Sen's daily

April 24, 2017

One-year sentences announced for 3 Mashhad Bahais


Bahai News (Persian), April 23, 2017.

Khoshayar and Shayan Tafazolli ( خشایار و شایان تفضلی ) and Sina Aqdas-zadeh ( سینا اقدس زاده ), Bahais from Mashhad, have been sentenced by Judge Mansouri (قاضی منصوری) to one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime. Shayan Tafazolli was among the eight Bahais arrested in February 2012, in relation to a handcrafts exhibition organised by Bahai youth in Mashhad. On July 11, 2012, security forces searched the homes of these three Bahais and arrested them. Sina Aqdas-zadeh was detained by the Ministry of Intelligence for 47 days, Shayan Tafazolli for 46 days, and Khoshayar Tafazolli for 23 days, before they were released on bail of 100 million tumans (at the time, 65,000 euros; 81,000 US dollars). They were tried in January this year, and the sentences were announced on April 22.

Shayan Tafazolli has been arrested on two other occasions, on February 17, 2012, when he was held for 66 days, and June 2, 2014.

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February 7, 2017

Bahai student expelled from a non-profit university in Mashhad

Bahai News (Persian), February 1, 2017.

Sougol Kazemi-Bahnamiri (سوگل کاظمی بهنمیری) has been expelled from the Non-Profit University in Mashhad, where she had reached the fifth semester of a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Enginering, because of her Bahai beliefs. The discovered she had been expelled when she tried to access her personal page on the University’s web site on January 23. Her access was blocked. She went first to the IT services department, who sent her to the Education Office, who knew nothing about her expulsion. That office sent her back to the Director of the Education Office, who made further enquiries with the National Organisation for Educational Testing, who said that her student portal had been closed, but this was to be confidential. When she asked whether she had been expelled, the Education Office told her, “No, but until the Testing Organisation says that the problem with your file has been resolved, you are barred from further study and cannot follow classes in the coming semester.” She then went to the Ministry of Education and the Testing Organisation, but as of January 28 she had received no response, and there has also been no official documentation of the her expulsion.

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October 9, 2016

Manuchher Khalousi begins 1-year prison sentence


HRANA, October 7, 2016.

On October 6, a month before Manuchher Khalousi (منوچهر خلوصی) was due to begin serving a 1-year sentence, security agents arrived at his home and took him under arrest to Vakil Abad prison, to serve his sentence.

He was arrested on November 29, 2013, when security forces raided his home, for the sixth time since the 1979 Revolution. At his trial, on July 8, 2014, he was charged with “acting against national security by giving interviews with foreign media.” However no interviews with Mr. Kholousi are known, in either Iranian or foreign media. The court therefore adjourned the sitting for lack of evidence, and a judge was appointed to gather evidence for new charges. A court then sentenced him to six years in prison on charges against of propaganda against the regime and undermining national security. The review court reduced this sentence to one year.

His daughters, Nika and Nava Kholousi (نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), are serving sentences of six years and four and a half years, respectively, on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic. They have both served more than two years of these sentences, also in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad.

In 1999, Mr. Kholousi was sentenced to death for being a Bahai. This sentence was later reduced to one year in prison, by which time he had already served 19 months in prison. With respect to his current sentence, HRANA has published a document showing that he was sentenced solely for being a Bahai.

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August 19, 2016

Sonya Ahmadi released in Mashhad


Baszasht, August 18, 2016.

Sonya Ahmadi ( سونیا احمدی ) was released from Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on August 17. She began serving her 5-year sentence, on charges of teaching the Bahai Faith and membership of the Bahai community, on September 2, 2012, but she was released early on January 10, 2014, with the promise that her complete freedom would follow. However on April 10, 2014, she was telephoned to say she would have to continue serving her prison sentence.

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June 23, 2016

Bahai student expelled from the Imam Reza University in Mashhad

Bahai News (Persian), June 21, 2016.

Mo’in Muhammadi (معین محمدی), a Bahai student, has completed an undergraduate course in biomedical engineering at the Imam Reza University in Mashhad, and, based on a provisional Bachelor’s certificate, has been accepted to study for a Master’s degree. However university officials then refused to issue his Bachelor’s certificate, saying initially that they had lost his files. Mr. Muhammadi pursued his case, even going to Tehran, but he was subjected to months of bureaucratic buck-passing. In the meantime, in the winter of 2014-2015, Mr. Muhammadi sat the entrance examination for the Master’s course, and was accepted for a course in Electricity of Telecommunications at the Imam Reza University. When he went to register, in August 2015, the Office of Education, the security office, and the Chief of Security told him that, as a Bahai, he did not have the right to register or attend university.

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January 8, 2016

Nakisa Hajipour released


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), January 8, 2015.

Nakisa Hajipour (نکیسا حاجی پور), a Bahai from Mashhad, was released from Vakil Abad prison on January 7. Mrs. Hajipour was one of 20 Bahais arrested in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad on November 15, 2015. It appears she has been released on bail pending her trial.

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December 15, 2015

Faraneh Daneshgari released on bail

faraneh_daneshgari
Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), December 16, 2015.

Faraneh Daneshgari (فرانه دانشگری), one of the Bahais arrested in widespread raids across Iran on November 15, was released on bail in Mashhad on the evening of December 15.

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Sanaz Es’haqi released in Mashhad


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

Sanaz Es’haqi (ساناز اسحاقی), one of the Bahais arrested in widespread raids across Iran on November 15, was released in Mashhad yesterday.

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

June 3, 2015

Sima Eshraqi released after 5 years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), June 3, 2015.

Sima Eshraqi (سیما اشراقی), a Bahai from Mashhad, has been released at the end of a five-year prison sentence. She was arrested in 2008 and spent three months in solitary confinement before being released on bail. At the end of October, 2009, she and Jalayar Wahdat (جلایر وحدت) were sentenced to 5 years in prison for propaganda against the regime, acting against national security in the form of Bahai activities. illegal assembly, publishing and distributing Bahai books and CDs, and blasphemy. Seven other Bahais from Mashhad were tried at the same time. She began serving her sentence in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on October 24, 2010. The Bahai prisoners in Mashhad were often denied the normal furlough, because of opposition from the Ministry of Intelligence. [My records do not show any prison furlough for Sima Eshraqi, but my records may be incomplete ~ Sen]

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

May 9, 2015

Jalayer Vahdat freed at the end of his sentence


HRANA, May 9, 2015.

Jalayer Vahdat (جلایر وحدت) was released from Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on May 8, at the end of a five-year sentence for his religious beliefs. He began his sentence on October 24, 2010. He was charged with propaganda against the regime and acting against national security through assembly and conspiracy and membership of Bahai organizations. His father Nosrullah Vahdat (نصرالله وحدت) was executed in 1984. He was charged with having links with the Bahais. His mother also spent several years in prison.

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April 27, 2015

Davar Nabilzadeh free after 5 years in prison


Iran Religious News, April 28, 2015.

Davar Nabilzadeh (داور نبیل زاده) has been freed from prison in Mashhad after serving a five year sentence on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic, acting against domestic security through membership and participation in the Bahai sect, propaganda and communication with foreigners after traveling abroad, unlawful assembly, and publishing and distributing misguided Bahai CDs and books.” He began this sentence on July 23, 2010. The sentence relates to his role as a ‘khadem’ (the local facilitators who mediate between Bahais and authorities in some parts of Iran). In 1983 he served a one-year sentence for membership of Bahai organisations. His daughter Nora Nabilzadeh ( نورا نبیل زاده) is presently serving a five-year sentence in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad, for playing music in an orphanage. She was arrested in June, 2010, and began her sentence on September 15, 2012.

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

January 27, 2015

Rozita Vaseghi freed after 5 years imprisonment


Iran Press Watch / HRANA, January 22, 2015.

Rozita Vaseghi ( رزیتا واثقی ), a Bahai from Mashhad was freed on the evening of January 21, after completing her five-year imprisonment with hard labour in Vakil-Abad prison, in Mashhad. She spent six months of her sentence in solitary confinement in the Office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Mashhad.

During her custody, Ms. Vaseghi was under heavy pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence to sign a statement indicating that she would not participate in any Bahai activities, which she refused. During her five years imprisonment, due to pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence, she was not given a single day of furlough, even for necessary medical attention. Like other Baha’i prisoners in Mashhad, she was barred from contacting non-Bahai prisoners, and was confined in a separate room in the women’s prison.

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December 19, 2014

Four Bahais sentenced, and four summoned for questioning, in Mashhad

HRANA, December 17, 2014.

On December 17, the Revolutionary Court in Mashhad sentenced Mey Khalousi (می‌ خلوصی), Dari Amri (دری امری), Saqi Feda’i (ساقی فدایی) and Shayan Tafazzoli (شایان تفضلی) They were charged with propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith. They have been free on bail for the past month. The length of their sentences will be announced in the coming days.

On December 14, Negar Nadafi (نگار ندافی), Afshin Nik-A’in (افشین نیک آیین), Parvaneh Rafi`i (پروانه رفیعی) and Setareh Feda’i (ستاره فدایی) were summoned to the court in Mashhad and questioned for several hours before being released.

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

October 7, 2014

Detention orders of three Bahais in Mashhad extended


HRANA, October 6, 2014.

The temporary detention of three Bahais from Mashhad who have been held without trial since June 1 has been extended for another month. Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی), Dari Amri (دری امری) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی) were arrested in the home of May Khalusi, and were at first held in Ministry of Intelligence interrogation facilities in Mashhad. They were transferred to Vakilabad prison on August 2. Thus far the authorities have not given any specific reason for extending their detention. It would appear that Dari Amri and Shayan Tafazoli were initially arrested by accident, as there was no warrant for them, but after their arrest they were accused of “propaganda against the regime.”

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September 14, 2014

Saqi Feda’i rearrested in Mashhad


HRANA, September 14, 2014.

Saqi Feda’i (ساقی فدایی), a Bahai from Mashhad, has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence and arrested. She was first arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on July 8 this year, following a raid on a Bahai religious meeting in her home on June 1. She was released on bail about one month later (her release has not previously been reported on Sen’s Daily, and the date and amount of bail are not stated in the HRANA report). Her mother, Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی), was arrested during the raid on June 1, as were two other Bahais from Mashhad, Dari Amri (دری امری) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی). These three were transferred from the Ministry of Intelligence facilities in Mashhad to Vakilabad prison on August 2. They have now been held for three months without trial or charge.

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August 21, 2014

Shayan Tafazoli marooned in prison quarantine


HRANA, August 12, 2014.

It is reported that Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی), who was arrested in Mashhad on June 1, 2014, when agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided a Bahai religious meeting, and who was transferred from the Ministry of Intelligence facilities to Vakilabad prison on August 2, is still being held in the prison’s quarantine unit. However Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی) and Dari Amri (دری امری), two Bahai women who were transferred from the Intelligence Office to Vakilabad Prison on the same day, were moved to the section for female prisoners of conscience on the following day. The quarantine section is a short-term holding place for new prisoners, and lacks food and medical facilities. Prisoners usually remain there only one or two days. It is notable that Mr. Tafazoli has not been tried, and the two-month detention order obtained by the Ministry of Intelligence has now expired. An informed Bahai source told HRANA that it is likely that the Ministry of Intelligence is planning to seek a new detention order for him.

Mr. Tafazoli was one of the Bahai youth arrested in February 2012, when police shut down a handicraft exhibition in Mashhad. He was held in Vailabad prison at that time. In July 2012 he was again arrested, and freed some 6 weeks later on bail. On November 27 he was sentenced to 6 months in prison for his handicrafts activities, which the review court reduced to a fine.

Iran Press Watch has a complete translation of the HRANA report.

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August 4, 2014

Three arrestees in Mashhad transferred to Vakil Abad prison


HRANA, August 3, 2014.

Authorities have moved Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی), Dari Amri (دری امری) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی) from the Ministry of Intelligence facilities in Mashhad to the quarantine at Vakil Abad prison in the same city. In the next few days, they are likely to be transferred from quarantine to the sections for male and female prisoners of conscience. These three Bahais were arrested n June 2, when agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided a Bahai religious meeting in Mashhad. Their families still have no news about the reason for their detention. Six Bahai women are presently held in one room of Vakil Abad prison, separate from the other prisoners, while two men are in the general detention section for men.

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July 22, 2014

Report from the Bahai wing of Vakilabad Women’s Prison, Mashhad

Iran Press Watch, July 17

The fifth ward of the women’s prison of the central prison of Mashhad, in Vakilabad, consists of one room which is approximately 30 square meters, including medical services and a bathroom. At present six Bahai women prisoners are held there, all charged with acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic under Articles 499 and 500 of the Iranian Constitution by promoting the Bahai Faith and participating in its activities. The names of the Baha’i prisoners in this ward are:

1) Rozita Vasseghi (2), sentenced to 5 years.
2) Sima Eshraghi (3), sentenced to 5 years.
3) Noura Nabilzadeh (4), sentenced to 5 years.
4) Sonia Ahmadi (5), sentenced to 5 years
5) Nika Kholousi, sentenced to 6 years
6) Nava Kholousi (6), sentenced to 4.5 years

The prison officials treat inmates in this ward with prejudice. The prisoners are given one hour in the morning for exercise in the gym and one and a half hour in the afternoon to go outside for fresh air, and are locked in their cell for the remainder of the day. They are denied the rights of other prisoners such as attending cultural classes, language learning, seminars, computer use, and other rights. They aren’t allowed access to the prison library, to meet or to communicate with other women prisoners, and during the day, when they are to use the gymnasium or spend time outdoors, the rest of the female prisoners have to be dismissed from these places first. They are kept in complete isolation so that they cannot interact or communicate with other prisoners, and their condition in the prison is kept unknown to the other prison inmates.

These prisoners are also not permitted to have leave from prison, which the other prisoners are granted. They are labeled security-risk prisoners, and are only allowed leave if the prosecutor lets them, and the prosecutor is the eyes and mouth of the Mashhad Intelligence Ministry. More than four years has passed since Rozita Vasseghi’s conviction, but she has not had a single day of prison leave because the Mashhad Intelligence Ministry is opposed to giving her leave!

At present, these six individuals are awaiting the transfer of two other Baha’i prisoners named May Kholousi and Dori Amri, who have been kept in temporary solitary confinement by order of the Mashhad Intelligence Ministry for approximately one month.

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

July 11, 2014

Manuchher Kholousi’s trial adjourned in Mashhad


HRANA, July 11, 2014.

Manuchher Kholousi ( منوچهر خلوصی), a Bahai from Mashhad, was tried on July 8. He was charged with “acting against national security by giving interviews with foreign media.” However no interviews with Mr. Kholousi are known, in either Iranian or foreign media. The court therefore adjourned the sitting for lack of evidence. A judge was appointed to gather evidence for or against the charges from various sources. Mr. Kholousi was arrested at his home in Mashhad on November 29, 2013, and was at first accused of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and membership in Bahai organisations. His daughters, Nika and Nava Kholousi (نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), have been sentenced to six years and 4 and a half years in prison, respectively, on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic. In 1999, Mr. Kholousi was sentenced to death for being a Bahai. This sentence was later reduced to one year in prison, by which time he had already served 19 months in prison.

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July 10, 2014

One new arrest in Mashhad (total now four)


HRANA, July 9, 2014

Saqi Feda’i (ساقی فدایی), a Bahai from Mashhad, was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on July 8. The agents arrived at her home with a warrant for her arrest. On June 2, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided a Bahai religious meeting in her home, stopped the meeting, and searched the house. They seized some religious books and arrested her mother, Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی) and also Dari Amri (دری امری) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی). The three are still in custody and under interrogation. There is word yet as to where Saqi Feda’i is being held.

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

June 3, 2014

Three new arrests in Mashhad

HRANA, June 3, 2014

On June 2, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided a Bahai religious meeting in Mashhad, stopped the meeting, and searched the house where it was being held. They seized some religious books and arrested Dari Amri (دری امری), Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی) and Shayan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی). It is not known where they are being held. Dari Amri was first arrest in a raid on her home on June 18, 2011, and sentenced to one year in prison, which was reduced by the court of review to 6 months in prison. She entered prison on October 29, 2012, and was presumably freed early in 2013. Shayan Tafazoli was one of the Bahai youth arrested in the handicrafts exhibition case in February, 2012. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison, but the court of review reduced this to a fine. No details are on file regarding Mey Khalusi, but Nika and Nava Khalusi, sisters who are serving sentences of 6 and 4 1/2 years respectively, and Manuchihr Khalusi, serving a one-year sentence, also come from Mashhad.

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


April 18, 2014

Sonya Ahmadi returns to prison in Mashhad


HRANA, April 17, 2014

Sonya Ahmadi ( سونیا احمدی ), returned to Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on April 17, after three months’ furlough. She began serving her 5-year sentence, on charges of teaching the Bahai Faith and membership of the Bahai community, on September 2, 2012, but she was released early on January 10, 2014, with the promise that her complete freedom would follow. However on April 10, 2014, she was telephoned to say she would have to continue serving her prison sentence. No exact reason has been given, but her family was told that the three months she had been free were permitted by the Ministry of Intelligence, but now she must complete her sentence.

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

January 20, 2014

Manuchher Khalasi barred from meeting his daughters

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HRANA, January 18, 2014.

Manuchher Khalasi ( منوچهر خلوصی) was arrested at his home in Mashhad on November 29, 2013, and has now been held for more than seven weeks. He has been accused of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and membership in Bahai organisations. On January 16 he was finally allowed to meet his wife, mother and father for some 30 minutes. However for reasons that are not clear, his two daughters were not allowed to meet their father. His daughters, Nika and Nava Khalusi (نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), have been sentenced to six years and 4 and a half years in prison, respectively, on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic. They are at present free on bail, pending the announcement of the review court’s findings on these sentences.

In 1999, Mr. Khalasi was sentenced to death for being a Bahai. This sentence was later reduced to one year in prison, by which time he had already served 19 months in prison.

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January 12, 2014

Three Bahai women free on parole


RAHANA, January 11, 2014

Elham Ruzbehi (الهام روزبهی) and her baby have been released from Isfahan prison on January 8, while Negar Mulkzadeh and Behnaz Hodadzadeh (نگار ملک‌زاده و بهناز حدادزاده) have been freed from Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad. Elham Ruzbehi, a Bahai from Isfahan who began serving her 2 year sentence with her baby on April 27, 2013, in Semnan prison, and was later transferred to Isfahan prison, has been released on parole. Negar Mulkzadeh and Behnaz Hodadzadeh were among 10 Baha’i arrested in connection with a handicraft exhibition in Mashhad. They were sentenced to 6 months in prison, on charges of propaganda against the regime, and entered Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on November 17, 2013. They too have been freed on parole.

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

January 1, 2014

No news of Manuchher Khalasi, arrested in Mashhad


HRANA, December 30, 2013

Manuchher Khalasi ( منوچهر خلوصی) was arrested at his home in Mashhad on November 29, 2013. Since then he has been held by the Ministry of Intelligence, and his family have had no news of him. A court official has said that he is accused of “propaganda against the regime” but the officer in charge of the case has not provided his family with any clear statement of the charges. There has also been no response to a request that he should be bailed pending his trial. A judge has extended his temporary detention to two months.

In 1999, Mr. Khalasi was sentenced to death for being a Bahai. This exceptionally heavy sentence was later overturned, and he was sentenced to one year in prison, by which time he had already served 19 months in prison. Two girls from the same family, Nika and Nava Khalusi (نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), have been sentenced to six years and 4 and a half years in prison, respectively, on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic.

December 1, 2013

Another Bahai home raided in Mashhad

HRANA, November 30, 2013

On November 29, the day on which Manuchher Khalasi ( منوچهر خلوصی) was arrested in Mashhad, security forces went to the home of Fares Daneshgeri ( فارس دانشگری ) in Mashhad with arrest warrants for Mr. Daneshgeri, who was not at home, and for his father, who was present. The agents left, without arresting Mr. Daneshgeri’s father, who was told that he would be arrested “another time.”

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November 30, 2013

One arrest in Mashhad


Azadi Qalam blog, November 29, 2013

On the morning of Friday, November 29, five plainclothes officers from the Ministry of Intelligence arrived at to the home of Manuchher Khalasi ( منوچهر خلوصی), which also serves as his workplace and as the home of his father and stepmother. They searched the premises thoroughly, abd seized computers, laptops and religious books and prayer books belonging to the whole family. The agents did not have a search warrant, but did have an arrest warrant for Mr. Khalasi, which did not indicate the reason for his arrest, although this is required by law. His family were not told why he was being arrested. In 1999, Mr. Khalasi was sentenced to death for being a Bahai. This exceptionally heavy sentence was later overturned, and he was sentenced to one year in prison, by which time he had already served 19 months in prison.

Two girls from the same family, Nika and Nava Khalusi (نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), have been sentenced to six years and 4 and a half years in prison, respectively, on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic. They are free on bail pending a review of their sentences by the review court.

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November 25, 2013

Keyvan Dehqani begins his sentence in Mashhad


HRANA, November 25, 2013

Keyvan Dehqani ( کیوان دهقانی ), a Bahai from Isfahan, was taken to Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on November 14, to begin serving his sentence. In September 2012 the review court for the Province of Khorasan sentenced him to 6 months in prison. He was arrested at a Bahai celebration — the Feast of Rahmat — in Isfahan on July 12, 2011 and was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence branch in Mashhad. He was initially sentenced to 18 months in prison, on charges of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith. The review court reduced this sentence to six months.

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November 18, 2013

Five Bahais begin their sentences in Mashhad


HRANA, November 17, 2013

On the morning of November 17, five Bahais from Mashhad reported to the authorities in response to sumonses, and were taken to Vakil Abad prison to begin serving their sentences. Their names are Their names are Negar Mulkzadeh ( نگار ملک زاده ), Houriyyeh Mohsani (حوریه محسنی), Negin Ahmadiyan ( نگین احمدیان ), Behnaz Hodadzadeh ( بهناز حداد‌زاده ) and Arman Mukhtari ( آرمان مختاری ). They were charged with propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and these sentences were confirmed by the court of review for Khorasan Province in October. Houriyyeh Mohsani and Negin Ahmadiyan, who were also fined 300 thousand tumans (90 euros, US$120), have had that fine converted to imprisonment at the rate of 30,000 tumans to one day in prison, so that their sentences will be 10 days longer. There are now 12 Bahais imprisoned in Vakil Abad prison.

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November 11, 2013

Nahid Qadiri released early on parole


HRANA, November 11, 2013

Nahid Qadiri ( ناهید قدیری ), a Bahai from Mashhad, has been granted conditional release (on parole) from Vakil Abad prison. She has served 3 years and 9 months of a 5-year sentence. For the past several years, no Bahai prisoners in Mashhad prisons have been granted parole, because there was no agreement as to who was responsible for their files. Seven other Bahais remain imprisoned in Valik Abad prison. Nahid Qadiri was arrested on March 15, 2010 and sentenced to five year in prison. According to one report, she was sentenced to another five years in prison on June 28, 2010, but I have not been able to confirm this.

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October 17, 2013

Sentences confirmed for 5 Bahais in Mashhad, 5 acquitted, one fined

HRANA, October 16

In February 2012, a number of mainly young Bahais participated in a handcraft exhibition in Mashhad to raise funds for the disadvantaged. They were arrested and eventually charged with propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and membership of the Bahai community. The review court for Khorasan province has now confirmed the 6-month sentences handed down to five of the eleven. Their names are Negar Mulkzadeh ( نگار ملک زاده ), Houriyyeh Mohsani (حوریه محسنی), Negin Ahmadiyan ( نگین احمدیان ), Behnaz Hodadzadeh ( بهناز حداد‌زاده ) and Arman Mukhtari ( آرمان مختاری ). The last three of these were arrested at the handcraft exhibition itself, the others were arrested in the following days. Of the six other Bahais who were sentenced to six months in prison in this case, one has been fined 300,000 tumans (88 euros, 120 US$) and the other five acquitted. Their names are Fattaneh Hajipour( فتانه حاجی‌پور ), Navid Nabili ( نوید نبیلی ), Mr. Azatollah Ahmadiyan ( عزت الله احمدیان ), Shahzad Khalili ( شهزاد خلیلی ), Noghmeh Dhabiheyan-Esami ( نغمه ذبیحیان ) and Shayan Tafazzoli ( شایان تفضلی ). [Update: it was Mr. Tafazzoli who was fined 300,000 tumans ~ Sen]

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August 10, 2013

Sentences of the Khalusi sisters go to review


HRANA, August 8, 2013

The files of Nika and Nava Khalusi (نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), Bahais from Mashhad, were sent to the review court for the province of Khorosan on August 7. Their trial was held on May 12. Nika was sentenced to six years in prison, and Nava to four and a half years, on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic. The bail was exceptionally high.

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June 17, 2013

Rozita Vaseghi denied medical treatment


HRANA, June 16

Rozita Vaseghi ( رزیتا واثقی ), a Bahai who is serving two five-year sentences in Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad, is in need of immediate medical attention, but the authorities are against it. Since the (Persian) week of May 22-29, she has suffered (according to the prison doctor’s diagnosis) from swollen and painful gums requiring immediate surgery. However, the Prosecutor for Mashhad, the judge overseeing prison and the Mashhad branch of the Ministry of Intelligence have opposed this treatment. Rozita Vaseghi has also been deprived of the right to furlough, although she has now served almost three years of her sentences. This is not the only case in which Bahai prisoners in Mashhad have been deprived of their legally established rights. [See the report of February 21, 2013, that Bahai prisoners in Mashhad have been denied the normal furlough, because of opposition from the Ministry of Intelligence.]

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May 25, 2013

Petty harassment of Nika and Nava Khalusi


Azadi Qalam, May 24

Nika and Nava Khalusi ( نیکا و نوا خلوصی ), who were tried recently on charges of membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic, are free on bail in Mashhad, and awaiting their sentences. Actually, they are waiting for the verdict, but this is Iran and they are Bahais, so in fact the question is, how long will they be in prison? A four-day flower and shrub exhibition was held in Mashhad from May 15, and the two sisters took part. They were assigned a booth, but on the first night of the exhibition the management cut off their electricity. Initially the reason given was “bad hejab,” but when they followed up on this they were told the orders had come from “above” (meaning the Army or Ministry of Intelligence), but they were not given any judicial order or written evidence of the decision. They were later asked to withdraw from the exhibition, which they refused. They continued their work, using candles and the light from neighbouring stalls. At the end of the exhibition, the management agreed to refund half of their exhibition fee.

On a lighter note: the PCED reports that Navid Khanjani (نوید خانجانی) has been allowed to meet his family for 20 minutes.

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May 18, 2013

Nika and Nava Khalusi charged and tried


HRANA, May 16

The third sitting of the trial of Nika and Nava Khalusi ( نیکا و نوا خلوصی ) took place in Mashhad on May 6. They were charged with membership of the Bahai organisation, participation in illegal Bahai activities, and propaganda in favour of the Bahais and against the regime of the Islamic Republic. The two sisters have been free on bail pending the trial. They were arrested on September 26, 2012, and were held for 57 days in solitary confinement, followed by 4 months in Vakil Abad prison, before being released on bail.

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May 2, 2013

Noora Nabilzadeh and Sanaz Tafazzoli transferred to the Intelligence office


HRANA, May 2

Noora Nabilzadeh ( نورا نبیل‌زاده) and Sanaz Tafazzoli ( ساناز تفضلی ) were transferred from Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad, where they are in the serving sentences in the wing for prisoners of conscience, to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence on May 1. No reason was given. The agents said they were being taken to the Ministry’s facilities for 10 days. Sanaz Tafazzoli will complete her 6-month sentence on May 5, but it appears she will not be released. Noora Nabilzadeh is serving a 5-year sentence on charges of blasphemy and spreading the Bahai Faith. She was arrested while playing music for the children in an orphanage.

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March 31, 2013

Nava and Nika Khalusi free on bail

HRANA, March 31

The sisters Nava and Nika Khalusi ( نوا و نیکا خلوصی ) have been freed on bail, after 185 days in ‘temporary detention’ in Mashhad. They were detained by security forces on September 26, 2012, and held for two months by the Ministry of Intelligence, before being transferred to Vakil Abad prison near Mashhad.
The bail was set at 3 billion rials (191,000 euros, $US 244,000).

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February 23, 2013

Bahai prisoners in Mashhad denied normal furlough

HRANA, February 21

For some months, Bahai prisoners in Mashhad have been denied the normal furlough, although the prison warden has approved it, because of opposition from the Ministry of Intelligence. Iranian law states that prisoners who have served more than half of their sentences may benefit from furlough. Rozita Vatheqi ( رزیتا واثقی ), Davur Nabilzadeh ( داور نبیل‌زاده ), Jalayer Vahdat (جلایر وحدت) and Sima Eshraqi (سیما اشراقی) who are serving 5-year sentences, and Vasanaz Tafazzoli (وساناز تفضلی) who is serving a 6-year sentence, all satisfy this requirement, but have not been granted leave because of opposition from the Ministry of Intelligence.

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December 22, 2012

Three Sari Bahais free on bail in Mashhad

HRANA, December 22

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

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December 18, 2012

Nava and Nika Khalusi detained 10 weeks without explanation


HRANA, December 16

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

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December 15, 2012

Sanaz Tafazzoli begins her sentence in Mashhad


HRANA, December 12

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

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November 27, 2012

Sentences announced for 11 Bahai youth in Mashhad

HRANA, November 26

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

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

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November 12, 2012

Adib Sho`a`i free on bail in Mashhad

HRANA, November 12

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

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November 9, 2012

Bahai home confiscated in Mashhad

HRANA, November 8

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

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November 8, 2012

Rozita Watheqi denied leave from Mashhad prison


HRANA, November 6

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

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November 1, 2012

Dari Amri begins serving reduced sentence in Mashhad

HRANA, October 31

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

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


October 31, 2012

Eleven Bahais tried in Mashhad

HRANA, October 29

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

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

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October 9, 2012

One arrest in Mashhad

HRANA, October 9

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

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


October 4, 2012

Two Bahais begin 5-year sentences in Mashhad

HRANA, September 5

Noura Nabilzadeh and Sonya Ahmadi ( نورا نبیل زاده و سونیا احمدی ), two Bahai women from Mashhad, began serving their 5-year sentences on September 2, in Vakil Abad prison. They were charged with teaching the Bahai Faith and membership of the Bahai community. A number of other Bahais are also imprisoned in Vakil Abad prison, including five who are serving 5-year sentences: three women Rozita Watheqi, Nahid Qadiri and Sima Eshraqi ( رزیتا واثقی، ناهید قدیری و سیما اشراقی ) and two men, Davar Nabil-zadeh ( داور نبیل‌زاده ) and Jalayar Wahdat ( جلایر وحدت ), who are respectively the father and maternal uncle of Noura Nabilzadeh.

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Update on 3 arrests in Mashhad

PCED, September 29

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

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October 1, 2012

Two arrests in Mashhad


Khabar Navard, September 27

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

click the pen

Today’s featured link:
The Case of the Baha’is in Egypt: a scholarly legal essay


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July 11, 2012

Two raids, three arrests in Mashhad


Khabar Navard, July 11

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

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


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