Sen's daily

August 25, 2017

Keyvan Rahimiyan is out of prison


Payam News (Facebook, Persian), August 25, 2017.

Keyvan Rahimiyan ( کیوان رحیمیان), a Bahai from Tehran imprisoned for teaching students at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of 97 million rials (6,300 euro, 7,900 US dollars) for educational crimes, by Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای). Mr Rahimiyan is a graduate in the field of psychology. He was not granted any prison furlough during his imprisonment, but was once taken to a hospital outside the prison for treatment and a checkup relating to problems with his eyes and ears.

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

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November 15, 2016

Shahin Negari, BIHE teacher, released from prison


Bahai News (Persian), November 14, 2016.

Shahin Negari ( شاهین نگاری), a faculty member of the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), was released from Raja’i Shahr Prison on November 14, at the end of a four-year prison sentence. He was arrested at his home in Tehran in May 2011, but he was free on bail from June 28, 2011, to January 13, 2013, when he began his sentence.

The BIHE is a distance-learning institute which serves students who are excluded from tertiary study in Iran, because they are Bahais. Many staff and some students associated with the BIHE were arrested in late May, 2011, when their homes and BIHE premises were raided by security forces.

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

October 7, 2016

Peyman Koushk-Baghi moved from Evin prison to Raja’i Shahr


Bahai News (Persian), October 6, 2016.

On October 6, Peyman Koushk-Baghi (پیمان کوشکباغی) was moved unexpectedly from Evin prison in Tehran to Raja’i Shahr prison, about an hour’s drive West of Tehran. Raja’i Shahr houses many of the male prisoners of conscience, including Baha’i prisoners. He has been sentenced to five years in prison for cooperation with BIHE, the Bahai open university which educates Bahais who are excluded from tertiary education in Iran under the apartheid laws. His wife Azita Rafizadeh (آزیتا رفیع‌زاده) is serving a four-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison for her own work in educating Bahai youth. The couple have a six-year-old son who, while both his parents were in the same prison, was able to visit his mother on Sundays and his father on Wednesdays.

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

August 2, 2016

Fu’ad Moqaddam has long-term medical furlough


Iran Press Watch, July 17, 2016.

Dr. Fu’ad Moqaddam (فواد مقدم) a 63-year-old physician and one of the former administrators of the Bahai online university (BIHE) in Isfahan, has been allowed to go home for two months’ leave for medical treatment, which may be extended, and his sentence has been suspended. He was arrested in May, 2011, and sentenced to five years in prison for his educational activities. He was serving his term at Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, near Tehran. The BIHE is a distance-learning institute which serves students who are excluded from tertiary study in Iran, under Iran’s discriminatory laws against Bahais.

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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.

November 10, 2015

Faran Hessami returns to prison


Campaign against the harassment of Bahais, November 10, 2015.

On November 3, I reported that Faran Hessami ( فاران حسامی ) had begun a prison furlough to enable her to be with her son Artin who required surgery. She has now returned to the women’s section of Evin Prison, in Tehran. Mrs. Hessami is serving a four-year sentence for educational activities with the Bahai Open University (BIHE).

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

November 4, 2015

Faran Hessami granted compassionate leave


HRANA, November 3, 2015.

Mrs. Faran Hessami ( فاران حسامی ), who is in Evin prison serving a four-year sentence for educational activities with the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has been granted a furlough to enable her to be with her son Artin who requires surgery. She was released today. Her husband Kamran Rahimiyan (کامران رحیمیان) was released from Raja’i Shahr prison in mid-August this year after serving a four-year sentence for educational activities.

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

October 29, 2015

Amanullah Mostaqim released from prison

Bahai News (Persian), October 28, 2015.

Amanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ) one of the imprisoned staff members of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, was released from Raja’i Shahr prison today. He was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in educating students who, under the Iranian regime’s apartheid policy, should not be educated. He began serving his prison term in Tehran’s Evin Prison in May, 2013, but has been released early because of a heart condition. He had heart surgery just before his arrest on May 22, 2011, when premises and homes relating to the BIHE were raided by security forces. During his time in prison he has been hospitalized outside the prison several times, and was returned to prison. although doctors had said he needed treatment for blocked arteries and was unfit for life in prison.

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

October 23, 2015

Keyvan Rahimiyan receives medical care


HRANA, October 20, 2015.

Keyvan Rahimiyan ( کیوان رحیمیان), a Bahai from Tehran and one of the imprisoned teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, was recently taken from Raja’i Shahr Prison to hospital, for treatment and a checkup relating to problems with his eyes and ears. He was then returned to prison. He has been imprisoned for more than three years, without any prison furlough. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of 97 million rials (6,300 euro, 7,900 US dollars) on charges of collaborating with the Bahai Open University. He is due for release in September, 2017.

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

July 4, 2015

Fu’ad Moqaddam’s condition critical


Campaign against harassment of Bahais [undated, apparently July 4, 2015]

The condition of Dr. Fu’ad Moqaddam (فواد مقدم), a 63-year-old physician and one of the administrators of the Baha’i online university, who is serving a five year prison sentence at Raja’i Shahr (or Gohardasht) Prison in Karaj, is reported to be critical. He is known to have had at least two heart attacks since he was imprisoned. The lack of air conditioning in prison, the heat, and blocking all the windows with sheets of iron, and limiting exercise hours to three hours per day in the afternoon heat, have caused many medical problems. Throughout his imprisonment, authorities have limited or entirely refused medical treatment for him. This report implies that he has again been denied hospital treatment outside the prison, despite his present condition.

The BIHE is a distance-learning institute which serves students who are excluded from tertiary study in Iran, because they are Bahais. Fu’ad Moqaddam ( فواد مقدم ) was arrested in May, 2011, and sentenced to five years in prison.

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

May 25, 2015

Riaz Sobhani released at the end of his sentence


HRANA, May 25, 2015.

Riaz’ullah Sobhani (ریاض الله سبحانی ), a Bahai who taught classes for the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), was released from Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj today at the end of a four-year sentence. He was arrested on June 14, 2011, not long after security forces raided premises and homes relating to the Institute for Higher Education. He was tried and sentenced in Tehran by Judge Moqiseh (قاضی مقیسه).
The BIHE is a distance-learning institute which serves students who are excluded from tertiary study in Iran because they are Bahais.

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

May 3, 2015

Another three BIHE educators released, nine remain in prison


Iran Press Watch, May 2, 2015.

After four years in prison, Mahmoud Badavam (محمود بادوام), Farhad Sedeqi (فرهاد صدقی) and Ramin Ziba’i (رامین زیبایی), faculty members of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), were released from Raja’i Shahr Prison on April 30. They were arrested in late May, 2011, when premises and homes relating to the Institute for Higher Education were raided by security forces. In October, 2011, they were sentenced to four years in prison. Noushin Khadem (نوشین خادم), another BIHE educator, was released on April 22. She had also served a four-year sentence, but without receiving any prison furlough. Amanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), who was sentenced to five years in prison, is free on medical furlough. Sadaf Thabetayan ( صدف ثابتیان ), arrested in 2011, was given a two-year sentence, and freed in the Ramadan amnesty of August, 2012.

The BIHE is a distance-learning institute which serves students who are excluded from tertiary study in Iran, because they are Bahais. Among the other educators arrested for their work with the BIHE is Riaz Sobhani ( ریاض سبحانی ), who was arrested in June 2011: he was also sentenced to 4 years in prison, so his release may be expected in the next few weeks. Faran Hessami ( فاران حسامی ) and her husband Kamran Rahimiyan (کامران رحیمیان) are also serving four-year sentences for educational activities, in Raja’i Shahr prison, but they were not arrested until September 2011. Fu’ad Moqaddam ( فواد مقدم ) was arrested in May, 2011, and sentenced to five years in prison. Talu Golkar (طلوع گلکار) was sentenced to five years in prison for her association with the BIHE in January, 2014. Her date of arrest is not reported. Nasim Baqeri (نسیم باقری), who was arrested in May 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison, did not begin her sentence until April, 2014. She is held in Evin prison. Shahin Negari ( شاهین نگاری) was arrested in May 2011, but he was free on bail from June 2011 to January, 2013, when he began his sentence. Hasan Momtazi (حسن ممتازی) is serving a 5-year sentence. Azizollah Samandari (عزیزالله سمندری) is serving a five-year sentence, which he began on July 7, 2012. He was sentenced in October 2011 after a 10-minute trial, in which the only question he was asked was whether he belonged to the Bahai community. This list of nine BIHE educators still in prison may not be complete.

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

April 23, 2015

Nushin Khadem freed


HRANA, April 22, 2015.

Nushin Khadem (نوشین خادم), one of those arrested in May, 2011, when the Iranian authorities raided the Bahai Institute for High Education (BIHE), has been released from Evin prison at the end of her 4-year sentence. Throughout her sentence she was denied any prison furlough.

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

April 22, 2015

Emanullah Mostaqim granted extended medical leave


Saham News, April 21, 2015.

Amanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ) one of the imprisoned staff members of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, has been granted a furlough of four months for medical treatment. Mr. Mostaqim, a Bahai from Shiraz, is serving a 5-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison near Tehran. He suffers from diabetes and heart disease. Prison doctors have determined that prison and other stressful circumstances are a danger for him. He began serving his sentence on May 20, 2013, but he has had a number of periods in hospital during his time at Raja’i Shahr prison. The Saham News report expresses the hope that, in view of the time he has remaining to serve, this furlough will extend to his permanent release.

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

March 19, 2015

Faran Hessami granted a 4-day furlough


HRANA, March 19, 2015.

Faran Hessami ( فاران حسامی ), who is in Evin prison serving a four-year sentence for educational activities with the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has been granted a 4-day furlough covering the Naw Ruz period. This will enable her to be with her son Artin during the holiday period. Her husband Kamran Rahimiyan (کامران رحیمیان) is also serving a four-year sentence for educational activities, in Raja’i Shahr prison.

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

February 11, 2015

Court rejects complaint of several Bahai students

HRANA, February 10, 2015.

Following the announcement of results from Iran’s national secondary school graduation exam for this academic year, many Bahai youth who achieved good marks, sufficient for entry even to the best of the state-controlled universities, found they were rejected from university due to “defects in the file.” Some of these students filed a legal complaint, which after overcoming various obstacles was actually received and considered by Branch One of the Administrative Court. This court deals with complaints, grievances and protests lodged against officers or government entities, or challenges to government regulations. The Bahai students’ complaint was however rejected. The court, which is reported to have been headed by the President of the Administrative Courts for all of Iran, based its ruling on a decree of the Council for the Cultural Revolution, issued shortly after the 1979 Revolution, which bars Bahais from higher education in government-run institutions. The court did not provide any written decision to the students or their lawyer, and the court records do not contain any mention of the fact that the complainants were Bahais, but rather refer to the general conditions of admission.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the Human Rights Council of the Judiciary, has publicly stated that “The authorities have never discriminated against the followers of the Bahai Faith merely based on being Bahais, as they believe that based on the Iranian Constitution every individual has the same rights and cannot be deprived of constitutional rights.” Nevertheless, hundreds of Bahai students have been barred from entering universities in Iran, or expelled from university when their religious beliefs became known. Moreover the Bahai Open University (BIHE), established to offer education to those excluded from government-supervised institutions, has been raided and closed down, and its administrators and teachers have been imprisoned.

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

January 29, 2015

Dr. Fu’ad Moqaddam denied medical treatment


Iran Press Watch, January 29, 2015.

Fu’ad Moqaddam ( فواد مقدم ), a 63-year old physician and one of the managers in Isfahan of the Bahai online university, the BIHE, despite heart problems and other health issues, was forced out of his hospital bed by prison authorities and returned to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj without receiving treatment. According to the Peace Activists in Exile Campaign, officials of Rajai Shahr Prison, in Isfahan, blocked any medical treatment for Dr. Moqaddam, who had himself served Iran in front line war zone hospitals for three years. Last week, due to the severity of his health condition, he was transferred to a hospital outside the prison and was admitted to the ICU, but a few hours later, due to pressure from the authorities at Rajai Shahr Prison, in particular at the personal insistence of an individual by the name of “Asadi” (اسدی), he was returned to the prison. The conscript soldier who was accompanying the prisoner protested against this. It is said that he was reprimanded as a result, and his mandatory military service was extended.

Dr. Moqaddam was arrested in Isfahan on May 22, 2011, when Ministry of Intelligence agents entered the homes of at least 30 of the academic staff of the BIHE, seizing books, computers and personal effects. A total of 16 educators were arrested. He was sentenced by the 28th Branch of the Revolutionary Court to five years in prison for his role in educating students who, under the Iranian regime’s apartheid policy, should not be educated. He began his sentence in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on January 21, 2013.

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

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


August 24, 2014

Riaz Sobhani free on furlough


HRANA, August 23, 2014.

Riaz Sobhani ( ریاض سبحانی ), who was arrested in June 2011 and is imprisoned for assisting the work of the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has been released on leave from prison in the past few hours. He is 67 years old and suffers from heart disease, a lung disease and stomach bleeding. He is serving a four-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, in Karaj, near Tehran. On May 13, 2012 he was hospitalized because his heart condition had become acute. Two weeks later he was sent back to Raja’i Shahr after heart surgery. At that time a medical furlough was denied. Two other prisoners of conscience were granted medical furlough from Raja’i Shahr today. They are Majid Tavakoli (مجید توکلی), a student whose case history reads like an overview of all that is wrong with Iran’s laws, judiciary and prison system, and Mehdi Motamedi-Mehr ( مهدی معتمدی مهر), a political activist with a particular interest in free and fair elections.

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


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

May 16, 2014

Amanullah Mostaqim transferred to hospital


HRANA, May 15

Amanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ) one of the imprisoned staff members of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, has been transferred to a hospital outside Raja’i Shahr prison. Another prisoner of conscience from the same prison, the 85-year-old Hasan Tafah (حسن طفاح) was also transferred to hospital. Mr. Mostaqim suffers from serious heart problems and has had coronary surgery. In recent months he has been moved back and forth between prison, hospital, and medical furlough. He began serving a five-year sentence for educating excluded groups on 20 May, 2013, in Evin prison, but was soon transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison.

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


May 5, 2014

Amanullah Mostaqim returns to prison


HRANA, May 4

Amanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ) one of the imprisoned staff members of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, returned to prison on May 2, although he has a certificate from the Medical Examiner to say that he is unfit for prison. He was summoned by security officials and taken to prison when he responded. In recent weeks he has been receiving radiation therapy, and he suffers from a heart ailment. Doctors have told him he should live the rest of his life in a quiet environment without stress. He began serving a five-year sentence for educating excluded groups on 20 May, 2013, in Evin prison, but was soon transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison.

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


April 27, 2014

Interview with an expelled Bahai student gives insight into expulsions, the BIHE, and studying abroad

Iran Rights, March 26, 2014

Iran Rights has published a report on two interviews with Parham Aqdassi, which I warmly recommend to readers. Mr. Aqdassi was a nuclear physics student at Hamedan’s Bu Ali Sina University from late September, 2006, when he was one of the first Bahai students to be allowed to enter a university. He was expelled on December 24, 2006, when he refused to renounce his Bahai beliefs. This was in accordance with the Cultural Revolution High Council’s directive of February 25, 1991, Article 3, which states that Bahai students are banned from pursuing higher education. Many students staged a sit-in protest. Mr Aqdassi went on to study and graduate from the BIHE, the Bahai Open University, which provides limited university-level education for students barred from studying at other tertiary institutions. He describes his studies there, the attacks on the BIHE institutions by security forces, and his decision to travel to Texas to take a Master’s course.

The full report in English is online here.

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


February 19, 2014

Emanullah Mostaqim on medical leave again


PCED, February 19

Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ) was granted medical leave from Raja’i Shahr prison on February 16. He has returned to the prison on February 10, after his previous medical leave was not extended. He has been under treatment for a heart ailment, and was transferred to hospital one month ago, only to be returned to prison. Mr. Mostaqim was one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, which provides tertiary training to students who have been expelled or barred from Iranian universities because of their religious beliefs. He has been sentenced to five years for his educational activities, but doctors say his health is not adequate to withstand prison conditions.

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

February 11, 2014

Emanullah Mostaqim returns to prison


HRANA, February 11, 2014

Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran who is serving a 5-year prison sentence for his educational activities, returned to Raja’i Shahr prison on February 10. He had been held for one month in a therapeutic centre, followed by a one-week medical furlough, which was not extended although his condition had not improved. He suffers from a heart disorder which doctors have said is getting worse, to the extent that prison conditions are a danger to him. The Bahai Open University provides tertiary training to students who have been expelled or barred from Iranian universities because of their religious beliefs.

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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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January 12, 2014

Emanullah Mostaqim hospitalized


PCED, January 10, 2014

On January 8, Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran who was serving a 5-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, suffered a sudden heart complaint and was taken to Imam Khomeini hospital in Tehran.
Mr. Mostaqim also suffers from diabetes, and doctors have said that he should be under treatment in a hospital specialising in heart disease. He had an open-heart operation not long before his arrest in May 2011, and has been hospitalised several times since he was imprisoned. The forensic doctor has stated that his physical condition is such that he should not be in prison. On September 4, 2013, he was granted leave from prison on medical grounds. It is not clear from this report whether he had since returned to prison, or was still on leave when his condition required him to be hospitalised on January 8.

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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.


September 23, 2013

Former Rector of Tehran University apologises

dr_maleki
Enqalab-e Islami, September 25, 2013 (updated)

Dr. Muhammad Maleki ( محمد ملکی ), the former Rector of Tehran University, has met with one of the Bahai students excluded from tertiary education in Iran, and apologized to her. He was accompanied by film director Mohammad Nourizad, who has reported the meeting. The gesture has implications that are wider than Dr. Maleki’s rejection of religious discrimination in education, as he went to the home of one of the Bahai students, drank tea with her, and allowed himself to be photographed giving her a (chaste) kiss. He has also posted this photograph and an account of the meeting on his facebook page. This amounts to a forthright rejection of the belief that Bahais are unclean, which, with the beliefs that Bahais practice incest and are agents of foreign powers, is one of the three pillars of anti-Bahaism in the Middle East. This follows the earlier visit of Mr. Nourizad to the home of the Rahimiyan family, where he ate fruit handed to him by a Bahai, and kissed the feet of a Bahai child.

Dr. Maleki, met with Taraneh Ta’efi ( ترانه ی طائفی ), a 17-year-old Bahai student who has been excluded from tertiary education with the “incomplete file” excuse. He asked her where her mother was, and she told him her mother was serving five and a half years in prison, for having taught psychology in the Bahai Open University (BIHE), and had been denied any prison furlough. In his astonishment, Dr. Maleki jumped from his seat and embraced her, kissing her head, with tears in his eyes. [The injustices suffered by Bahais and other minorities in Iran are not reported in the Iranian media, and blocking of the internet makes it difficult for people in Iran to obtain objective news ~ Sen] He then apologized to her, on behalf of all those who did not understand [the Bahai Faith] and who in their ignorance impose limitations on the Bahais. He asked her to tell her mother, “The first Rector of Tehran University, now aged 81, came to our home and bowed in recognition of the injustice we and others like us have suffered.

Mr. Nourizad and Dr. Maleki then went to the home of Afaq [Rahimian] whose husband was executed by the post-revolutionary regime, while her two sons and daughter-in-law are now in prison for teaching psychology at the Bahai Open University. [This must refer to Keyvan and Kamran Rahimian ( کامران رحیمیان : کیوان رحیمیان ) and Faran Hesami (فاران حسامی )]. Dr. Maleki shook hands with her and said, “Madame, I am an academic, a Muslim, a Shiah, and I swear by God that studying and teaching are not a crime for any human being, because Islam teaches that everyone should be learning, from the cradle to the grave. It is a religious duty.”

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May 21, 2013

Emanullah Mostaqim begins his 5-year sentence


Yaran Iran (facebook group), May 20

Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, reported to Evin prison in Tehran on May 20, to begin serving his 5-year sentence for “membership of the Bahai community” and supporting the University. He has recently had open heart surgery, and suffers from diabetes. His doctors have said that prison conditions will be difficult and perhaps dangerous for him.

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April 26, 2013

Riaz Sobhani’s condition worsened in Raja’i Shahr prison


IOPHRI, April 25

The son of Riaz Sobhani ( ریاض سبحانی ), who was arrested in June 2011 and is imprisoned for assisting the work of the Bahai Open University (BIHE), has told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his father’s physical and mental condition has worsened in prison. His father is 67 years old and suffers from heart disease, a lung disease and stomach bleeding. He is serving a four-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, in Karaj, near Tehran. In May 2012 he was hospitalized because his heart condition had become acute. Na’im Sobhani, his son, who lives in America, said that the medical officer had authorised two months leave for his father, but he was only granted six weeks. During these six weeks he had medical tests. Two weeks ago he had to return to prison. Since then, the family in Iran have seen his mental condition deteriorate sharply and he is suffering more pain. It is very hard for him, given his age, and the prison conditions are intolerable. Last year he was hospitalized for constriction of the arteries and had surgery. Two days later he was back in prison, which meant that he could not be under medical observation. His condition worsened day by day until the medical officer granted him two months leave. Conditions in Raja’i Shahr prison are very unsanitary. There are 4 or 5 prisoners in each two-person cell, so they share a bed, or it is given to someone who is old or sick. Each prisoner has just one blanket in the winter. The washing facilities are filthy and the food is bad. There is nothing to be done about, because, basically, they are not considered human.

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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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March 12, 2013

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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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.


September 5, 2012

Keyvan Rahimiyan to begin his 5-year sentence


PCED, September 5

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

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


August 17, 2012

Two Bahais named in Iran’s Ramadan amnesty

Free Bahai Prisoners (FB Group), August 16

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

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


July 29, 2012

Ramin Zeba’i gets 3 days leave from prison


HRANA, July 29

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

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


July 22, 2012

Aziz Samandari begins his 5-year sentence


Iran Press Watch, July 21

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

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


July 15, 2012

Faran Hesami begins her sentence


PCED, July 15

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

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July 14, 2012

Fu’ad Moqaddam and Emanullah Mostaqim sentenced: 5 years


PCED, July 14

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

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


July 8, 2012

Farhad Sadeqi returns to prison


Lissnup, July 7

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

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


July 1, 2012

Farhad Sadeqi granted leave for medical care

HRANA, July 1

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

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


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