Sen's daily

June 5, 2019

Kaaviz Nouzdahi acquitted in Mashhad


HRANA, June 5, 2019. –

The Review Court has acquitted Kaaviz Nouzdahi (کاویز نوزدهی), a Bahai from Mashhad, of all the charges against him. He is at present free on bail after being sentenced by a lower court for “membership in an anti-regime organization” (i.e., membership in the Baha’i administration). The Bahai Administration in Iran dissolved itself many years ago, following the 1979 Revolution. His trial in the lower court was quite irregular, with no defence and a court clerk, Mr. Farhikhteh (آقای “فرهیخته), taking the place of the supervising judge, Judge Mansouri ( قاضی منصوری).

Mr. Nuzdehi has previously served a two-year prison sentence, from July 2010 to June 2012, on charges of propaganda against the regime, endangering national security, membership and activity in the Bahai Faith, advocating contact with foreigners after traveling outside the country, participating in illegal organisations, and producing and distributing Bahai CDs and books.

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

Advertisements

June 2, 2019

Injustice and extortion in Semnan’s prison

Iran Wire, June 1, 2019. –
A month has passed since three young Bahais were arrested by teams of four to six masked agents from the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan, in simultaneous raids on their homes at 8 a.m. on April 30. What little news is available is not good. It appears they are to be charged with “propaganda against the regime” and “undermining national security,” and they have not been allowed to have a lawyer. There are also reports that several other Bahais in Semnan have recently been threatened with arrest.

The family of Ardeshir Fenaa’eyan (اردشیر فناییان), who is 30 years old, have had no news from him: he has not been allowed even a short telephone call. His mother died in an accident a few months ago, and his father is hospitalized due to kidney problems, so his sister and small child have travelled over 300 km, from Gonbad-Kavus, to follow up on his arrest. Thus far the Ministry of Intelligence and judiciary have not given her any information about her brother’s situation. Mr. Fenaa’eyan was previously arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence and held for over 50 days before being freed on bail. A Revolutionary Court sentenced him to nine months in prison [other reports say, 8 months]. He began his sentence in January 2014. Immediately after his release, the Ministry of Intelligence sent him to the army to undertake his military service.

Behnaam Eskandaareyan (بهنام اسکندریان), previously reported as Behnaam Eskandaraani (بهنام اسکندرانی), is 25 years old. Six days after his arrest, in a brief telephone conversation, he told his family that he had been beaten, and asked them to bring two million tumans ($US 475) to the prison. When his family went to the prison, they found that he had been transferred from solitary confinement to the quarantine section, where he was left alone with a hashish addict who beat him up to extort money. The guards, who could hear what was going on and had video surveillance as well, did nothing. When the beating and extortion had been confirmed by the authorities, his family asked for him to be referred to the prison’s medical officer, but the prison authorities said that Behnaam was an adult and could ask himself. However, except for the short telephone call for extortion that they had facilitated, Behnaam has been held incommunicado and cannot ask for anything — not even a lawyer.

The third detainee, Yalda Firouzeyaan (یلدا فیروزیان), is 20 years old. She is reported to have been transferred about 10 days ago, from Ministry of Intelligence detention to the general prison for women, where she is held alone. In Semnan, and in some other prisons, Bahai prisoners are kept apart from others because of a widespread superstition in Iran that Bahais are ‘unclean.’ [And I would add: because Bahai prisoners who have been held together with other prisoners of conscience have sometimes demonstrated to their fellow-prisoners that the anti-Bahai propaganda in Iran’s official media is hogwash, to the extent that they have become friends with the Bahais ~ Sen.] After five days in the general prison, she was allowed a telephone call with her family. The family have asked to visit her, but were told that this is not allowed. Her sisters Golrokh and Shidrokh Firuzeyan (شیدرخ و گلرخ فیروزیان), were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence on March 12, 2013 and February 12, respectively. Ardeshir Fenaa’eyan was arrested at the same time. The sisters were held by the Ministry for 40 days. They were charged with “propaganda against the regime” and initially sentenced to 9 months in prison, reduced to 6 months by the review court. They served their sentences and were released in May 2014. Their father, Hadjbar Firuzeyaan (هژبر فیروزیان), served a 40-day sentence in 2014, charged with libel against an agent of the Ministry of Intelligence. He had complained to the judicial authorities that one of his daughters was beaten in prison. When they took no action, he wrote to the President of the Islamic Republic, describing the beating. He was charged with libel and fined, but refused to pay the fine and was sent to prison instead.

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

May 21, 2019

Hassan Momtaaz Sarvestani receives medical tests


HRANA, May 19, 2019. –

Hassan Momtaaz Sarvestaani (حسن ممتاز سروستانی), a Bahai prisoner from Shiraz who was transferred to Evin prison in Tehran on February 26 this year, has received an angiograph test at a hospital in Tehran. Although the doctor wanted him to be hospitalized for observation for 24 hours and prepared for a stent, he was returned to prison in handcuffs and shackles on the following day.

Mr. Sarvestani was a teacher of Persian literature for the Bahai Open University (BIHE). He was first arrested in 2011, and was one of ten Bahais associated with the BIHE who were tried in Tehran on March 12, 2013. His sentence was handed down by Judge Maqiseh (قاضی مقیسه) on February 25, 2014, and confirmed by the review court. He began his sentence in 2017, in Adel Abaad prison in Shiraz, and was transferred to Evin prison in Tehran on February 26, 2019.

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

May 18, 2019

Farzaad Rouhaani released on bail in Yazd

HRANA, May 18, 2019. –

Farzaad Rouhaani Manshaadi (فرزاد روحانی منشادی), a Bahai from Yazd whose one-year prison sentence was commuted to a 3-year suspended sentence in July 2018, was re-arrested while taking his son to school on January 28. He was released on bail yesterday, May 17. Bail was set at 700 million tumans (147,000 euros ; $US 164,000). A court sitting to establish the charges against him took place on May 15, but the charges are not known. He was one of those arrested in the course of raids on Bahai homes in Yazd on January 18, 2017, when masked agents seized religious books, flash memory sticks and computers.

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

May 15, 2019

Bahai barred from rose-water manufacture

HRANA, May 13, 2019.

On May 12, security forces raided the home of Mr. Heshmatollah Ehsaani (حشمت الله احسانی) in the village of Maazgaan (Maazgun, مازگان) in Kashan County, and seized all the items related to making rose-water. He was told that he was not entitled to continue this work. He was told that he would have “problems” with security agencies if the media reported this action. Maazgaan is a village that has had a substantial Bahai population for many years past.

The present action presumably means that making rose-water has been added to the list of occupations that Bahais are barred from, under Iran’s apartheid system. Because Bahais in Iran are excluded from employment in the civil service, education and health, and other major sectors, many of them start small shops or workshops in sectors where this is permitted, but the rules they must obey have been kept secret. The list of occupations that are barred to Bahais also changes at the whims of unidentified authorities. A leaked copy of the list, dating from April 8, 2010, clarifies which economic sectors are forbidden for Bahais. This order from the chief of police to police bureaus all over the country instructs them to constrain, limit and police the activities of Bahais in the specified fields, and ensure the Bahais do not constitute a significant presence in society.

The order specifies that Bahais should not be allowed to earn high incomes, but may work or be employed at the standard minimum income. Bahais may not work in cultural, educational or financial institutions, and are not to be allowed to work 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.

The order refers to the widespread Iranian belief that Bahais are unclean, and requires the police bureaus to block them from restaurants, cafeterias and catering, food ingredients and foodstuff sales, takeaways (Iranian-style), cafe, butchers shops, supermarkets, the production and sale of ice-cream, fruit juice, soft drinks, pastry and sweets, and coffee.

Since this order was issued, the optometry sector has apparently been added to the list, on or before December 2014. In addition to these limitations on where Bahais may work, the Ministry of Intelligence has pressured Muslims to cut social and economic ties with Bahais, and Bahai businesses across Iran have been shut down where they close to observe the Bahai Holy Days.

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

May 10, 2019

Home search and summons in Isfahan

HRANA, May 8, 2019. –

On May 8, the home of Behin-A’in (نیوشا بهین آئین) in Isfahan was searched by members of the security forces, who seized laptops, cell phones and Baha’i books. She was summoned to appear at the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence next week.

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

May 9, 2019

Three Bahais begin their sentences in Shiraz


HRANA, May 8, 2019. –

Mahbub Habibi (محبوب حبیبی), Pejmaan Shahryaari (پژمان شهریاری) and Koroush Rouhaani (کوروش روحانی)reported to Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz on May 7. They were originally given one-year sentences by Judge Mahmud Saadaati (قاضی محمود ساداتی) in the Revolutionary Court. The Review Court reduced this: Mr. Habibi and Mr. Ruhaani have been sentenced to six months in prison, on charges of “propaganda against the regime,” while Mr Shahyaari has been sentenced to three months and one day, on the same charge.

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

May 7, 2019

Seven Bahais in Bushehr sentenced to 3 years in prison


HRANA, May 7, 2019. –

The Revolutionary Court in Bushehr has sentenced seven Bahais to three years in prison. They are Minou Reyaazati (مینو ریاضتی), Asadollah Jaaberi (اسدالله جابری) and his wife Ehteraam Shakhi(احترام شخی), Leqa Faraamarzi (لقا فرامرزی), Emaad Jaaberi (عماد جابری) and Puneh Naashari (پونه ناشری). All seven were arrested in raids on Bahai homes in Bushehr on February 15, 2018 (an earlier report said February 13). Their homes were thoroughly searched, and personal effects such as laptops, books, flash drives, external hard drives, and family photograph albums were seized. Emaad Jaaberi and Puneh Naashari (were released on bail on March 6 and the remaining five on March 13, 2018. Bail was set at 250 million tumans (53,000 euros ; $US 66,000).

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

May 6, 2019

Bahai motorcross champions barred from the sport


HRANA, May 6, 2019. –

On November 18, 2018, security forces in Tehran arrested Shahrzaad Nazifi (شهرزاد نظیفی), a well-known sportswoman and trainer in women’s motocross. She was released on bail 15 days later. Bail was set at 700 million tumans (147,000 euros ; $US 164,000) and was not previously reported on Sen’s Daily. Now, without a trial or a judge’s order, she and the other members of her family — who also participate in motocross — have been banned from being present at motocross tracks, participating in competitions, and practicing or teaching motocross sport. Mrs. Nazifi and her husband Mehrshaad Naraqi (مهرشاد نراقی) and their two children Meraat (مرآت ) and Nora (نورا) have all been motocross champions in Iran, and the mother and daughter are pioneers of women’s motor sports in Iran. Since her arrest, the premises used for storing the family’s motor bikes and other personal effects have been sealed by the authorities. Meraat Naraqi, who is 30 years old, was barred from national competitions and Olympic trials in December, 2018, and prior to that was barred from competing internationally, although he had championship titles to his credit. Their lawyer’s enquiries to the Sports Federation and government ministries have produced no response, no institution has taken responsibility for the banning order, and Mrs Nazifi has not been summoned for trial in relation to her arrest in November 2018, so all that the family know is that her arrest was initiated by the Minister of Intelligence in Tehran. At the time of her arrest, the agents seized all the family’s awards, titles and prizes, as well as documents related to motorcycle races.

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

May 4, 2019

Afshin Seyyed-Ahmad released


HRANA, May 4, 2019. –

Mr. Afshin Seyyed-Ahmad (افشین سیداحمد) was released from Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj at the end of his three-year sentence on May 4. He was arrested at his workplace in Tehran on November 7, 2012 and held for interrogation for 30 days, and then released on bail. He was tried and sentenced by Judge Moqiseh ( قاضی مقیسه) in the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, on charges of acting against national security and propaganda against the regime. The Review Court confirmed his 3-year sentence, which he began to serve in June, 2016. He was granted one 8-day furlough during his sentence.

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

May 1, 2019

Three Bahai youth arrested in Semnan


HRANA, April 30, 2019. –

Behnaam Eskandaraani (بهنام اسکندرانی), Yalda Firouzeyaan (یلدا فیروزیان) and Ardeshir Fenaa’eyan (اردشیر فناییان), three young Bahais from Semnan, were arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on the morning of April 30. The agents also seized some of their personal effects. Mr. Fenaa’eyan was previously sentenced to 8 months in prison. During his time in prison he was obliged to promise that — contrary to a legal provision — he would present himself for military service when he was released from prison. The whereabouts of the three detainees is not known at present.

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

April 28, 2019

Negin Qadameyan, serving a 5-year sentence, allowed furlough


HRANA, April 27, 2019. –

Negin Qedamiaan (نگین قدمیان), who began serving her 5-year sentence for educational crimes in relation to the Bahai Open University (BIHE) on December 16, 2017, was allowed a furlough from Evin Prison from April 22 to April 27. She had lodged several requests for a furlough for medical treatment for gum inflammation and pain in her jaw and teeth. She was arrested, along with many others associated with the Open University, in May, 2011. On March 12, 2013, she and nine other Bahais associated with the Open University were tried. After the trial they were freed on bail or with a pledge, until summoned to begin their sentences.

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

April 27, 2019

Hamid Nasseri bailed in Tehran


HRANA, April 26, 2019. –

Hamid Nasseri ( حمید ناصری), a Bahai from Tehran who was arrested on March 11, was released on bail on April 24. His brother Saeed Nasseri (سعید ناصری), arrested in Tehran on March 11, was released on bail on April 18. The bail for each of the brothers was set at 500 million tumans ( 105,000 euros; $US 119,000 ). Saeed Nasseri’s wife Afsaneh Emami-Nasseri ((افسانه امامی(ناصری) was freed previously, also for 500 mullion tumans in bail.

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

April 22, 2019

Ruhiyyeh Narimaan absolved of charges


HRANA, April 21, 2019. –

On April 21, Ruhiyyeh Narimaan (روحیه نریمان) was informed that the charges against her — for which she served five months of a 30-month sentence — have been dismissed by the Court of Review. She is already free, having been provisionally released from prison in Shiraz on March 9, pending a sitting of the Provincial Review Court. Mrs. Narimaan and her husband Farzaad Delaaraam (فرزاد دلارام) were originally sentenced to five years in prison by the notorious Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی), but the Review Court reduced this to two years and six months for Ruhiyyeh Nariman and one year for Faarzaad Delaaraam. They were arrested in Shiraz on October 8, 2018, to begin serving their sentences, so she served five months of her sentence. Her husband was released in early February, benefiting from an amnesty for some prisoners of conscience marking the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Revolution. Mrs. Nariman’s release is not related to the amnesty, and no reason is given in this report. It is possible that it relates to a January ruling by the Alborz Province Review Court, in the case of Liza Tebyanian Enayati (لیزا تبیانیان ( عنایتی), that teaching the Bahai Faith is not equivalent to “propaganda against the regime” and is not a crime.

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

April 21, 2019

Mohsen Mehrgaani freed in Isfahan


HRANA, April 21, 2019. –

Mohsen Mehrgaani (محسن مهرگانی) was released from Isfahan prison on April 20. This is a conditional early release. He has served one third of his sentence, beginning on January 5, 2019. Although his sentence was 20 months, the three months he spent under interrogation and in prison between his arrest on January 24, 2017, and his release on bail in late April or early May, 2017, have been taken into account, giving a total of over six months served.

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

April 20, 2019

Saeed Nasseri bailed in Tehran

Campaign for Prisoners of Conscience, April 19, 2019. –

Saeed Nasseri (سعید ناصری), who was arrested in Tehran on March 11, was released on bail on April 18. Bail was set at 500 million tumans ( 105,000 euros; $US 119,000 ). He was arrested after going to the Evin detention center to inquire about the condition of his brother Hamid (حمید ناصری), arrested on the same day, and of his wife Afsaneh Emami-Nasseri ((افسانه امامی(ناصری), arrested 40 days earlier. She has since been released, also on bail of 500 million tumans, but Hamid Nasseri remains in prison.

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

April 15, 2019

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi begins internal exile; Parvaneh Rahmani acquitted


HRANA, April 15, 2019. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 70-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, has set out from his home to serve his sentence of one year in internal exile in Minab, a town in Hormozgan Province which is 1700 kilometers from his home. He was also sentenced to one year in prison, but after serving just over four months of this sentence he was freed on March 12, under a prison amnesty marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran. Last week he received a summons to appear at a court in Minab.

He was charged with “propaganda against the regime,” which apparently related to follow-up actions he took following the destruction of the Bahai cemetery in Sanandaj. His wife Parvaneh Rahmani-Ra’ufi (پروانه رحمانی رئوفی) was also sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile, but (contrary to my previous report) this sentence was nullified by the Review Court on September 3, 2018. She is accompanying her husband into exile.

Mr. Ra’ufi was previously arrested in 2009, and sentenced to 6 months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime, followed by 6 months in exile in Tuyserkan. He also served his six-month prison term in Tuyserkan. And in June, 2011, the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj conducted mass interrogations of the Bahais there, seeking information on how Sanandaj’s Bahai community is managed. One of those questioned was Dhabihullah Ra’ufi.

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

April 11, 2019

Mo’in Muhammadi bailed in Yazd


HRANA, April 11, 2019. –

Mo’in Muhammadi (معین محمدی), a Bahai living in Yazd, was released on bail on April 10. He was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on January 9 this year. At the end of March he was sentenced to six years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Yazd, and has apparently remained in detention since his trial — presumably because it has taken this long to arrange bail. Bahais sentenced to prison in Iran often wait some years before there is a place for them in prison. Mr. Muhammadi has been involved in environmental issues, but the charges against him have not been specified.

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

April 7, 2019

Six Bahai businesses reopen in Khorramshahr

HRANA, April 6, 2019. –

On November 15, 2018, six Bahai-run businesses in Khorramshahr were sealed by the order of the judicial authorities. In the five months since then, they have been allowed to reopen, one by one. On April 6, the sewing machine shop of Kaambiz Azaadi (کامبیز آزادی) reopened. In late March and early April the optician’s shops of Hossein-Ali Habibi (حسینعلی حبیبی) and Behnaam Habibi (بهنام حبیبی) and the engine repair shop of Kouroush Jaaberi (کوروش جابری) reopened. The optician’s shops of Behrouz Habibi (بهروز حبیبی), and Bahaador Ahmadi (بهادر احمدی) were apparently allowed to reopen in early January, although this was not reported at the time.

The sealing of businesses was ordered in response to the owners having closed their businesses for a day in observance of a Bahai holy day. By law, as cited in Item B of Article 28 of the Commercial Union Law, citizens are allowed to close their business up to 15 days a year without providing authorities any reason or informing the Association for their industry. However, this legal provision is not extended to cover Bahais, and authorities routinely penalize Bahai business owners for observance of their Holy Days, by sealing their businesses.

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

April 3, 2019

Mo’in Muhammadi sentenced to 6 years, in Yazd


HRANA, March 31, 2019. –

Mo’in Muhammadi (معین محمدی), a Bahai living in Yazd, has been sentenced to six years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Yazd. He was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on January 9 this year. The agents then searched his father’s home and seized a laptop, books and a mobile phone. He has been involved in environmental issues, but the charges against him have not been specified.

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

April 1, 2019

Zhinous Sobhani arrested in Tehran, and released


HRANA, March 31, 2019. – (and update)

Zhinous Sobhani ( ژینوس سبحانی ), a Bahai human rights activist who has been arrested and sentenced previously, was arrested at her home in Tehran on March 31. Security agents searched her home and seized a laptop and telephone. The reasons for her arrest and the place of detention is not known. Ms. Sobhani, a former secretary of the Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights, and a member of the Organisation for Mine Clearance, was arrested on January 15, 2000, and bailed on March 11 of that year. She was arrested again in January, 2010. On October 13, 2010 she was sentenced to two years in prison.

[Update] She was released about 24 hours later.

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

 

March 24, 2019

Publication: 175 Years of Persecution


Editorial, March 24, 2019. –

One World publisher has announced a well-documented and gripping account of the persecution of the Babi and Baha’i communities in Iran from its origin to the present time, by my dear friend Fereydun Vahman, Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. From the genocidal pogroms of the Qajar era, to the improved, but precarious situation during the Pahlavi years, and the re-emergence of the severe persecutions since the 1979 revolution in Iran, the Bahai community has been consistently disparaged, as foreign spies, devil-worshippers and enemies of Iran and Islam. The book also shows the resilience of the Baha’i community in the face of hatred and violence. Available as a hard cover and e-book, see https://oneworld-publications.com/175-years-of-persecution-hb.html.

Franklin Lewis comments: “Fereydun Vahman’s book … provides, in accessible narrative vignettes, a sweeping account of the persecution of Iran’s Baha’i community. . . like Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee on the genocidal campaign against Native Americans, here we have a work that brings the human impact to the fore. Vahman weaves together a larger story from individual, mob, or state-sponsored acts of murder, arson, gravesite desecration, imprisonment, dismissal from jobs, deprivation of pensions and education, etc. In clear and readable prose suitable for students, activists, and the general public, this book memorably describes the beleaguerment of the Baha’i community in Iran since its inception and makes it clear why the situation of Baha’is has been described as a bellwether of the prospects for true political rights and civil society for the entire Iranian polity.”

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

March 18, 2019

Sheida Qoddusi granted conditional release in Gorgan

HRANA, March 18, 2019. –

Sheida Qoddusi (شیدا قدوسی), who began her 5-year sentence in Gorgan prison on June 13, 2017, has been granted conditional release after serving one third of that sentence. She was one of 14 Bahais arrested in Gorgan in mid-October, 2012. A number of other Bahais were arrested at the same time elsewhere in Golestan Province. They were tried in their absence by Judge Qanbari (قاضی قنبری). Mrs Qoddusi was initially sentenced to 11 years in prison, reduced to five years by the review court. She has two children. She was granted a ten-day furlough from June 27, 2018.

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

Maryam Ghafarmanesh bailed from Evin Prison


HRANA, March 17, 2019. –

Maryam Ghafarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش) was released on bail from Evin Prison on March 17, after six months of detention without trial. She was one of five Bahais arrested at a meeting for environmental education in Karaj on September 16, 2018. About 20 hours after her arrest, Mrs. Ghafarmanesh reported in a telephone conversation that her bail had been set at 300 million tumans (61,000 euros; $US 71,000), but she was not released at that time. She was kept under interrogation and in solitary confinement for two months, in the section of the prison run by the Ministry of Information, and was transferred to the general women’s block on November 14, 2018.

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

March 17, 2019

Afsaaneh Emaami bailed, her husband Sa`id Naaseri arrested, in Tehran


HRANA, March 14, 2018.

Sa`id Naaseri (سعید ناصری) was arrested in Tehran at about 11 a.m. on March 11, after reporting to the Public Prosecutor’s office at Evin Prison. He was allowed a telephone call to tell family that he had been arrested. He had gone to Evin Prison to inquire about his wife, Afsaaneh Emaami (افسانه امامی), who was arrested on February 2, and also about his brother, Hamid Naasseri (حمید ناصری), who had been arrested a few hours previously, on the morning of March 11.

A separate report indicates that Afsaaneh Emaami was released on bail on March 16. Bail was set at 500 million tumans ( 105,000 euros ; $US 120,000 [or one tenth as much, if the bail was actually in Rials]). Curiously, she was not released from the prison gates, where her family had gone to meet her: rather the family were first sent away, and then she was dropped at a metro station. [The authorities presumably sought to prevent the family photograph in front of the prison gates which is almost customary when Bahai prisoners are released. ~Sen]

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

March 15, 2019

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi released in Sanandaj


Campaign for prisoners of conscience, March 13, 2019. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 70-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, was released from prison on March 12. He has served just over four months of a one year sentence, but has been freed under a prison amnesty marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime,” and his one-year sentence was to be followed by one year in internal exile in Minab, 1700 kilometers from his home. The sentence apparently related to follow-up actions he took following the destruction of the Bahai cemetery in Sanandaj. His wife Parvaneh Rahmani-Ra’ufi (پروانه رحمانی رئوفی) has also been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile, but has not yet begun her sentence (according to my partial information).

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

March 12, 2019

One arrest in Tehran


Campaign for Prisoners of Conscience, March 11, 2019. –

On the morning of March 11, security forces arrested Hamid Naasseri (حمید ناصری), a Bahai living in Tehran at his work. It is assumed that he has been taken to Evin Prison.

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

March 11, 2019

Ruhiyyeh Narimaan released in Shiraz: a reason for hope?


HRANA, March 10, 2019, with editorial commentary. –

Ruhiyyeh Narimaan (روحیه نریمان) was provisionally released from prison in Shiraz on March 9. Her sentence has been put in abeyance pending a sitting of the Provincial Review Court. Mrs. Narimaan and her husband Farzaad Delaaraam (فرزاد دلارام) were originally sentenced to five years in prison by the notorious Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی), but the Review Court reduced this to two years and six months for Ruhiyyeh Nariman and one year for Faarzaad Delaaraam. They were arrested in Shiraz on October 8, 2018, to begin serving their sentences, so she has served only five months of her 30-month sentence. Her husband was released in early February, benefiting from an amnesty for some prisoners of conscience marking the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Revolution.

Mrs. Nariman’s release is not related to the amnesty, and the re-review of a sentence already determined by the Review Court is highly unusual. I speculate — optimistically — that her release relates to a January ruling by the Alborz Province Review Court, in the case of Liza Tebyanian Enayati (لیزا تبیانیان ( عنایتی), that teaching the Bahai Faith is not equivalent to “propaganda against the regime.” Mrs. Enayati was acquitted and released. Part of the verdict issued by Branch 12 of the Alborz Province Review Court, headed by Judge Ali Badri (قاضی علی بدری), states: “The propagation of the Bahaism does not constitute propaganda against the regime. Basically, in the law, belief in Bahai Faith has not been criminalized so as to be able to prosecute or punish anyone under this charge…” Another part of the proceedings states: “Basically religious propagation, which is not considered to be against the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its sovereignty, is not considered a crime; [considering it a crime] is contrary to the Constitutional rights of citizenship.”

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

March 7, 2019

Atosa Ahmadaa’i bailed in Tehran


HRANA, March 6, 2019. –

Atosa Ahmadaa’i Rafsanjaani ( آتسا احمدآئی رفسنجانی) was released on bail from Evin Prison in Tehran on March 6. She was arrested in a raid on her home in Tehran on January 20, 2019, has held incommunicado in Evin prison for 38 days before being transferred to a general section of the prison. She was allowed contact with her family on March 2. She has been charged with “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against the security of the country.”

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

March 3, 2019

Puya Tabayaniyan released early in Semnan


HRANA, March 2, 2019. –

Mr. Puya Tabayaniyan (پویا تبیانیان), a Bahai who began as sentence of seven years in the Central Prison of Semnan on December 22, 2012, has been released unexpectedly after six years and two months. While prisoners in Iran generally are granted early release for good behaviour, this provision does not usually apply to Bahais. He was granted prison furlough for a few days, and when he returned to prison on March 2, he was told that he was free to go.

Mr. Tabayaniyan was first arrested on March 8, 2009 and held in solitary confinement for two months, during which he was interrogated by Judge Dowlat-Khah (قاضی دولت خواه). He was sentenced to two years in prison, and was granted a conditional release on April 29, 2010, with a six-month suspended sentence.

Then he was one of four Bahais who were arrested in Semnan on March 12, 2011. He was released on bail on April 3, and re-arrested on June 11. This was apparently for further interrogation, as reports from that time indicate that he released ten days later, on June 21, 2011. He was charged with undermining national security and propaganda against the regime, and sentenced to six and a half years in prison by Judge `Eyn al-Kamaal (قاضی عین الکمال). The six month suspended sentence was added to this.

In January, 2016, another prisoner released from the Central Prison of Semnan reported that Mr. Tabayaniyan was in solitary confinement in the prison. The reason and duration of this are not reported.

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

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: