Sen's daily

September 20, 2017

Fahrmand Sana’i and Kamal Kashani released after 5 years in prison


Payam News, (Facebook), September 20, 2017.

Fahrmand Sana’i ( فرهمند ثنایی) and Kamal Kashani (کمال کاشانی ), Bahais from Gorgan who have served five years in Raja’i Shahr prison near Tehran for their Bahai beliefs, were released on September 20. They were among about 20 Bahais who were detained in a wave of arrests on about October 17, 2012. A few weeks later they were transferred from Gorgan to Evin Prison in Tehran for interrogation, and then to Raja’i Shahr prison. They have had no prison furlough during their time in prison.

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Behzad Dhabihi begins 6-month sentence in Sari


Payam News (Facebook), September 14, 2017.

Behzad Dhabihi Mahforujaki (بهزاد ذبیحی ماهفروجکی ), a Bahai from Sari, was arrested on September 4 and taken to prison to begin serving his sentence. He was originally sentenced to one year in prison and two years in internal exile in Heris County in Eastern Azerbaijan (the report says, Western Azerbaijan), but this sentence was reduced by the Court of Review to six months in prison. It is not clear whether the internal exile was also annulled. He was convicted in the Islamic Court (that is, not in a criminal court) in Sari on a charge of propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, although at the court sitting the charges were presented as “propaganda against Islam and the Quran.” The text of the court’s judgement shows it was prepared by the Ministry of Intelligence in Mazandaran Province.

Mr. Dhabihi has been arrested four times in the last six years, and shops he ran have been shut down three times in the same period. On February 22, 2016, his shop in Sari was closed by the authorities, and remains closed despite efforts to reopen it.

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September 19, 2017

Mahvash Sabet freed after 10 years in prison


Bahai World News Service, September 19, 2017.

After enduring ten years of unjust imprisonment and harsh treatment, the prison sentence of Mahvash Sabet (مهوش ثابت) has come to an end. She is one of the seven members of the former leadership group of the Bahais in Iran known as the Yaran, who were jailed on false charges.

During her confinement in Iran’s notorious Evin and Rajai Shahr prisons, Mrs. Sabet distinguished herself by the loving care and kindness she extended to her fellow prisoners. Journalist Roxana Saberi, who shared a cell in Evin with Mrs. Sabet and fellow Yaran member Fariba Kamalabadi, has written about how their compassion touched the lives of other inmates, as well as a touching recollection of how they cared for her during her hunger strike.

While in prison, Mrs. Sabet, a former teacher and school principal who also worked with the National Literacy Committee of Iran, found solace in writing poetry. Her remarkable compositions were collected and adapted into English, published in a volume entitled Prison Poems in 2013 that was widely praised for its literary quality and profound subject matter.

As has occurred with prisoners of conscience, writers, thought-leaders, and poets who have been wrongly imprisoned throughout history, the power of her ideas and beliefs was only amplified by her persecution.

Mrs. Sabet, now 64 years old, was arrested in March 2008. The six other members of the Yaran were imprisoned in May of the same year. All seven members were held without communication for weeks, were subjected to solitary confinement, and suffered appalling treatment and deprivations, including psychological and physical hardships.

The other imprisoned members of the Yaran are also expected to complete their sentences in the coming months.

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September 12, 2017

Bahai couple taken from Shiraz prison


Payam News (Facebook), September 12, 2017.

Varqa Mehdizadeh (ورقا مهدیزاده) and Shiva Ekhlaqi (شیوا اخلاقی), a Bahai couple serving 8-month sentences in Adel Abad prison in Shiraz, have been taken from the prison. When their families arrived for a scheduled meeting, prison officials told them they had been transferred ‘outside the prison.’ It is probable that they have been taken to the Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) intelligence unit in Shiraz.

On February 14, 2016, they were arrested with violence in the street, and held for 17 days of interrogation before being released on bail of 150 million tumans (40,000 euros ; $US 46,000). They were charged with publishing photographs on the internet, photographs actually posted by someone else, who used their [photographic] studio. After their arrest, their business was also shut down by the authorities. They are also facing charges for taking photographs at a wedding where men and women were present together. They began their sentences on July 3, 2017.

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Bahai business reopens in Birjand

Payam News (Persian, facebook), 11 September 2017.

A Bahai-run business in Birjand has been allowed to reopen, nine months and 3 days after it was closed by the Bureau of Public Places. The technical systems shop belonging to Mr. ‘Ali Zamani (علی زمانی) was sealed by the authorities on December 6, 2016 because he is a Bahai, and closed his shop to observe the Bahai Holy Days. The authorities revoked the business licence before closing it down. The business was allowed to reopen on September 4.

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September 11, 2017

Mehta Iqani free on bail


Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 10, 2017.

Mehta Iqani (مهتا ایقانی), a Bahai from Mashhad who was arrested on September 2, has been released on bail after 9 days in detention. There is still no information about the reason for her detention.

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September 10, 2017

Bahai businesses in Ahvaz allowed to reopen

Payam News, September 10, 2017.

Fourteen businesses run by Bahais in the city of Ahvaz, closed by authorities since July 9, were allowed to reopen on September 7, following an order given orally by the Bureau of Public Places in the city.

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September 5, 2017

Four Bahais sentenced in Kerman

Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 5, 2017.

Amrullah Khalqiyan (امرالله خالقیان), Ehasanullah Amiri-nia (احسان الله امیری نیا), Nima Rajab-zadeh (نیما رجب زاده) and Arman Bandi (آرمان بندی) have been sentenced to five years on charges of undermining internal security. The hearings were held on May 22 and August 1. Mr. Khalqiyan was arrested on the morning of December 21, 2016, and the other three were arrested on February 8, 2017. Following the first hearing, which they attended in handcuffs and shackles, they were released on bail of 100 million tumans each (24,000 euros ; $US30,000). In the first hearing, they were tried separately in trials ranging from 2 hours to 20 minutes. The sentences are subject to confirmation by the Court of Review.

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Nava Kholousi released from prison in Mashhad


Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 5, 2017.

Nava Kholousi (نوا خلوصی) was released from Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on September 4, at the end of her sentence of four and a half years for “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.” She began her sentence on March 17, 2014 along with her sister Nika Kholousi (نیکا خلوصی) who is still serving a six-year sentence [This report says, six and a half years] in Vakil Abad prison. They were first arrested on September 6, 2012, and were detained for 185 days before being released on bail. Their father (منوچهر خلوصی) (pictured) has been arrested six times because of his Bahai beliefs, and imprisoned several times. In 1999 he was sentenced to death, but the verdict was later declared invalid. He is at present free.

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September 4, 2017

Bahai student expelled in Shiraz


Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 3, 2017.

On September 3, Laya Sho`arzadeh (لعیا شاعرزاده) was expelled from Hafez University in Shiraz, where she was in the third semester of a course in architectural draughtsmanship, because of her Bahai beliefs. The University is a non-governmental tertiary institute.

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September 3, 2017

The singer Behnam Rouhanifard arrested in Tehran

Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 3, 2017.

Eight members of the security forces followed Behnam Rouhanifard (بهنام روحانی فرد) in a street in Tehran and detained him. Mr. Rouhanifard is a Bahai and a professional singer-songwriter. On October 12 2009 he was arrested in Yazd; his wife was briefly interrogated and released two days later. Mr. Rouhanifard was later sentenced to 9 months in prison for singing Bahai songs(links to Youtube). He served his sentence in Yazd Prison. He is presently in the process of moving house: when he was stopped on the street he told the agents his new address and was taken there, and the agents searched the house. He was then arrested and taken away, presumably to Evin Prison, as his family were told to go there tomorrow.

On July 4 this year he was stopped at Tehran Airport, on his return from a European concert tour, and questioned by security officials. Personal effects such as a mobile phone, laptop and books were seized, along with his passport, and he has been trying unsuccessfully to get these returned.

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September 2, 2017

New arrest in Mashhad


Payam News (Persian, Facebook), September 2, 2017.

Mehta Iqani (مهتا ایقانی), a Bahai from Mashhad, was arrested today following a four-hour interrogation at the Police Intelligence offices there. She had responded to a summons to go to the office. She is being held in the women’s section of the police jail. She had been summoned three times in the past week, when she was in Tehran and unable to attend. The police have not explained the summons to her or her family, as they themselves have no information.

Mrs. Iqani’s husband Arman Mukhtari ( آرمان مختاری ) was one of a number of Bahai youths arrested in February 2012, for participating in a handcraft exhibition in Mashhad to raise funds for the disadvantaged. They were eventually charged with propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith, and membership of the Bahai community. Mr. Mukhtari was sentenced to 6 month in prison, and has served his sentence. On August 17 this year he was again arrested, and was freed on bail of 50 million tumans (12,000 euros ; $US15,000) four days later.

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September 1, 2017

West Azerbaijan Provincial Security Council seeks re-opening of Bahai businesses

Payam News, August 31, 2017.

Forty days after the closure of 23 Bahai-run businesses in Urmia (Urumiyyeh), the Provincial Security Council for the West Azerbaijan Province has issued a request that they be allowed to re-open. However the Office of Public Places in the city of Urmia has not acted on this, and has instead extended their closure for one week. One leather clothing shop run by Rita Latifi (ریتا لطیفی) has been allowed to re-open, after being transferred [to a non-Bahai proprietor ?].

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August 28, 2017

Diyollah Elahian free on bail in Kashan


Payam News (Persian, facebook), August 28, 2017.

As noted yesterday, Diyollah Elahian (ضیاالله الهیان) was expected to be freed on bail along with Amrollah Manuchihri (امرالله منوچهری), but some difficulty prevented this. Today he too has been released, on bail of 300 million tumans (75,000 euros ; $US 90,000).

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Three Bahais in Kashan free on bail


Payam News (Persian, Facebook), August 26, 2017.

Amrollah Manuchihri (امرالله منوچهری), a Bahai from Kashan, was released on bail today after 56 days in detention. Bail was set at 300 million tumans (75,000 euros ; $US 90,000). He was arrested in Kashan on July 3, along with Diyollah Elahian (ضیاالله الهیان), and taken to Isfahan. On August 2 they were returned to Kashan Prison, but were denied telephone calls and prison visits from their families. After some time their files were sent to the Revolutionary Court (for prosecution). Mr. Elahian was also due to be released on bail, but some difficulty prevented this. Faridun Falah (فریدون فلاح) and Neda Payandeh (ندا پاینده), a Bahai couple living in Kashan, who were arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on July 17 have also been released on bail.

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August 27, 2017

Saba Golshan gets prison furlough


Payam News (Facebook, Persian), August 26, 2017.

Mr. Saba Golshan ( صبا گلشن ), who is serving a 3-year sentence in Isfahan prison for his Bahai beliefs, has been granted a 3-day furlough. He suffers from severe cardio-pulmonary disease. Around the end of 2015 he was granted a 2-month medical furlough for surgery and other treatment, but a request to extend this, in February 2016, was refused. In August 2016 he was again released for medical treatment, and re-imprisoned on a date I have not found.

On August 1, 2011, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence raided many Bahai homes in the cities of Yazd, Isfahan, Kerman and Arak, and arrested 17 Bahais. Two weeks later, three more Bahais were arrested in Yazd. These 20 Bahais have been given sentences totaling 58 years (or 78 years, of which 20 years are suspended sentences) by the Revolutionary Court in Yazd. Mr. Golshan’s sentence is 4 years, of which one year is suspended. He began his sentence on August 12, 2015.

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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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August 23, 2017

Neda Mokhtari released on bail


Payam News (Facebook, Persian), August 23, 2017.

Neda Mokhtari (ندا مختاری ), a 21-year-old Bahai from Mashhad, was released on August 21. Bail was set at 50 million tumans (12,800 euros ; $US 15,000). She was arrested in her home on August 17, when agents from the Intelligence branch of the Police (the NAJA) came to her home and searched it, seizing personal effects, books, mobile phones and a laptop computer.

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August 18, 2017

One new arrest in Mashhad


Payam News (Persian, Facebook), August 17, 2017.

Neda Mokhtari (ندا مختاری ), a 21-year-old Bahai from Mashhad, was arrested in her home on August 17. Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence came to her home and searched it, seizing personal effects, books, mobile phones and a laptop computer. They arrested here and took her away. Her family believe she is being held in the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facilities in Mashhad.

August 7, 2017

Amrollah Manuchihri and Diyollah Elahian returned to Kashan prison


Payam/Bahai News, August 7, 2017.

Amrollah Manuchihri (امرالله منوچهری) and Diyollah Elahian (ضیاالله الهیان) (pictured on the right), two Bahai residents of Kashan who were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence there on July 3, and taken to Isfahan for questioning, were taken back to Kashan on August 2. They have not been allowed visits or contact with their families, and there is no indication of what the charges may be.

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August 4, 2017

Four more Bahais businesses closed in Urmia

Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), August 3, 2017.

Four more Bahai-run businesses in Urmia (Urumiyyeh) have been closed down by the authorities in recent days, bringing the total in the past two weeks to 23. The authorities have not given any response to the Bahais who have made enquiries about the closures.

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August 2, 2017

Sohayl Haqqdoust arrested, released on bail in Sari


Bahai News (Facebook, Persian), July 30, 2017.

Sohayl Haqqdoust (سهیل حق دوست) has been released from the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Sari after posting bail. His arrest, not previously reported on Sen’s Daily, took place on July 25, when five agents entered his home without his permission and arrested him for “media reports about the closure of his business.” The agents were accompanied by officials known as the Ansar Hosseini (انصار حسینی), charged with religious affairs in the Province of Mazandaran. Mr Haqqdoust was released on bail on July 29.

In April, 2016, 15 Bahai-run businesses in Qaemshahr were shut down by the authorities because they were closed for the Bahai holy day of the first day of Ridvan. One of these businesses, an optician’s shop, belonged to Mr. Haqqdoust. On the morning of November 8, 2016, he was one of five Bahais from Qaemshahr who were arrested at the Mazandaran Provincial Governor’s Office, where Bahais had gathered to seek interaction with public officials regarding the closure of Bahai businesses. They were released on bail after 9 days in detention.

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August 1, 2017

Threat to shut down a Bahai business in Karaj

Iran Press Watch, August 1, 2017.

Following the widespread closures of Bahai businesses in recent weeks, the Office of Public Property of Alborz Province has sent a letter to Mehran Naseri (مهران ناصری), a Bahai resident of Karaj, requesting the removal of his personal items.

According to the website of Human Rights in Iran, a letter sent to Mehran Naseri (مهران ناصری،) by the Alborz Provincial Office has warned this Bahai citizen to remove any perishables or personal items and leave his business within 10 days. He [also?] owns several commercial spaces which are rented by Muslims. According to Payam News, recently agents of the Office of Public Property have summoned those Muslims who rent business space from Bahais to the government sanctions office.

Recently at least 25 businesses in Urumiyeh and one business in Shahrud have been sealed because they were closed on a Bahai religious holiday. In addition, a number of Bahai business owners in Khorramshahr have also been summoned for questioning by the Office of Public Property of Khuzestan Province.

Over the past year, more than 300 Bahai businesses have suffered the closure of their businesses solely because they closed on Bahai religious holidays and for their belief in the Bahai Faith.

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Sentences slashed for Ruhiyyeh Zaynali and Samir Khalousi


Human Rights in Iran (Persian), July 31, 2017.

The review court in Kerman has cut the senteces of Ruhiyyeh Zaynali (روحیه زینلی) and her husband Samir Khalousi (سمیر خلوصی) from five years each, to five months for Mr. Khalousi and 33 days for Mrs. Zaynali. They have already served this time in detention, while they were held by the Ministry of Intelligence, so they will not have to present themselves for imprisonment. Samir Khalousi (سمیر خلوصی) was arrested during a violent raid on the their home on December 30, 2016, and interrogated for 152 days before being released after posting bail of 100 million tumans (29,000 euros; $US 31,000). Ruhiyyeh Zaynali (روحیه زینلی) was arrested in Kerman on January 3, and released after posting the same amount in bail. After her arrest she was held for almost two months of interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence, before being transferred to the Kerman Provincial Prison. The couple have two children, aged 7 and 16.

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July 31, 2017

Nine Bahais acquitted by review court in Zahedan


Human Rights in Iran (Persian), July 31, 2017.

Eight Bahais who had previously been sentenced to five years in prison have been acquitted by the Review Court in Zahedan, along with another Bahai, the 19-year old Tabsim Hosseini (تبسم حسینی), who had been sentenced to one year in prison. The other eight are named as Siavash Rahimi (سیاوش رحیمی), Shayan Rahimi (شایان رحیمی), Shoeleh Ram (شعله رام ), Bahram Ruhani (بهرام روحانی), Farshid Dadvan (فرشید دادور), Heyda Yazdan (هیدا یزدان), Mehroush Ramdani (مهرنوش رمضانی), Amelia Hokiman (امیلیا حکیمان) — the mother of Tabsim Hosseini. The arrest and sentencing of Shayan Rahimi and Shoeleh Ram were not previously reported on Sen’s Daily.

Farshid Dadvar, Amelia Hokiman and Tabsim Hosseini were arrested by agents from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence on November 6, 2016. On November 21, Tabsim Hosseini was released on bail from the Ministry of Intelligence jail. Mr. Dadvar, who is from Yazd, had previously been detained for two months after being arrested (with two other Bahais) in Zahedan on December 23, 2012. It would appear that on that occasion no charges were laid against him. On November 25, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched the home and workplace of Bahram Ruhani in Zahedan, seizing books, CDs, casette tapes, and a mobile telephone. On the following morning Mehroush Ramdani, Heyda Yazdanand Siavash Rahimi were arrested in their homes in the same way.

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Manuchher Khalousi released in Mashhad


Human Rights in Iran (Persian), July 31, 2017.

Manuchher Khalousi (منوچهر خلوصی) was released from Vakil Abad prison in Mashhad on July 31. He began serving a 1-year sentence on October 6, 2016.

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.

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 20, 2017

Two new arrests in Kashan


Payam News, July 20, 2017.

Faridun Falah (فریدون فلاح) and Neda Payandeh (ندا پاینده), a Bahai couple living in Kashan, were arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on July 17. The agents went to their place of work, which they searched. The couple were then arrested and taken to their home, which was also searched. The agents seized their books, pictures, mobile telephones and pictorial carpets, before taking them back to their business where they were asked to open the safe, and seized all the documents it contained. The two searches lasted about 6 hours. They were taken away, probably to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility.

On July 3, Amrollah Manuchihri (امرالله منوچهری) and Diyollah Elahian (ضیاالله الهیان) (pictured on the right), two other Bahai residents of Kashan, were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence, and are still being detained, although their names are not recorded as prisoners and no charges have been laid.

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July 18, 2017

Noushin Salekian and Farideh Abdi free on bail


Bahai News (Facebook), July 17, 2017.

Noushin Salekian (نوشین سالکیان) and Farideh Abdi (فریده عبدی), two Bahai detainees from Shahin Shahr, in Isfahan Province, were released on bail on July 16. They were arrested on June 13, 2017, when they reported to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Shahin Shar in response to a summons. Their homes had previously been searched. After two hours of interrogation, they were arrested and transferred to the Dolatabad prison, where the female prisoners are held. They were charged with “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.”

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July 17, 2017

Eleven Bahai businesses closed in Ahvaz

Iran Press Watch, July 15, 2017.

Indifferent to a recent verdict of the Administrative Bureau of Justice, the shops and businesses of at least 11 Bahais who closed their businesses in observance of a religious holiday (between the 8th and 10th of July) were closed and sealed by authorities in the city of Ahvaz. According to the law, citizens are permitted to close their place of business for up to 15 days a year without any particular or specified reason. However this law doesn’t seem to apply to Bahai citizens. Whenever Bahais close their businesses in observance of their religious holidays in which work should be suspended, authorities are quick to move in and seal the businesses.

Rostam Derakhshan (رستم درخشان), Sam Derakhshan (سام درخشان), Sohrab Firouzmandi (سهراب فیروزمندی), Khosrou Zohdi (خسرو زهدی), Vargha Derakhshan (ورقا درخشان), Sohrab Derakhshan (سهراب درخشان), Farzad Afshar (فرزاد افشار), Farshid Afshar (فرشید افشار), Jamshid Najafi (جمشید نجفی), Feyzollah Qanvatiyan (فیض الله قنواتیان) and Kianoush Afshar (کیانوش افشار) were among the citizens whose businesses were sealed.

According to an informed source, the official Closure Notification stated that “this closure has been ordered by the Judicial Authority (deputy prosecutor’s office), and will be carried out by security forces.”

The law states that a business owner is allowed to closed their business for up to 15 days a year without any particular or specified reason.

Recently the Administrative Bureau of Justice issued a verdict in favor of the Bahai citizens of Mazandaran, whose businesses had been closed in similar manner, stating that the legal right of these citizens to close their business for up to 15 days a year without any specific reason had been ignored.

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July 12, 2017

Shiva Rouhani begins an 18-month sentence


Human Rights in Iran, July 11, 2017.

Shiva Rouhani ( شیوا روحانی ), a Bahai from Gorgan, has begun serving her 18-month sentence in Amir Abad prison. She joins 12 other Bahais from Gorgan who have begun their sentences in recent weeks. They are among the 22 Bahais of Golestan Province who were arrested on October 17, 2012.

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July 7, 2017

Two arrests in Shiraz


Bahai News (Persian), July 6, 2017.

Varqa Mehdizadeh (ورقا مهدیزاده) and Shiva Ekhlaqi (شیوا اخلاقی), a Bahai couple living in Shiraz, were summoned to the Revolution Court in Shiraz on July 3, where they were arrested. They have been taken to Adel Abad prison to serve 8-month prison sentences. On February 14, 2016, they were arrested with violence in the street, and held for 17 days of interrogation before being released on bail of 150 million tumans (40,000 euros ; $US 46,000). They were charged with publishing photographs on the internet, photographs actually posted by someone else, who used their [photographic] studio. After their arrest, their business was also shut down by the authorities. They are also facing charges for taking photographs at a wedding where men and women were present together.

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July 6, 2017

Two new arrests in Kashan


Bahai News (Persian), July 4. 2017.

Amrollah Manuchihri (امرالله منوچهری) and Diyollah Elahian (ضیاالله الهیان), two Bahai residents of Kashan, were arrested on July 3, after being summonsed by telephone. It is not known where they are being detained. The arrests are apparently related to a raid on their homes by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on April 30. The search warrant said they were accused of propaganda against the regime. During the searches, books and other materials relating to the Bahai Faith were seized, along with the mobile phones of the entire family, lap tops, flash drives etc.

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July 3, 2017

Parivash Shoja`i and Rufeya Pakzadan enter prison


Bahai News (Persian), July 3, 2017.

Parivash Shoja`i ( پریوش شجاعی ) and Rufeya Pakzadan ( روفیا پاکزادان), Bahais from Gorgan, have been summoned to begin their prison sentences. They were taken to Amir Abad prison in Gorgan. Parivash Shoja`i faces one year and 9 months in prison for her Bahai beliefs, and Rufeya Pakzadan has an 18-month sentence. In the past week, 11 Bahais in Gorgan have begun serving prison sentences. They are among the 22 Bahais of Golestan Province who were arrested on October 17, 2012. They were charged with collaborating with hostile governments, effective activities to promote the goals of a sect and of anti-Islamic and anti-Shiah hostile governments, and with making propaganda in favour of the Bahai Faith and against the regime of the Islamic Republic, by participating in the ‘Ruhi program’ (Bahai catechism class) in Golestan Province.

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June 28, 2017

Two arrests in Shahinshahr


Iran Press Watch, June 16, 2017.

On 13 June, 2017, Noushin Salekian (نوشین سالکیان) and Farideh Abdi (فریده عبدی), two Bahais of the city of Shahin Shahr, Isfahan Province, were detained by authorities. An informed source confirmed the news to HRANA reporters, stating, “Yesterday afternoon, Noushin Salekian and Farideh Abdi, two Bahai residents of Shahin Shahr, reported to a branch of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Shahin Shar following a previously issued notice of 11 June. Subsequently, after two hours of interrogation, they were arrested and transferred to the Dolatabad prison, where the female prisoners are held.” They were charged with “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.”

Four Bahais released on bail in Bandar Abbas

Maral and Mahnaz are greeted
Bahai News (Persian), June 14, 2017.

Maral Rasti (مارال راستی) and Mahnaz Jannethar-Pourmaradeyan (مهناز جانثار( پورمرادیان)) were released from the central prison of Bandar Abbas on June 14. Two days earlier, Mehran Afshar (مهران افشار), whose name was previously reported as Mehrollah Afshar (مهراله افشار), was also released on bail. They were among seven Bahais arrested in Bandar Abbas on April 18. Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh (ادیب حق پژوه) was released on bail on June 12. He was arrested in Shiraz on April 17, and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities in Bandar Abbas on April 19. Adib and Mehran are greetedAll four were held for lengthy interrogations by the Ministry of Intelligence before being transferred to the central prison. The interrogations focused on charges such as “undermining national security” and “membership of Bahai organizations.” Bail in all four cases was 120 million tumans (35,000 euros ; $US 37,000).

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June 27, 2017

Nine Bahais begin prison terms in Golestan Province

Iran Press Watch, June 16, 2017.

At least nine Bahai residents of Golestan Province have been detained by authorities to begin their prison sentences. An informed source, while confirming the news, told the HRANA reporter: “These citizens, who were sentenced to imprisonment with other Bahais in 2015, were arrested today either by agents visiting their residence or while presenting themselves at the prison.” The source was referring to twenty-four Baha’i residents of Gorgan, Gonbad-e Kavous, and Minoodasht, who had been sentenced in 2015 to a total of 193 years in prison by Golestan province Revolutionary Court in the preliminary phase. Individual sentences were reduced on appeal.

On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Mariyam Dehqan Yazdeli (مریم دهقان یزدلی), Mojdeh Zohori-Fahandezh (مژده ظهوری (فهندژ)), Farah Tebyanian-Sana’i (فرح تبیانیان (ثنائی) ) and Houshmand Dehqan Yazdeli (هوشمند دهقان یزدلی) were arrested in their homes and taken to prison to begin their sentences. On the same day three others, Sheida Qoddusi (شیدا قدوسی), Pouneh Sana’i-Taymori (پونه ثنائی( تیموری)) and Nazi Tahqiqi (نازی تحقیقی) presented themselves to authorities after being summoned by the office of the Ministry of Intelligence to begin their sentences. After these arrests, Parisa Shahidi ( پریسا شهیدی ) and Mitra Nouri ( میترا نوری ) turned themselves into prison. Other reports state that similar visits to the homes of several Bahais in the Province have taken place, and the number of detainees is likely to increase. Details of seven of the detainees’ verdicts follow:

Maryam Dehqan Yazdeli: One year and six months imprisonment
Mojdeh Zohori-Fahandezh: One year and nine months imprisonment
Sheida Qoddusi: Initial sentence 11 years imprisonment; sentencing information from appeal is unknown at this time.
Pouneh Sana’i-Taymori: One year and nine months imprisonment
Nazi Tahqiqi: One year and six months imprisonment
Parisa Shahidi-Kashani: One year and nine months imprisonment
Mitra Nouri: One year and six months imprisonment.

Farhad Fahandezh (husband of Mojdeh Zohori), Farahmand Sana’i (husband of Farah Tebyanian, brother of Pouneh Sana’i), and Kamal Kashani (husband of Parisa Shahidi) are serving their sentences in Rajai Shahr Prison. Parsia Shahidi and Kamal Kashani have a 14-year-old son, Farid, who now has both parents in prison.

Recently ten human rights organisations submitted a joint statement to the European Union, demanding immediate action to prevent further harassment of Bahai citizens, and abolition of their prison sentences issued by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This letter referred specifically to the recent challenges of the Baha’i residents of Golestan Province.

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June 18, 2017

Seven Bahai youth sentenced in Isfahan


Bahai News (Persian), reports on June 7 and June 8.

On June 1, sentences were announced for Parvin Nik-A’in(پروین نیک آیین), `Arsheya Rouhani (عرشیا روحانی) and Adib Janamian (ادیب جانمیان), who will serve 1 year in prison, followed by a 16-month sentence that is suspended for two years. Zarin Aqa-Baba’i (زرین آقابابایی), Vahid Karami (وحید کرمی) and Keyvan Nik-A’in (کیوان نیک آیین) were sentenced to six months in prison plus a 6-month sentence that is suspended for 2 years. The suspended sentences mean, in effect, two years of probation. They were tried in Isfahan on May 6 by Judge Ravanmehr (قاضی روانمهر). They were charged with propaganda against the regime (by teaching the Bahai Faith), to the benefit of groups opposed to the Islamic Republic, and with membership of Bahai organisations and undermining national security. The sentence mentioned the fact that the World Centre of the Bahai Faith is in Israel, and mentioned that the four were in possession of many Bahai books and CDs.

They are among 16 Bahais arrested in raids on Bahai homes conducted by the Ministry of Intelligence in Isfahan, Tehran and Mashhad on November 15, 2015. They are presently free on bail: the original amount of bail has been increased as further charges were laid, and the total amount for the first four is now 1.2 billion tumans (330,000 euros, $US 370,000) (although a previous report said it was 1.2 billion rials, one tenth of this figure).

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June 17, 2017

Bahai business closed in Shahroud

Iran Press Watch, June 13, 2017.

The car parts business of Maziar Hamedian (مازیار حامدیان) was closed and sealed on June 6, 2017 by officers of the provincial Office of Public Places in Shahroud. The closure was due to Mr. Hamedian being a Bahai. In the past year, over 300 businesses run by Bahais have been closed down by the authorities in Iran.

Persian source : Bahai News

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Navid Khanjani’s prison term extended


Iran Press Watch, June 11, 2017.

Navid Khanjani (نوید خانجانی) was due for release from Rajai Shahr prison on June 6, 2017, on completion of his five-year prison sentence, but while he and his family were waiting for his release, he was informed by judicial authorities, without a prior notice, that his one-year sentence from a different case was being implemented immediately and he would remain in prison.

Mr. Khanjani’s original 12-year conviction was due to his peaceful activities in defending human rights and the right to education. With the implementation of Article 134 of the Penal Code the charges against him were integrated, and he was sentenced to five years in prison with a release date on June 6, 2017.

Mr. Khanjani was arrested the first time on March 1, 2010, by the Ministry of Intelligence and was released on bail after about two months of interrogation and solitary confinement. On December 20, 2010, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Yahya PirAbassi (قاضی یحیی پیرعباسی), sentenced him on the following charges:

+ Spreading false news,
+ Disturbing public opinion,
+ Propaganda against the Islamic Republic through disseminating news reports,
+ Appearing in interviews with foreign TV and radio stations,
+ Membership of the Central Council of the Human rights Reporters Committee,
+ Establishing the “Deprived of Education” group

The initial sentencing was for up to twelve years in prison and the equivalent of $124 fine. This sentence was upheld by the appeals court, but according to Article 134 of the new Islamic Penal Code, only five years of it was applicable. An informed source at the time of sentencing (February 2011) said that “During the trial, the lawyer’s defense was basically not considered.” Mr. Khanjani, has not been allowed any furlough since his detention in August 2012.

Mr. Khanjani’s one-year sentence is due to another case known as the “Sarand Camp Case.” He was one of 35 civil society activists, critical of the government, who had gone to Varzaghan in East Azarbaijan on August 11, 2012 to help the earthquake victims. They were arrested by the police and their camp was shut down. Most of the activists were released, but due to his existing sentence of 12 years, Mr. Khanjani remained in custody.

Mr. Khanjani, a 30-year-old Bahai, is a former member of the “Human Rights Activists,” “Human Rights Reporters Committee,” and founder of ” The Association Opposing Educational Discrimination.”

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June 1, 2017

Three students expelled for Bahai beliefs, Farzan Ma`sumi denied his Diploma


Editorial compilation, June 1, 2017.

Bahai News reports that Wafa Hoveida’i (وفا هویدایی), who was in the second semester of an undergraduate degree in the Department of Physics and Energy Engineering, has been expelled from Amir Kabir Polytechnic University because of his Bahai beliefs. He learned of the expulsion when his user’s page on the University’s site was blocked. When he made enquiries, university officials told him he had been expelled because he was a Bahai.


The same report says that Farzad Safa’i (فرزاد صفایی), who has completed 8 semesters of a degree in Industrial Metallurgy at the Free Islamic University of Ahwaz, was expelled in late May. He received a summons from the University Security office, and his user’s page on the University’s site was blocked.


In a separate report, Bahai News says that Wessal Leqa’i-far (وصال لقایی فر) a student of Chemical Engineering, was expelled at the end of his seventh semester, when he resisted pressure from two officials from the Ministry of Education to renounce the Bahai Faith. At the end of his fourth semester he was also blocked, and in response to his enquiries the university officials told him this was because he was a Bahai. After repeated follow-ups he was able to win a promise that he could complete two more semesters.


A third report from Bahai News states that officials at the Payam-e Nour University campus in Kavar (Fars Province) have refused to issue a graduation diploma to Farzan Ma`sumi (فرزان معصومی). He has completed the courses for a Bachelor in Political Science. The officials said they were acting on orders from the Bureau of Educational Assessments, and protests to the University would be fruitless. Farzan Ma`sumi was arrested on February 12, 2017, along with Farhad Sabet (فرهام ثابت), when their homes were searched and religious and non-religious books, mobile phones and computers were seized, along with family photos and religious images. He was released on bail on February 22.

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May 31, 2017

Kamellia Bidelyan reports to prison for 18-month sentence


Bahai News (Persian), May 31, 2017.

Kamellia Bidelyan (کاملیا بیدلیان), a Bahai from Minudasht, reported to prison on May 31 to begin her 18-month sentence [presumably the Minudasht prison ~ sen]. Security forces attempted to arrest her a week previously, but since her neighbours objected they instead left a message that she should report today to the Ministry of Intelligence. Her husband Navid Mo`allem (نوید معلم) was arrested on March 12, in front of his place of business, and transferred to prison to begin his own 18-month sentence. The couple are among 22 Bahais detained on October 17, 2012, in a wave of arrests of Bahais in Gorgan and Minudasht.

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May 30, 2017

Samir Khalousi released on bail in Kerman


Bahai News (Persian), May 30, 2017.

Samir Khalousi (سمیر خلوصی) was released on bail from the central prison of Kerman on May 30, after 152 days in detention. He was held at first in the detention facility of the Ministry of Intelligence, and then in the central prison of Kerman. Bail was set at 70 million tumans (19,300 euros ; $US 21,600). His wife, who was also arrested and detained for a short time, is also free on bail, set at 100 million tumans. He has recently been tried on charges of propaganda against the regime and membership of Bahai organisations.

Samir Kahlousi was arrested on December 30, 2016, when five security agents entered his home by breaking down the door. They searched it thoroughly and seized a laptop, hard drive, smart phone and books. The raid is described as very violent: Mr. Khalousi was subject to two hours of interrogation and beating in his home, and was taken in handcuffs to the detention facilities operated by the Ministry of Intelligence. His arrest came 9 days after the arrest of Amrullah Khalqiyan (امرالله خالقیان), whose release on bail was reported here yesterday.

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May 29, 2017

Amrullah Khalqiyan free on bail


Bahai News (Persian), May 25, 2017.

Amrullah Khalqiyan (امرالله خالقیان), a Bahai from Kerman, was released on bail on May 25, after 157 days of detention, first in the detention facility of the Ministry of Intelligece, and then in the central prison of Kerman.

He was arrested on the morning of December 21, 2016, along with his wife Fariba Rouhani (فریبا روحانی), who was released after a few hours’ questioning. On February 8, 2017, security forces in Kerman arrested three more Bahais: Ehsan Amiri-nia (احسان امیری نیا), Arman Bandi (آرمان بندی) and Nima Rajab-zadeh (نیما رجب زاده). On May 22, all four were tried in Kerman, on charges of undermining national security by promoting the Bahai Faith. The four were taken to the court in handcuffs and shackles. So far as I know, their sentences have not been announced.

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May 19, 2017

Seven Bahai detainees moved to prison in Bandar Abbas


Bahai News (Persian), May 19, 2017.

In the past week, seven Bahai detainees who have been held for interrogation in the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Bandar Abbas since April 18 were moved to the central prison for Hormuzgan Province, which is also in Bandar Abbas.

Maral Rasti (مارال راستی) and Mahnaz Jannethar-Pourmaradeyan (مهناز جانثار( پورمرادیان)) were transferred to the regular jail on May 15, while Nasim Qanawateyan (نسیم قنواتیان), Arash Rasekhi (آرش راسخی), Mehrollah Afshar (مهراله افشار), Farhad Amri-Hesari (فرهاد امری حصاری) and Omid Afaqi ( امید آفاقی) were moved on May 17. The move is likely to mean that they will be released on bail soon. Four of the detainees, Maral Rashti, Mahnaz Janethar, Nasim Qanawateyan and Arash Rasekhi, have been allowed to meet their families for 20 minutes, and the others are likely to be allowed to meet their families soon.

The behaviour of local and provincial officials during the interrogation has been described as good, but the interrogators who travelled to Bandar Abbas from Tehran behaved badly, insulting the detainees.

Along with the detention of these seven Bahais in Bandar Abbas on April 18, Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh (ادیب حق پژوه) was arrested in Shiraz on April 17, and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities in Bandar Abbas on April 19. It is assumed he is still being interrogated. The eight have been accused of undermining national security, membership of Bahai organisations and several other “crimes.”

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Non-Bahai shopkeepers in Noshahr call for the reopening of Bahai shops


Translation by Iran Press Watch, May 16, 2017.

Radio Zameneh reports on May 12 that
a group of Noshahr shopkeepers have written to the governor of the city of Noshahr in Mazandaran province (with a copy to the Prosecutor), demanding the removal of the seals placed on seven Bahai business units six months ago. No investigation has been performed during that time. The signatories say that the closure “causes skepticism towards Islamic practices and leads to economic downturn in the city.”

The shopkeepers wrote that according to Paragraph One of the Trade Union’s Guidelines, and Article 28 of the Executive Regulations, any trade unit closed without investigation should be reopened after six months, until the necessary

The shops were sealed by the Office of Properties on the morning of November 1, 2016, because the owners had temporarily closed businesses during the observance of Bahai Holy Days. According to the Iranian Trade Law, those with business licenses are allowed, by law, to close their units for 15 days per year, and should inform the Office of Properties of longer closures.

For the full report, see the translation by Iran Press Watch.

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May 18, 2017

Two Bahai detainees released in Isfahan


Bahai News (Persian), May 17, 2017.

Sa`id Azimi ( سعید عظیمی ), a Bahai who was arrested in his home by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on October 25, 2016, has been released on bail after more than 200 days in detention without trial.

Mohsen Mehrgani (محسن مهرگانی), who was arrested along with Manouchehr Rahmani (منوچهر رحمانی) in their home in Isfahan on January 24, has also been released, on bail, set at 500 million tumans. This would be over 130,000 euros if the report is correct, or one tenth of that if the amount is actually in rials, Iran’s official currency. He has been held for over three months, and because of his diabetes and the lack of insulin in prison, his health has suffered. Manouchehr Rahmani is still being detained.

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Farhad Eqbali released


Bahai News (Persian), May 16, 2017.

Farhad Eqbali ( فرهاد اقبالی ) a Bahai prisoner of conscience from Gorgan, has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison near Tehran where he has been serving a five-year sentence.

Mr. Eqbali was fired from his work in the poultry sector in July 2004, because of pressure on his employer from the Ministry of Intelligence. Under Iran’s apartheid system, Bahais are barred from working in most food-related sectors because they are regarded as “unclean.” He went on to study radiology at Shiraz University, but was expelled in his second year of study because of his Bahai beliefs. In November, 2012, he was one of about twenty Bahais, and some Muslims accused of associating with Bahais, who were arrested in Gorgan. He was quickly released on bail because of his heart condition. He was tried with 4 other Bahais on charges of propaganda against the regime, participation in Bahai activities and cooperation with foreign governments. His 5-year sentence was confirmed by the court of review on August 27, 2014, and he began his sentence in Gorgan on the same day. Soon after, he was transferred to Evin prison, in Tehran, and was moved to Raja’i Shahr prison in October, 2014.

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May 14, 2017

18 Bahai-run businesses in Shahin Shah reopen

Bahai News, May 14, 2017.

The 18 Bahai-run businesses closed down by the authorities in Shahin Shahr, in Isfahan Province, on May 1 have been allowed to reopen by the Mayor’s office, effective from May 14.

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May 8, 2017

Secret order to close Bahai-run businesses in Mazandaran leaked

Bahai News (Persian), May 7, 2017.

Six months after the closure of 94 Bahai-run businesses in Mazandaran Province, the Provincial Council’s instruction to close them has been leaked to the Press. The businesses were sealed by the authorities after they had closed for business on November 1 and 2, 2016, when Bahais celebrated the birthdays of the religion’s founders, the Bab and Baha’u’llah, in 1819 and 1817 respectively. The order specifies that the business premises of members of the erroneous and misleading sect should be closed down, and that Bahais should not be allowed to close their business until further notice [sic]. The order claims that the Bahai sect was founded by the English and Zionists (the Bahai Faith actually predates Zionism, and the period when the English were influential in Iran).

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May 7, 2017

Home search in Shiraz


Bahai News (Persian), May 6, 2017.

The home of Mr. Parsa Shaykhi (پارسا شیخی) and Mr. Mehran Mosallanejad (مهران مصلی نژاد) in Shiraz has been searched by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence, who had a search warrant. The report does not specify the date, which appears to be May 6. The agents seized books, images and electronic goods. They were told to be ready, in the next five days, to report to the Ministry’s Detention Facility 100 in Shiraz if summoned. Before going to the home of Parsa Shaykhi, the agents went to his father’s the workplace and took him along. The agents suggested that the search was in relation to supposed connection with and propaganda for Israel. Parsa Shaykhi is 21 years old and Mehran Mosallanejad is 18.

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May 6, 2017

Six Bahais detained and interrogated in Sistan and Baluchestan Province


Bahai News (Persian), May 5, 2017.

On May 4, security forces in the small city of Chabahar, on the Gulf of Oman in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, security forces searched a Bahai home and issued summons to three Bahais living there: Manouchihr Barqi (منوچهر بارقی) and Bahadar Kamju (بهادر کامجو), who were present, and Fahemiyyeh Ashaqi (فهمیه اسحاقی) who was absent. All three were to report to the Ministry of Intelligence offices in Chabahar. The agents then went to their workplace and searched that and seized some of their personal belongings. These three were summoned and interrogated twice over the following days. Security forces also arrested three other Bahais in the Province: Houshang Mokhtari (هوشنگ مختاری), whose arrest in Saravan has already been reported, Bijan Eslami (بیژن اسلامی) and Ali Anvari (علی انوری). All three were released on Bail on May 5, after one day of interrogation.

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May 5, 2017

Number of Bahai businesses closed in Shahin Shahr reaches 18


Bahai News (Persian), May 3, 2017.

The number of Bahai-run businesses closed down by the authorities in Shahin Shahr, in Isfahan Province, has risen to 18. The closures all took place on May 1. The businesses all have operating licences which were shown to the Bureau of Public Places, the agency that has closed them down. A source stated that the majority of Bahai-run businesses in Shahin Shahr, a town with a population of 150,000, have been closed down.

The eighteen businesses are all in trades such as television repair, clothing or stationery, except for one seller of dried fruits and nuts. Under Iran’s apartheid system, Bahais may not work in cultural, educational or financial institutions, or in the sectors of periodicals, jewelry, watchmaking, print-making, tourist agencies, car rentals, publishing and bookshops, photography, film-making, internet gaming, computers, or internet cafes. They may not own printing works or hotels and other accommodation for travellers, or teach tailoring skills. Because of the widespread Iranian belief that Bahais are unclean, they are barred from working in restaurants, cafeterias and catering, food ingredients and foodstuff sales, takeaways, cafes, butchers shops, supermarkets, the production and sale of ice-cream, fruit juice, soft drinks, pastry and sweets, and coffee. (See an earlier explanation on this blog).

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May 4, 2017

One arrest in Saravan


Bahai News (Persian), May 4, 2017.

Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searched the home of a Bahai, Houshang Mokhtari (هوشنگ مختاری) in Saravan today, and arrested him. He was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility for the region. Later they searched his workplace as well.

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May 2, 2017

Nine Bahai-run businesses shut by authorities in Shahin-Shahr

Bahai News (Persian), May 2, 2017.

Nine Bahai-run businesses in Shahin-Shahr, in Isfahan Province, have been closed down by the city’s Bureau of Public Places because they observed days of rest on the past week’s Bahai Holy days. The businesses are:
– a clothing business run by Mr. sa`id Qa’emi and Mrs Marjan Golshani (آقای سعید قائمی و خانم مرجان گلشنی)
– a hair-dresser’s run by Mr. Iraj Kushkaki (ایرج کوشککی)
– a retail supplies shop run by Mr. Hojjatollah Rouhani ( حجت الله روحانی)
– a dried fruit business run by Mr. Gulzar (گلزار )
– a mechanic’s business run by Mr. Ardavan Farougheyan (اردوان فروغیان)
– a rubber goods shop run by Mr. `Erfan Karamzadeh (عرفان کرمزاده)
– a sewing machine business run by Mr. Mial Azadi and Houssein Shaker (میلاد آزادی و حسین شاکر)
– a stationery shop run by Mr. Hakim and Mr. Navidi (آقایان حکیم و نویدی),
– a business selling burglar alarms and sports goods run by Puya Azadi (پویا آزادی).
Officers from the Bureau of Public Places went looking for Bahai-run businesses yesterday, asking for their business licences and other documents. They told the Bahais that next time they came, they would close the Bahai-run businesses. Today, the majority of the Bahai-run businesses have been closed down.

On June 23, 2016, the Universal House of Justice issued new guidelines for the observance of Bahai Holy Days in Iran, which allow for various compromises between the Bahais’ desire to close their businesses on the Holy Days and authorities’ desire to reduce the visibility of Bahais in commercial centres. For example, Bahais who have businesses could close the business one day before and one day after the Holy Day as well as on the Holy Day, they could leave the lights of a business turned on although nobody is working, or have a worker present although no trading is done. But the guidelines reject the idea of seeking official permission to close for a day, where this is neither provided for in legislation nor imposed on non-Bahais, since this would be to accede to government interference in the freedom of conscience.

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

April 30, 2017

Navid Mo`allem allowed a prison visit


Bahai News (Persian), April 30, 2017.

Navid Mo`allem (نوید معلم), a Bahai resident of Minudasht in Golestan Province who was arrested on March 13, has been allowed to meet his wife Kamellia Bidelyan (کاملیا بیدلیان) in prison, 48 days after his arrest. He and his wife were among 22 Bahais of Golestan Province who were arrested on October 17, 2012. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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

April 24, 2017

Adib Haqqpazhouh transferred from Shiraz to Bandar Abbas


Bahai News (Persian), April 23, 2017.

Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh (ادیب حق پژوه), a Bahai who was arrested in Shiraz on April 17, was transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities in Bandar Abbas on April 19. He was able to see his wife and daughter in Shiraz before he was taken away. He suffers from a heart ailment. His transfer to Bandar Abbas suggests a link between his arrest and the arrests of seven Bahais in Bandar Abbas on April 18.

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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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April 23, 2017

Twin siblings expelled from two universities


Bahai News (Persian), April 22, 2017.

Two separate universities in Iran have expelled twin siblings, Shekib Muhammad-Alipour (شکیب محمدعلی پور) and his sister Shima Muhammad-Alipour (شیما محمدعلی پور), because of their Bahai beliefs. When Shima Muhammad-Alipour (-Dastgerdi) was filling in the enrollment forms for the School of Art and Architecture at the University of Kashan, she chose the option ‘other religion,’ but in the forms for accommodation she filled in “Bahai Faith.” On October 1, 2016, which was her first day at the University, she was summoned by the security office and her student card was taken away. She was told that she could apply to the national Office of Educational Assessment for permission to continue her studies, but several months have passed and she has received no reply.

Her brother Skekib was enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering of the Khorramabad State University, in Lorestan Province, and gave his religion as “Bahai” on enrollment. At the end of the first term, when he found he had no grades for his courses, he discovered — via one of his teachers — that he had been expelled.

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April 19, 2017

Seven arrests in Bandar Abbas

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Bahai News (Persian), April 18, 2017.

On the morning of April 18, security agents arrested Mahnaz Janethar-Pourmaradeyan (مهناز جانثار( پورمرادیان)), Maral Rasti (مارال راستی), Farhad Amri (فرهاد امری), Arash Rasekhi (آرش راسخی), Mehrollah Afshar (مهراله افشار), Omid Afaqi ( امید آفاقی) and Nasim Qanawateyan (نسیم قنواتیان) in Bandar Abbas. They are believed to be detained in the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facilities. Their houses were thoroughly searched and religious and other books and images were seized, along with computers, laptops and mobile phones.

The report mentions that Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh was arrested in Shiraz on the same day, but that there is no evidence so far that the eight arrests are connected.

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Adib Haqqpazhouh arrested in Shiraz for the third time


Bahai News (Persian), April 18, 2017.

On April 17, four security agents went to the home of Mr. Adib Haqqpazhouh (ادیب حق پژوه) in Shiraz. Finding only his wife at home, they searched it and seized some personal belongings including books, personal and religious photographs, a mobile phone, some cheques from Mr. Haqqpazhouh’s customers and some cash and bookkeeping records. Meanwhile, two agents went to his workplace, which they searched, and brought Mr. Haqqpazhouh to the door of his home, where he was detained in his own car until the search of his home was complete. The agents are said to have been well behaved during the search. Mr. Haqqpazhouh was arrested previously, on December 30, 2010, and August 5, 2014. On both occasions he was later released on bail.

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April 18, 2017

Azizollah Samandari released from prison


Bahai News, April 15, 2017.

Azizollah Samandari (عزیزالله سمندری) was released from Raja’i Shahr prison, near Tehran, on April 17. He has completed a five-year term on charges of membership of the Bahai community, creating and distributing a computer programme, and providing technical support for the Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). He was arrested on January 14, 2009, and released on bail two months later. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term by Judge Moqiseh (قاضی مقیسه), in October 2011 after a 10-minute trial, in which the only question he was asked was whether he belonged to the Bahai community. He began his sentence on July 7, 2012.

While he was in Raja’i Shahr prison, he was selected for the New Zealand Parliament’s “Supreme Commitment Award.” The Award flowed from his participation in the 2010 Global Enterprise Experience (GEE), which is supported by Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. GEE founder Deb Gilbertson said, “The Supreme Commitment Award is to recognise the exceptional sacrifice he is making to pursue higher education and global communication.”

Mr Samandari’s father, Behman Samandari (بهمن سمندری), was executed for his Bahai beliefs following the 1979 Revolution. His grandfather, Hasan Mahbubi (حسن محبوبی), was killed when he was deliberately run down by a car, which has never been traced. He too is counted in Iran as a Bahai martyr.

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April 9, 2017

Sima Keyani free on bail in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian), April 8, 2017.

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

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March 31, 2017

Sorur Foroughi bailed in Yazd


Bahai News (Persian), March 28, 2017.

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

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March 27, 2017

Four (now five) arrests in Isfahan

Radio Farda reportBahai News (Persian), March 28, 2017 (and update)

On the morning of March 28, security agents went to a home in Isfahan that is shared by four Bahais: Ehsan Eshtiyaq (احسان اشتیاق), Enayat Na`imi (عنایت نعیمی), Farzad Homayouni (فرزاد همایونی) and Soroush Pezeshki (سروش پزشکی), and arrested them. It is not known where they are being detained. Soroush Pezeshki has previously served a one year sentence, beginning in November 2010, although he was released on parole on April 27, 2011 after serving half of his sentence. Another Bahai in Isfahan, Ehsanullah Ishtiyaq (احسان الله اشتیاق) served the same sentence and was released with Mr. Pezeshki, and likewise Enayatollah Na`imi (عنایت الله نعیمی). It is very likely therefore that the arrestee named in this report as Ehsan Eshtiyaq is Ehsanullah Eshtiyaq, and that Enayat Na`imi is Enayatollah Na`imi: three veteran prisoners of conscience. I have no information about Farzad Homayouni.

Update: from a Radio Farda report, it appears that Mr. Sohrab Naqipour (سهراب نقی پور) was also arrested.

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March 26, 2017

Liza Tebyanian free on bail in Karaj


Bahai News (Persian), March 27, 2017.

Liza Tebyanian Enayati (لیزا تبیانیان ( عنایتی) ) was freed on bail on March 26. She was arrested on March 16, and held in Raja’i Shahr prison. Further details can be found in the report of her arrest.

Shamim Na’imi released after 3 years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), March 17, 2017.

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

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Yekta Fahandezh-Sa`adi begins her prison sentence


Bahai News (Persian), March 26, 2017.

Yekta Fahandezh-Sa`adi (یکتافهندژسعدی), a Bahai from Shiraz, was arrested on March 19 and taken to Adel Abad prison to begin serving a 2-year sentence.

Miss Fahandezh-Sa`adi was one of fifteen Bahais arrested in Shiraz in 2010. On February 3, 2012, she was again arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and spent 82 days in the Ministry of Intelligence’s Detention Facility 100 in Shiraz. She was released on bail and later charged with propaganda against the regime and undermining national security. She was given a five-year suspended sentence, but was later acquitted by the Court of Review.

However she was arrested again by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on March 16, 2014. The agents searched her home and seized books, a laptop and personal effects. She was transferred to Detention Facility 100 in Shiraz, and was detained for two months. On June 16, 2016 she was again tried and sentenced by Judge Doctor Sadati (دکتر ساداتی) to five years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “collusion.” A month later, while waiting to begin serving this 5-year sentence, she was arrested again, and held for over 80 days in the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facilities in Shiraz, before her release on bail on October 4. In December, 2016, the Court of Review in Shiraz reduced her 5-year sentence to two years in prison and a three-year suspended sentence, but one informed source indicates that yet a third case against her is being prepared by the Ministry of Intelligence.

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March 25, 2017

Navid Moallem arrested in Minudasht


Iran Press Watch, March 23, 2017.

Based on a Bahai News report, Navid Moallem (نوید معلم), a Bahai resident of Minudasht in Golestan Province, was arrested on March 13, in front of his place of business, and transferred to prison. [The date and day of the week in the Persian report are inconsistent. March 10 and 17 are also possible dates.]

Based on this report, Mr. Moallem and his wife, Kamelia Bidelian (کاملیا بیدلیان) [also reported as Bideli / بیدلی], had previously been sentenced to one year and six-months imprisonment as part of a case named “Bahais Arrested in Golestan Province.”

According to informed sources: “Navid Moallem was arrested by security agents outside his business. The security agents went to his home to arrest his wife, Mrs. Camelia Bidelian. However, Mrs. Bidelian has not been arrested, as she was not home.” This informed source said: “The agents mentioned that Navid Moallemi has been transferred to prison merely to answer some questions.”

Another informed source has conveyed that within the past few days, security agents also went to the home of one of the other Bahais who has been sentenced to imprisonment, but he has not been arrested, since he was not home. Based on this report, security agents in this province are eager to implement the prison terms of those Bahai citizens who had previously been sentenced by the court of appeals.

During the original court hearing, 22 Bahais of Golestan Province who were , arrested on October 17, 2012 were sentenced to a total of 193 years of imprisonment. Following their hearings at the court of appeals, it was announced that Farah Tebyanian (فرح تبيانيان), Puna Sana’i ( پونه ثنایی), Mona Amri Hesari (مونا امري حصاري), Behnam Hassani (بهنام حسني), Parisa Shahidi ( پریسا شهیدی ), Mojdeh Zouhori (مژده ظهوري), Parivash Shoja`i ( پریوش شجاعی ), Tina Mauhabati ( تینا موهبتی ) and Hana Aqiqiyan (هنا عقیقیان), all from Gorgan; Shohreh Samimi (شهره صمیمی) from Minudasht; Bita Hedayati (بيتا هدايتي), Vesaq Sana’i ()وثاق سنايي and Hana Kushkabaghi ( هنا کوشکباغی ) from Gonbad-e Qabus had their prison sentences reduced from 9 years to one year and nine months. According to this report, the one year and nine month prison sentence of Tina Mohebati (تینا موهبتی) was later overturned, and she was sentenced to pay a three million tuman (approx US$925) fine.

Rufeya Pakzadan ( روفیا پاکزادان), Soudabeh Mehdinezhad ( سودابه مهدی نژاد ), Mitra Nouri ( میترا نوری ), Shiva Rouhani ( شیوا روحانی ), Houshmand Dehqan (هوشمند دهقان), Mariyam Dehqan (مريم دهقان) and Nazi Tahqiqi (نازي تحقیقی), all from Gorgan, along with Kamelia Bideli (کاملیا بیدلی) and Navid Moalem (نوید معلم) from Minudasht, had their sentences reduced from 6 years to 18 months.

The review court did not anounce its decision on the cases of Shahnam Jadhbani ( شهنام جذبانی ) from Minudasht and Shayda Qodousi (شيدا قدوسي) from Gorgan, who were sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The Bahais were charged with collaborating with hostile governments, effective activities to promote the goals of a sect and of anti-Islamic and anti-Shiah hostile governments, and with making propaganda in favour of the Bahai Faith and against the regime of the Islamic Republic, by participating in the ‘Ruhi program’ (Bahai catechism) in Golestan Province. The sentencing by the court of appeals of Shahnam Jazbani (from Minudasht) and Shayda Ghoddousi (from Gorgan), who were each sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment, has yet not been communicated to them.

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Liza Tebyanian arrested in Karaj


Iran Press Watch, March 15, 2017.

According to a Bahai News report, Liza Tebyanian Enayati (لیزا تبیانیان ( عنایتی) ), a Bahai resident of Karaj in Alborz Province, was arrested by security officers on March 16, 2017. [The earlier uncertainty as to the date has been resolved ~ Sen]

Bahai News reports that six security officers entered her home with a warrant, and after searching it and confiscating her personal property, including religious and non-religious books; laptops and so forth, arrested her. Her family still does not have any information about her whereabouts.

Previously, the business of her husband, Mansour Enayati (منصور عنایتی), was sealed by government agents from the Office of Public Places because he is an adherent of the Bahai religion. In September, 2016, his daughter and her husband, Ahdiyyeh Enayati (عهدیه عنایتی) and Sahba Maslahi (صهبا مصلحی), were arrested in Shiraz.

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March 11, 2017

Two Bahai businesses shut by authorities in Karaj

Bahai News (Persian), March 10, 2017.

On March 9, police and agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and the Ministry of Penal Affairs (تعزیرات), along with a judge, went to one business in Karaj that is run by two Bahais, Farid and Farnush Pasha’i (فرید و فرنوش پاشایی) in the Gohardasht neighbourhood of Karaj, where they sealed the premises. The pretext was ‘sexual contraband.’ Although the owners presented invoices of their purchases to show that the articles were not contraband, the officers were uninterested, and returned on March 10 to confiscate all the business stock. [Under Iran’s economic apartheid system, Bahais are not permitted to provide many items of food, drink and personal services to Muslims, since Bahais are ‘unclean.’ But the rules are unwritten, or what is written is circulated confidentially, making it difficult for Bahais to know what they may and may not sell. A broad list of market sectors closed to Bahais was published on this blog in 2015, but the rules are constantly changing ~ Sen]

Government officers also went to a newly-opened business run by another Bahai, Arash Kazemi (آرش کاظمی) in the “Golshahr Metri 45” neighbourhood of Karaj. They shuttered the premises.

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March 9, 2017

Two more Bahai students expelled from universities


Bahai News (Persian), March 2017.

In separate reports dated March 4 and March 6, Bahai News reports on the expulsion of Mahsa Sha`erzadeh (مهسا شاعرزاده) and Puya Azami Aqjeh (پویا اعظمی اقجه).

Ms. Mahsa Sha`erzadeh, a Bahai living in Ramhormoz, in Khuzestan, was expelled from the campus of Payam-e Nour University in Rahhormoz because of her Bahai beliefs. She was taking a Bachelor’s course in Applied Chemistry, and had passed her final exams and gained 70 credits. She was summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence in the city and pressured to officially withdraw from her course. She refused, but was expelled on March 1, 2017, and was given no documentation.

Mr. Puya Azami Aqjeh, a Bahai from Tehran, was expelled from the Rudehen campus of the Free Islamic University. He was in the first semester of a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. In January 2016, he found himself barred from the final examination for the semester, and was told that he had no right to university education because he was a Bahai. He is the sixth Bahai student expelled from this University in recent months.

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March 8, 2017

One arrest in Rey: Mrs. Sima Keyani


Bahai News (Persian), March 8, 2017.

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

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March 7, 2017

Haleh Gholami free on bail


Bahai News (Persian), March 7, 2017.

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

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March 5, 2017

Bahai home raided in Shiraz


Bahai News (Persian), March 3, 2017.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, March 3, a number of agents from the Revolutionary Guards raided the home of Mrs. Anusha Afshar-Reza’i (انوشا افشار ( رضایی)) in Shiraz. They forced an entrance and searched her home, seizing religious books, personal and religious photographs, a laptop, mobile telephones and memory sticks.

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March 4, 2017

Contradictory statements by Mazandaran Attorney General on the closure of 94 Bahai businesses


Iran Press Watch, March 3, 2017.

According to HRANA, the news arm of Human Rights Activists in Iran, over 100 days have passed since the simultaneous closing of 94 business units belonging to Bahais in Mazandaran. During this time, the Attorney General of Mazandaran, Assadollah Jafari ( اسدالله جعفری), has issued contradictory statements regarding his role in the closure and sealing of the businesses of Bahais.

According to several of the Bahai business owners in Mazandaran whose businesses have been sealed, over the first few days following the closing of the businesses, provincial Attorney General Jafari responded by saying: “I personally signed the order to seal Bahai business and trade units and officers of the Office of Private Property are merely carrying out my orders.” He also said that Bahais were planning propaganda against the regime by closing their businesses on Bahai religious holidays. This was the reason for preventing the cases regarding the closure of the Bahai businesses from reaching the court, or from being addressed by the courts.

At the same time, a warrant signed by provincial Attorney General Jafari was located in the district attorney offices of a number of cities. This warrant contained orders to seal any Bahai business that closes on the 1st and 2nd of November. In another letter addressed to the Deputy Intelligence and Security Offices of Mazandaran Province, it was stated that Bahais take orders from Israel, that they intend to disturb the security of the province, and that that was why it was requested that if they close their shops and businesses on their religious holiday on the 1st and 2nd of November their business units were to be sealed.

Over two months ago Assadollah Jafari told several Bahais whose units had been sealed that “I swear on the Quran that I have no role in sealing the shops and businesses of Bahais in Mazandaran province, I never signed the warrant to seal the trade units, and did not order officers of the Office of Private Property to close your businesses! If you feel that the officers committed a violation, you can submit a complaint against them and be confident that it will be dealt with.” However, there continues to be a refusal [by the courts] to address the issue of the sealing of Bahai businesses.”

Under Article 32 of the Code of Criminal Law, management and oversight of the judiciary is up to the prosecutor. Also, according to Clause 1 of Article 28 of the Law on trade, the closure of any trade unit must be done with the knowledge of trade unions (trade guilds), and the Office of Private Property is the executive liaison to the unions. The unions said that they had no knowledge of the reason for the sealing of the Bahai Businesses in Mazandaran and they had no role in these closures.

Attorney General Jafari, despite an order from the Chief Justice of the Mazandaran Province Judiciary – Hojjatol-Islam Taghavi Fard (حجه الاسلام تقوی فرد) ‒ on December 14, 2016, refused to pursue an inquiry in this regard which was submitted to him. The text of the paragraph from the Chief Justice of Mazandaran Province is as follows:

“Mr. Jafari, according to the records, please review and announce the resulting decisions. Chief Justice Taghavi Fard.”

It should be noted that in March 2012, the European Union imposed sanctions on Attorney General Assadollah Jafari for human rights violations, including some against Bahais in Mazandaran.

Persian source: HRANA

March 1, 2017

Keyvan Pakzadan sentenced to 5 years in prison


Bahai News (Persian), March 1, 2017.

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

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

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February 26, 2017

Faruq Izadinia free on bail


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

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

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February 24, 2017

69-year-old invalid arrested in Tehran


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

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

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February 22, 2017

Farzan Ma`sumi and Farhad Sabet bailed in Shiraz

The logo to the left is that of the Revolutionary Guards, whose intelligence arm imprisoned the two Bahais

The logo to the left is that of the Revolutionary Guards, whose intelligence arm imprisoned the two Bahais


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), February 22, 2017.

Farzan Ma`sumi (فرزان معصومی) and Farhad Sabet (فرهام ثابت) were freed on bail on the morning of February 22. They were arrested on the morning of February 12, when their homes were searched and religious and non-religous books, mobile phones and computers were seized, along with family photos and religious images. They were held at the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Detention Center (Detention Facility 100) in Shiraz. Bail was set at 200 million tumans each (59,000 euros ; $US 62,000).

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February 21, 2017

Four Bahai detainees freed in Yazd

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

On February 20, four of the Bahai detainees in Yazd were released after 33 days in detention. Bail was set at 180 million tumans (52,000 euros ; $US 55,000). Those released are Farzad Rouhani (فرزاد روحاني), Mehran Bandi (مهران بندي), Ramin Hasouri (رامين حصوري) and Ahmad Na`imi (احمد نعيمي). They were arrested in the course of raids on Bahai homes in Yazd on January 18, when masked agents seized religious books, flash memory sticks and computers.

February 20, 2017

Sholeh Ram and Shayan Rahimi released on bail


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), February 20, 2017.

Sholeh Ram (شعله رام) and her husband Shayan Rahimi (شایان رحیمی), Bahais living in Zahedan, have been released on bail after 20 days in detention. They were arrested by Security agents at 10.30 a.m. on February 1. At that time, it was said that they would be charged with activities contrary to national security.

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February 15, 2017

Shahram Eshraqi granted prison furlough


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), February 15, 2017.

Shahram Eshraqi (شهرام اشراقی), a Bahai who is serving a 3-year sentence in Block 3 of Isfahan Prison, has been granted a one-month furlough for medical treatment. He is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, and served in the front lines. This is the fourth time he has gone to prison for his Bahai beliefs. He is one of 20 Bahais who were sentenced to a total of 78 years in prison by a court in Yazd in April, 2014, and began his sentence in Isfahan on October 11, 2015. He has had health problems because of prison conditions, and his health deteriorated after he was transferred to Block 3, where conditions are particularly bad.

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Details of the arrest of Faruq Izadinia


HRANA, February 14, 2017.

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

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February 13, 2017

New arrests in Tehran and Shiraz

Faruq Izadi-nia

Faruq Izadi-nia


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

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

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

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February 12, 2017

One new arrest in Shiraz


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

Farhad Sabet (فرهام ثابت), a young Bahai from Shiraz, was arrested by security forces for the Province of Fars on the morning of February 12. He was taken to “Detention Facility 100” which is operated by the Ministry of Intelligence.

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Iran’s Martyr’s Foundation refuses to recognize Bahai soldier who died in war


Iran Press Watch, January 20, 2017.

The family of Muhyiddin Dhehni (محی الدین ذهنی) a Bahai soldier from Miandoab who died on the Piranshahr front during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, has written a letter asking the Martyr’s Foundation to recognize him as a “martyr,” and to create a record for him. The President of the Foundation in Miandoab, in response to his mother’s request, wrote that because they “belonging to the misguided Bahai sect,” and based on regulations, there was no possibility of being allowed to file a request, for this individual or similar individuals, whether Bahai war veterans or killed in action.

Muhyiddin Dhehni was killed at the end of his military service, on August 19, 1986, at Davoodabad Military Base in Piranshahr. Despite losing his life in the 8-year war, in which in every case the deceased is designated a “martyr,” and the Foundation supports his surviving family, they never created a file for Mr. Zehni, nor was any support allocated to his family.

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February 11, 2017

Assets seized from 10 Bahai-run businesses in Karaj and Fardis

Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), February 6, 2017.

During the first week of February, government agents have opened up 10 of the Bahai-run businesses in Karaj and Fardis (two adjoining towns to the West of Tehran) that have been closed down by the authorities, taken away all the stock and other requisites, and re-sealed the premises.

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Three Bahais arrested in Kerman

Bahai News (Persian and English), February 9, 2017.

On February 8, 2017, security forces in Kerman arrested Ehsan Amiri-nia (احسان امیری نیا), Arman Bandi (آرمان بندی) and Nima Rajab-zadeh (نیما رجب زاده), and then searched their homes.

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February 9, 2017

Uzzatallah Kharram bailed in Yazd


Bahai News (Persian), February 5, 2017.

On February 5, Uzzatallah Kharram (عزت الله خرم) was freed on bail from Yazd Prison, after 20 days in detention. He was one of seven Bahais arrested in home raids in Yazd on the morning of January 18, and held in detention by the Ministry of Intelligence. During the raids, masked agents seized religious books, flash memory sticks and computers. The names of the other Bahais arrested that day are Farzad Rouhani (فرزاد روحاني), Nateqeh Na`imi (ناطقه نعيمي), Mehran Eslami (مهران اسلامي), Mehran Bandi (مهران بندي), Ramin Hasouri (رامين حصوري) and Ahmad Na`imi (احمد نعيمي). One of these, Nateqeh Na`imi, was released without bail a few hours later, but the other five remain under interrogation at the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility.

Mr. Azzatullah Khorram was also one of 17 Bahais who were arrested in Yazd in early August, 2016.

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February 7, 2017

Ruhiyyeh Zaynali free on bail in Kerman


Bahai News (Persian), February 5, 2017.

Ruhiyyeh Zaynali (روحیه زینلی), a Bahai who was arrested in Kerman on January 3, has been released after posting bail of 100 million tumans (29,000 euros; $US 31,000). After her arrest she was held for prolonged interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence, before being transferred to the Kerman Provincial Prison. Her husband Samir Khalousi (سمیر خلوصی) was arrested during a violent raid on the their home on December 30, 2016, and is apparently still being held by the Ministry of Intelligence. The couple have two children, aged 7 and 16.

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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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Two Bahais arrested in Zahedan


Iran Press Watch, February 2, 2017.

Sholeh Ram (شعله رام) and her husband Shayan Rahimi (شایان رحیمی), Bahais living in the city of Zahedan, were arrested by Security agents on the morning of February 1, and were transferred to an unknown location. An informed said, “Yesterday morning [at 10.30 am], they arrested Mrs. Ram at her father’s workplace, and then went to the business premises of Mr. Rahimi and arrested him.” Another source said that this was the first time these Bahais had been arrested, and the arresting agents said they would be charged with “activities against national security.”

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February 6, 2017

Afif Na`imi returns to Rajai Shahr prison


Bahai News (Persian), January 28, 2017.

Afif Na`imi (عفیف نعیمی), one of the seven imprisoned ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran), returned to Rajai Shahr prison on January 28. He has served 8 years of a 10-year sentence, and was granted a furlough for medical treatment which eventually extended to five months. On several occasions in recent years, he has been taken from prison to a heart disease hospital in Tehran for treatment, only to be returned to prison with the treatment incomplete. He suffers from blood clots and recurrent fainting (apparently due to the effects of blood thinning drugs to reduce the risk of brain hemorrhage). His health problems are described as “severe,” and the prison’s Medical Examiner has determined that he is not fit for prison because of his failing health.

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One arrest in Tehran


Iran Press Watch, February 2, 2017.

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

Two arrests in Isfahan

Bahai News (Persian), January 26, 2016.

On January 24, security forces raided the home of Manouchehr Rahmani (منوچهر رحمانی) and Mohsen Mehrgani (محسن مهرگانی), which they searched thoroughly, seizing their religious books and personal effects. They were arrested and taken away, and their present whereabouts is unknown.

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February 2, 2017

Tina Mauhabati’s prison sentence commuted to a fine


Bahai News (Persian), January 31, 2017.

Tina Mauhabati ( تینا موهبتی ), a Bahai originally from Gorgan in Golestan Province, has been fined 3 million tumans (860 euros; $US 930). This fine replaces her previous sentence of one year and nine months, which was not implemented because she was less than 18 years old when she was sentenced. At the time of her arrest she was living in Tehran, and was arrested at the bus station in Gorgan on the evening of October 23, 2012, as she was waiting for the bus to Tehran. She was held for 24 days before being released on bail. She was charged with propaganda against the regime, apparently connected to a prayer meeting. She is one of 24 Bahais from Golestan province who were given very heavy sentences in January, 2016, sentences which were greatly reduced by the Review Court in November, 2016. They were charged with crimes such as collaborating with hostile states by promoting the interests of a sect and of anti-Muslim and anti-Shiah arrogant governments, and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic and in favor of the Bahai Faith through participation in Ruhi projects in Golestan province.”

Tina Mauhabati’s sentence was initially 9 years in prison, later reduced to 21 months, and now commuted to a fine. Because she will be ‘credited’ with the time she has already been imprisoned, the amount she will actually have to pay is 1.8 million tumans.

Latest news from the Bahais in Yazd

Bahai News (Persian), January 24, 2017.

On the morning of January 24, security forces searched the home of Muhammad Tadrisi (محمد تدریسی), a Bahai living in Yazd, and arrested him. He was taken to the jail run by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was released on bail on February 1. About four years ago, his home was searched and photographs and other personal effects were seized.

Also on the morning of January 24, Mrs. Shabnam Motahed (شبنم متحد) was released from prison after serving a two-year sentence. Her husband Mr. Eyman Rashidi (ایمان رشیدی) is serving a three-year sentence. Both entered prison on March 18, 2015. They were among 20 Bahais who were arrested in August, 2011, and given heavy prison terms in April, 2014.

As previously reported, Mahbod Ettehadi (مهبد اتحادی), another Bahai from Yazd, was released on bail on January 23 after a 3-week interrogation period, and Mrs. Fariba Ashtari (فریبا اشتری) was released on January 13, after serving a 2-year sentence. On the morning of January 18, security officers arrested seven other Bahais in Yazd.

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January 25, 2017

Mahbod Ettehadi bailed in Yazd


Bahai News (Persian), January 23, 2017.

Mahbod Ettehadi (مهبد اتحادی), a 23-year-old Bahai living in Yazd who was arrested by security forces on the morning of January 1, has been released on bail after being detained for 23 days by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was arrested at his workplace, a travel agency. The arresting agents gave no reason for his arrest. They took him to his home, which they searched.

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January 22, 2017

Kouroush Sharif-zadeh and Fo’ad Mithaqiyan bailed in Karaj

Bahai News (Persian), January 22, 2017.

Kouroush Sharif-zadeh (کوروش شریف زاده) and Fo’ad Mithaqiyan (فواد میثاقیان), Bahais from Karaj who were arrested on January 19, have been freed on bail of 300 million tumans and 120 million tumans, respectively ($US 92,000 and $US 37,000 respectively). After their arrest they were transferred to Ghezel Hazar prison. Follow the arrest of Mr. Sharif-zadeh, he was taken in handcuffs to his business (which had previously been closed by the authorities), and all his stock was confiscated. The two men are (apparently) joint owners of Sam Optics in Karaj, which has been shut down by the authorities because of their Bahai beliefs. It is one of over 90 Bahai-run businesses that were closed down in various places in November, 2016.

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