بابک مبشر ) and his father-in-law Alaeddin Khanjani (علا‌ءالدین خانجانی) were arrested around 6 a.m. today when agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided their home [which is apparently located in Tehran ~Sen]. Alaeddin Khanjani is the son of Jalaluldin Khanjani, one of the imprisoned “Yaran” (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran, while Babak Mobasher is the husband of Leva Khanjani ( لواء خانجانی ), a Bahai excluded from tertiary education, who was freed from Evin prison after serving most of a two-year sentence on June 24, 2014.

The Alliance for the Rights of All Minorities in Iran adds that not only the home of Mr. Khanjani but also his office and warehouse was raided, and that four employees were arrested, one whom was later released because he was a Muslim. All the cash, gold personal jewellery, and other items in storage belonging to the business were confiscated. The group responsible for this action is said to be affiliated with those responsible for the arrest of the Yaran seven years ago.

HRANA gives the names of the four employees as Nasr `Arushi Moqaddam, `Ata’llah Ashrafi, Ruhollah Manzui and Javad Salehi ( ناصر عرشى مقدم، عطاء الله اشرفى، روح الله منزوى و جواد صالحى).

[Update, August 13. Iranian internet media are reporting the arrests as the smashing of a big spectacle-smuggling network. Eight arrests are reported, without giving any names. Given that a Muslim employee was released, it appears likely that the security force’s action relates to the common belief in Iran that Bahais are “unclean.” Because of this belief, they are barred from engaging in certain economic activity, such as in the food sector, where their ‘uncleanness’ might be passed on to Muslims. In the past two years, a number of optician’s shops operated by Bahais have been closed down, especially in the more backward areas of Iran where superstitions have a stronger hold. ~ Sen]

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July 22, 2014

Sarang Etehadi begins a one-year sentence

ICHRI, July 18, 2014.

Mr. Sarang Etehadi ( سارنگ اتحادی ) has been summoned to begin serving his one-year prison sentence on charges of “propaganda against the state through participation in Bahai worship and prayer groups.” He told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he had been instructed via a telephone call from the Evin Prison Courts on July 6, 2014, to appear to begin serving his sentence within a week. His wife, Nasim Ashrafi ( نسیم اشرفی ), began serving her sentence at Evin Prison on May 6, 2014. The couple, both from Tehran, were arrested in a wave of detentions of Bahais in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz in early July, 2012.

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July 10, 2014

Farhad Sadeqi gets medical leave, returns to prison


HRANA, July 10, 2014

Farhad Sadeqi ( فرهاد صدقی ), one of the imprisoned teachers from the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has returned to prison after five days of prison leave. He is serving a 4-year sentence in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj (near Tehran). The Bahai Open University was founded to provide education for students excluded from tertiary education because of their religious beliefs. Mr. Sadeqi was arrested on May 22, 2011, during a raid on the institute, and held with other prisoners of conscience, first in Evin prison and then in Raja’i Shahr prison near Tehran. He had one previous medical furlough, for three days in July 2012.

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June 29, 2014

Shomais Mohajer begins her sentence


HRANA, June 28, 2014

Shomais Mohajer (شمیس مهاجر), a Bahai from Tehran, has reported to Evin Prison in Tehran to begin serving her one-year sentence. She was one of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July, 2012, in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz. She was charged with propaganda against the regime and forming an illegal group, and has been free on bail. Her husband, Shahab Dehqani (شهاب دهقانی), began serving a four-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison on May 26, 2014.

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June 27, 2014

Shahram Chiniyan in solitary cell

HRANA, June 26

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab (میاندوآب شهرام چینیان ), a Tehran Bahai serving an 8-year sentence, has been moved to solitary confinement in Raja’i Shahr prison. On May 28 HRANA reported that he had been transferred from block 12 at Raja’i Shahr prison, which holds male prisoners of conscience including many Bahais, to block 1 of the prison, which is reserved for those convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery. When he objected to the insulting behaviour of the prison guards in dealing with these ordinary prisoners, he was moved to solitary confinement.

Mr. Chiniyan was first arrested in March 2009 and released on bail on March 3, 2010. He was sentenced to 70 lashes and 8 years in prison on a charge of insulting Islam, and began serving his sentence, first in Evin prison in Tehran and then in Raja’i Shahr prison, early in March, 2012, although the review court had not at that time confirmed his sentence. It appears that the accusation of insulting Islam was raised by his neighbour, following a legal dispute regarding the use of a right of way.

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May 29, 2014

Shahram Chiniyan transferred to high security block at Raja’i Shahr prison

HRANA, May 28

Shahram Chiniyan Miandoab (میاندوآب شهرام چینیان ), a Tehran Bahai serving an 8-year sentence, has been transferred from block 12 Raja’i Shahr prison, which holds male prisoners of conscience including many Bahais, to block 1 of the prison, which is reserved for those convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery. Mr. Chiniyan was first arrested in March 2009 and released on March 3, 2010, after using his business license as bail. He was sentenced to 70 lashes and 8 years in prison on a charge of insulting Islam, and began serving his sentence, first in Evin prison in Tehran and then in Raja’i Shahr prison, early in March, 2012, although the review court had not at that time confirmed his sentence. It appears that the accusation of insulting Islam was raised by his neighbour, following a legal dispute regarding the use of a right of way.

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


May 26, 2014

Shahab Dehqani reports to Evin prison (updated)


HRANA, May 26

On May 24, Shahab Dehqani (شهاب دهقانی), a Bahai from Tehran, reported to Evin prison to begin serving his four-year sentence. He was first arrested on July 11, 2012, in raids that netted nearly 20 Bahais in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz. He was freed on bail in August, 2012.

Update May 27: HRANA reports that he was moved to Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj (about 50 km from Tehran) on May 25th. After a night in the quarantine wing, he was installed in Block 12, where the prisoners of conscience are detained. There are now 33 Bahai men detained for religious reasons in Block 12.

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


May 14, 2014

Mother and son arrested in Tehran to serve prison terms


HRANA, May 13, 2014

Elham Faramani ( الهام فراهانی ) and her son Shamim Na’imi ( شمیم نعیمی) were arrested in Tehran on May 11 and taken to Evin prison. They face sentences of four and three years respectively. Security agents went to Shamim’s home on May 10, but did not find him there. Next day, as Shamim was getting read to present himself at the prison, agents arrived and arrested him. An hour later, several members of his family went to the gate of Evin prison to say goodbye to Shamim. An officer came and asked for Shimim’s mother,
Elham Faramani, saying that Shamim wanted to say goodbye to his mother, and she should come inside. When she did, she was arrested to begin serving her own prison sentence. Her husband `Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ), Shamim’s father, is serving a ten year term, and his younger brother `Afif ( عفیف نعیمی), is also a prisoner of conscience. He is one of the ‘Yaran’ (Bahai national facilitators) who are serving 20-year sentences.

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


May 7, 2014

Nasim Ashrafi arrested to begin her sentence


HRANA, May 6, 2014

Nasim Ashrafi ( نسیم اشرفی ), a Bahai from Tehran who was arrested in a wave of detentions of Bahais in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz in early July, 2012, was arrested on May 6, to begin serving her one-year sentence. She was originally sentenced to 3 years in prison, in June 2013, but this was reduced by the review court. She was charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of Bahai organisations. She has been free on bail (set at one million tumans (300 euros, $US400)) since the end of July, 2012. She was arrested on the street yesterday morning, while on the way to a laboratory that performs medical tests.

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


January 29, 2014

Sarang Ettehadi sentenced without trial: 5 years


Khodnevis, January 29, 2014

Sarang Ettehadi, a Bahai from Tehran, has been sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “membership in Bahai institutions.” An unusual aspect of the sentence is that Mr. Ettehadi had already been pardoned, and that the sentence was issued three days before the trial — which functioned only to inform the accused of his sentence.

Mr. Ettehadi was arrested was arrested in Tehran on June 27, 2012, in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz that netted almost 20 Bahais. He was among those pardoned for the Eid al-Fitr on August 15, 2012. Mr Ettehadi has written his own account of his conviction and sentencing, which has been translated by Dr. Nizam Missaghi:

On January 15, 2014, I appeared in the Revolutionary Court to meet the judge as ordered. However, upon my arrival, the Judge’s assistant, Mojtaba, told me that there would be no hearing for me on that day and that my sentence had already been issued in absentia three days prior to the scheduled court date. I reviewed the court document in disbelief and learned that I had been sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “membership in Bahá’í institutions.”

My sentence was issued in absentia on January 12, 2014. However, my court date had initially been communicated as January 8 and had been postponed by the court to January 15, the date when I appeared in court. My attorney objected to the sentencing prior to the court date in absentia and insisted that we meet with the judge. After the urging of my counsel, we briefly met with the judge, who, without any hesitation or reasoning, re-read the same sentence to us and confirmed it had been issued.

It is noteworthy that my initial charge had been “propaganda against the regime,” which carries a maximum one-year prison sentence. However, the judge had illegally annexed another charge to my file prior to issuing the five-year sentence as follows: “membership in an illegal organization in order to disturb national security.” The judge addressed me directly and said, “you participated in prayer gatherings and religious rituals with other Bahá’ís, which constitutes an organized and illegal activity.” However, I responded, the Iranian Constitution clearly protects the rights of religious minorities to assembly and worship. When I asked the judge to explain how saying prayers with friends would constitute “propaganda against the regime” or could “disturb national security,” he responded matter-of-factly, “the assembly of even two or three people is an organized activity and is against the law!”

Unfortunately, legal due process in Iran is lamentably defective. Minorities, ethnic or religious, and dissidents are typically at the mercy of a judge who can add to their charges as he wishes, choose to not communicate a change in the defendant’s court date, and sentence the defendant in absentia without proper time allotted for the defense to respond or even know of the charges. The sentencing and the outcome, by and large, are forgone conclusions, and the hearing, if it actually takes place, is nothing but a formality reminiscent of a show trial. The longer such defective judicial system is in place, the more lives will be ruined, youth will be lost, trust will be replaced with despair, and the future of our glorious Iran will be overshadowed with injustice.

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

January 21, 2014

Talu` Golkar sentenced : 5 years for educational activities


HRANA, January 22, 2014

Talu` Golkar, a Bahai from Tehran, has been sentenced to five years in prison, on charges of having links to the Bahai Open University (BIHE). The sentence was communicated to her lawyer on January 14. Talu ` Golkar was one of then Bahais associated with the Bahai Open University who appeared at the Public Prosecutor’s office in Tehran on March 12, 2013. After presenting their defence, they were released on bail. At present more than 10 Bahais associated with the university are serving prison terms for their educational activities, in Raja’i Shahr prison and in the women’s wing of Evin prison.

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

October 24, 2013

Nasim Baqeri sentenced to 4 years in prison


PCED, October 24 2013 +

Nazim Baqeri, a Bahai from Tehran who was associated with the Bahai open university BIHE, has been sentenced to four years in prison. She was tried on October 8 on charges of endangering national security by membership of the BIHE. Security forces raided the homes of many Bahais associated with the online university on May 22, 2011, and the following days, and arrested many of them. The university’s premises were closed, and many of the teachers and administrators have been given heavy sentences and are in prison.

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


October 19, 2013

Nasim Ashrafi’s sentence reduced to one year


HRANA, October 19

Nasim Ashrafi ( نسیم اشرفی ), a Bahai from Tehran who was arrested in a wave of detentions of Bahais in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz in early July, 2012, has had her sentence reduced to one year. She was originally sentenced to 3 years in prison, in June 2013. She was charged with propaganda against the regime. She has been free on bail (set at one million tumans (300 euros, $US400)) since the end of July, 2012.

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

September 23, 2013

Aged Bahai man beaten at provincial government offices

HRANA, September 22, 2013 + [Update Sept. 25]

Behzad Shokuhi ( بهزاد شکوهی ), who is 75 years old, worked for the Ministry of Argiculture before the 1979 revolution. Like other Bahais in the civil service he was fired and banned from any further work for the government. He has been preparing a petition to the Ministry of Agriculture [presumably in relation to his pension rights: the pension funds of Bahais who were dismissed were also confiscated], and in connection with that, he was summoned to the Provincial Government Offices for Tehran province. When he went there, he was beaten up and insulted.

Update Sept. 25
: Iran Press Watch has more details:

Behzad Shokuhi, a 75-year-old Baha’i old man, who had held the position of Deputy Minister of Agriculture before the revolutionary regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran gained power, like other Baha’i citizens who had government posts, was permanently dismissed (by the new regime), after a record of many years of service.

Thirty-four years following his dismissal from his post, with the inauguration of the new government [of Hassan Rouhani], Behzad Shokuhi had prepared a letter seeking justice, and submitted it to the authorities. Following this action, he was called to the Tehran Governor’s office in Abbas Abad and Mir Emad streets and was subjected to beating and injury.

Someone close to this Baha’i citizen told the Harana reporter: “Behzad Shokuhi was confronted with indecent curses, beating and injury at the Governor’s office and has been warned not to purse the matter any further.”

He continued: “All over his body there are bruises and signs of beating and injury. There was no point in encouraging him to go to the medical examiner’s office and launching a complaint, because apart from being warned about his pursuing the case, he has been looking after his wife who has been afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease for the past few years.”

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

July 27, 2013

Zhinous Rahimi begins 1-year sentence


PCED, July 20, 2013

Zhinous Rahimi (ژینوس رحیمی ) a Bahai from Tehran who has been sentenced to one year in prison, reported to Evin prison on July 20 to begin serving her sentence. She was one of almost 20 Bahai arrested in July 2012, in Tehran, Shiraz, and Mashhad. After being held for about 3 weeks, she was released on bail. She was initially sentenced to three years in prison, reduced to one year by the review court.

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


April 24, 2013

Eight Bahais tried in Tehran


PCED, April 24

Seven Bahais from Gorgan, and one from Tehran, were tried in Tehran on April 24. The charges were “organising and running an illegal organisation, membership of an illegal organisation, and propaganda against the regime.” All eight have been held in Raja’i Shahr prison, near Tehran. Their names are Farhad Fahandezh, Fahrmand Sana’i, Siamak Sadri,Kamal Kashani, Fu’ad Fahandezh, Kourush Ziari, Payam Markazi and `Adel Na`imi ( فرهاد فهندژ، فرهمند ثنایی، سیامک صدری، کمال کاشانی، فواد فهندژ، کوروش زیاری، پیام مرکزی و عادل نعیمی). Mr. Na`imi is from Tehran, the other seven are from the Gorgan region. They were among about 20 Bahais who were detained in a wave of arrests on about October 17. (Kourush Ziari is from Gonbad-e Qabus, where he was arrested and later transferred to Gorgan). After some weeks in detention in Gorgan, all seven were transferred to Evin prison in Tehran for interrogation, after which they were sent to Raja’i Shahr prison.

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


April 22, 2013

Student expelled from UTech in Tehran

HRANA, February 27

Panidh Fazl `Ali ( پانید فضل علی ), a Bahai student of Industrial Engineering, has been expelled from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran. He discovered he had been expelled on February 23, when he accessed the university’s web site. Next day he went to the University’s office of educational administration, where he was informed verbally that he had been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs, that the decision had been made by the national body overseeing educational assessments (the Sanjesh), and that no written evidence of the expulsion would be given. He was in term 6 of the programme, and had excellent grades.

(This is old news, which I somehow overlooked at the time. But this blog is not here simply to keep readers up to date with Bahai news. One small thing we can do for prisoners of conscience and those who suffer discrimination because of their race, religion or sexual orientation, is to let their stories be heard. And let their persecutors know, that the things they do are noted. ~Sen)

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


March 13, 2013

Ten Bahais tried in Tehran

PCED, March 12

Ten Bahais associated with the Bahai Open University (BIHE) appeared at the Public Prosecutor’s office in Tehran on March 12. A previous report stated that only six had been summoned for trial. They are named as Babak Beheshti, `Abas Ta’ef, Hassan Momtaz, Negin Qadameyan and the four previously named: Azita Rafi`zadeh, Peyman Kushkabaghi, Nazanin Niku-Sarasht, Nasim Baqeri, Talu` Golkar and Ahmad Golzadeh ( بابک بهشتی،عباس طائف،حسن ممتاز، نگین قدمیان، آزیتا رفیع‌زاده، پیمان کوشکباغی، نازنین نیکو سرشت، نسیم باقری، طلوع گلکار و احمد گلزار ). After presenting their defence, they were released on bail.

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


March 12, 2013

Golrokh Firuzeyan arrested in Semnan

HRANA, March 12

Golrokh Firuzeyan ( گلرخ فیروزیان ) has been arrested, after having gone to the court in Semnan on March 9. She has been handed over to the Ministry of Intelligence. She is from Semnan, but has been living in Tehran. For some weeks the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan has been holding her sister Shidrock hostage, and threatening the safety of her family in Semnan.

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


Six Bahais summoned in Tehran

HRANA, March 11

Six Bahais associated with the Bahai Open University (BIHE) were summoned to appear in court in Tehran on March 12. Their names are given as Azita Rafi`zadeh, Peyman Kushkabaghi, Nazanin Niku-Sarasht, Nasim Baqeri, Talu` Golkar and Ahmad Golzadeh ( آزیتا رفیع‌زاده، پیمان کوشکباغی، نازنین نیکو سرشت، نسیم باقری، طلوع گلکار و احمد گلزار ).

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


February 5, 2013

`Adel Na`imi transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison


PCED, February 3

`Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ), one of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, has been transferred from block 350 at Evin Prison in Tehran to Raja’i Shahr prison. He suffers from diabetes. [So far as I know, he has not been tried or sentenced ~Sen] His younger brother `Afif ( نعیمی ), is also a prisoner of conscience. He is serving a 20-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison.

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


January 14, 2013

Shahin Negari detained


HRANA, January 13

Shahin Negari ( شاهین نگاری), one of the teachers of the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), was detained in Tehran on January 12. Security agents went to his home and arrested him, presumably to begin serving his sentence, as he has been sentenced to 4 years in prison. He has been free on bail since June 28, 2011. His whereabouts are not known.

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


January 13, 2013

`Adel Na`imi moved out of solitary cells in Evin Prison


PCED, January 13

`Adel Na`imi ( عادل نعیمی ), one of almost 20 Bahais who were arrested in early July in a wave of arrests in Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, has been held in solitary confinement in block 209 of Evin prison in Tehran since his arrest. He has not been moved to the general wing, in block 350, where prisoners of conscience are held. He suffers from diabetes. His younger brother `Afif ( نعیمی ), is also a prisoner of conscience. He is serving a 20-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison.

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


January 4, 2013

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.”

[Iran’s official propaganda denies that Iran operates an apartheid system. In November 2011, the head of Iran’s judiciary, Mohammad Javad Larijani, claimed you can find Bahai’s in universities as students as teachers. There are more than 300 Baha’i students in universities. They are professors. They are very affluent people; they have big factories and companies.” Thus the staff of the university office may have been genuinely unaware of the policy to deny Bahais access to tertiary education.]

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.

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


October 22, 2012

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.

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


October 9, 2012

`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.

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


September 10, 2012

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.” 

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


September 6, 2012

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, near Tehran. 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.

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


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