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                                  Reflections on the Bahai teachings

News Jan. 17

The tale of such outrageous conduct, such widespread suffering and loss, if properly expressed and broadcast, cannot fail in the end to arouse the conscience of civilized mankind, and thereby secure the much-needed relief for a long-suffering people. I would, therefore, renew my plea, and request you most earnestly to redouble your efforts in the wide field of publicity, to devise every possible means that will alleviate the fears and sorrows of the silent sufferers in that distracted country. Surely these vile wrong-doers cannot long remain unpunished … (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 107)

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Mariya Kothari acquitted by Review Court

HRANA, January 13, 2019. –

The Review Court for Kurdistan Province has acquitted Dr. Mariya Kothari (ماریا کوثری), a Bahai from Qorveh, who had been sentenced to one year in prison, a fine of five million [tumans], and two years in internal exile in the town of Torbat Heydarieh. Mrs. Kothari was accused of teaching the Bahai Faith. The court said that there was no evidence to justify the accusation. Dr, Kothari was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on October 4, 2016. She has been free on bail since October 18, 2016. After her arrest in Qorveh she was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facilities first in Qorveh and then in Sanandaj. Mrs. Kothari’s husband and son do not have Iranian nationality and have been required to leave Iran. Her husband lives in Ecuador and her son in Australia.
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Bahai-run business closed down in Birjand

Iran Press Watch, January 15, 2019. –

On the morning of Saturday, January 5, 2019, the business of Farshid Dimi (فرشید دیمی), a Bahai from Birjand, was sealed by order of judiciary officials. A source close to Mr. Dimi told HRANA, “Farshid Dimi’s store, where he sells computer accessories, has been in business for 20 years. Mr. Dimi’s business license renewal was denied by by authorities, who provided no specific reason. Mr. Dimi has paid his union dues [i.e., to the government-mandated industrial sector organisation] and his taxes throughout his years of operation. His business has been sealed by order of the judicial officials, and so far the only response from that body has been that the order has been issued by the high officials and nothing can be done by us.”
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Three Bahai students expelled at end of semester

HRANA, January 10, 2019. –

On January 9, Badi Safaajou (بدیع صفاجو), a Bahai from Karaj who was in his seventh semester of a degree in chemical engineering at the Azad University, was expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. He was called out while sitting one of the term examinations and told of his expulsion. The head of his department told him this was because he was a Bahai. He had achieved an average grade of 19.7.

In a separate report, HRANA notes the expulsion of Shirin Beninezhaad (شیرین بنی نژاد), who was in the fifth semester of a course in applied computer science at the Sama College branch of the Azad University, in Andisheh New Town (between Karaj and Tehran). On January 9, she was summoned to the University and told that she had been expelled one month earlier. At that point she had completed the classes for the course and one of the examinations. She had another three examinations to sit in order to complete her degree. The head of the College told her and her family that they (the University authorities) had no role in her expulsion, and she should take any questions to the Ministry of Intelligence.

Shaayaan Ma`navi (شایان معنوی), a Bahai student in the third semester of a degree in civil engineering at the Qods City campus of the Azad University was also expelled recently. On December 17, 2018, he found his access to the University web site was blocked, and on January 10, after numerous enquiries, he was told he had been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs.
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Interrogation of 32 Baha’is by Ministry of Intelligence in Karaj

Iran Press Watch, January 12, 2019. –

During last two weeks, at least 32 Bahais have been were summoned and interrogated by the Ministry of Intelligence in Karaj. They were attending a lecture by another Bahai, Mehrdad Heyrani (مهرداد حیرانی) who was visiting from Tehran. His presentation was interrupted when he was interrogated in class by security forces. An earlier report said that this gathering, on May 11, 2018, was at Baghestan or Fardis, both smaller towns near Karaj. He was released on August 11, 2018.

HRANA obtained the names of these people: Saied Vojdani, Tahereh Pashaie, Radm’an Forughi, Sheida Motlaq, Traneh Badie, Sepeher Furuhari, Masood Zakerian, Badiullah Tashakor, Farinaz Khoshfetrat, Tarannom Hashemi, Kambiz Safaie, Sarmad Sadeghian, Nahid Farhangi, Hasti Mandegari, Nasim Zabihi, Ruhhiyeh Anvari, Shoeleh Emamverdi, Shirin Khollas, Furutan Bayai, Armin Rowhani, Aydin Rowhani, Nazanin Sharifi, Nima Sharifi, Ramtin Monzavi, Parnian Badie, Mahsan Mokhtari, Arman Poormoradian, Mahmood Feshami, Samieh Ehsani, Pooya Eslami, Delkash Bebahani.
[سعید وجدانی، طاهره پاشائی، رادمان فروغی، شیدا مطلق، ترانه بدیعی، سپهر فروهری، مسعود ذاکریان، بدیع الله تشکر، پروین تشکر، فریناز خوش فطرت، ترنم هاشمی، کامبیز صفائی، سرمد صادقیان، ناهید فرهنگی، هستی ماندگاری، نسیم ذبیحی، روحیه انوری، شعله اماموردی، شیرین خلص، فروتن بیانی، آرمین روحانی، آیدین روحانی، نازنین شریفی، نیما شریفی، رامتین منزوی، پرنیان بدیعی ، مهسان مختاری، آرمان پورمرادیان، محمود فشامی، سمیعه احسانی، پویا اسلامی، دلکش بهبهانی]

A close source to these Bahais confirmed the above news and informed the HRANA reporter: “ When the security forces came to arrest Mehrdad Heyrani, all these citizens were attending his class. In addition, they were subsequently interrogated, and their mobile phones were confiscated.”

Since December 23, 2018, every week on Monday and Tuesday these individuals have been summoned and interrogated in the Office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Karaj.”

The same source continued: “Security agents, after completing their interrogation, returned the mobile phones and informed them that the finalised report of their individual cases would be sent to the judiciary.

Mehrdad Heyrani now resides in Tehran; on 11 May 2018 he was arrested by security forces and imprisoned in Evin Prison. After spending three months of incarceration, on 11 August 2018, he was freed on bail of approximately US $15,000.00.
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Provincial review court rules “teaching the Bahai Faith” is not a crime

Iran Press Watch, January 13, 2019. –

Branch 12 of the Alborz Province Review Court has dismissed the charges brought against Liza Tebyanian Enayati (لیزا تبیانیان ( عنایتی). The court found that teaching the Bahai Faith is not equivalent to “propaganda against the regime.” [Some hundreds of Iran’s Bahai population have served many years in prison on the suppositions that having a Bahai book or image in one’s home is equivalent to propaganda against the regime. ~ Sen] Ms. Tebyanian,
a Bahai resident of Karaj in Alborz Province, was arrested by security officers on March 16, 2017. 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. In August 2018, a lower court sentenced her to 7 months imprisonment for propaganda against the regime. Her sentencing was not previously reported on Sen’s Daily.

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.”
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Bahai student expelled in Shahryar

HRANA, January 7, 2019. –

On January 5, Sama Nazifi (سما نظیفی), a student of architecture at the Shahryar campus of the Azad University, was expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. In the previous year, she had earned a commendation from the University.
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22 Bahai-run businesses to reopen in Urmia, after 18-month struggle

HRANA, January 5, 2019. –

The West Azerbaijan Provincial authorities have given permission for the re-opening to 22 Bahai-run businesses in Urmia (Urumiyyeh), closed by the local authorities 18 months ago. The businesses were closed by local authorities because they closed for business on Bahai Holy Days. There are nine days each year that Bahais take free from work (with logical exceptions). The law in Iran allows any business to shut for up to 15 days each year, without special permission from the authorities, but the Bahais are apparently being denied this normal right, as they are denied many other civil rights. The owners of these businesses pursued numerous channels with various government bodies, but only the local government’s Office of Public Places has responded, saying that they would not be allowed to reopen unless they signed a pledge not to close on the Bahai Holy Days. The owners rejected this as legally invalid and discriminatory. They took a case to the Supreme Administrative Court, which rejected the case without a hearing. The court’s decision was announced on August 16, 2018, one year after the closures. The businesses are largely retail and repair shops
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Four arrests in Isfahan

HRANA, January 5, 2019. –

On January five, security forces arrested four Bahai men in Isfahan. Manuchehr Rahmaani (منوچهر رحمانی), Farzaad Hamaayuni ( فرزاد همایونی) and Sohraab Naqipur (سهراب نقی پور) were arrested early in the morning, and Mohsen Mehrgaani (محسن مهرگانی) some hours later. Their place of detention and the reasons for the arrests are not known.

It is likely that all four were free on bail, due to arrests in 2017. Mr. Mehrgaani and Mr. Rahmaani were previously arrested on January 24, 2017, and I have reported that Mr. Mehrgaani was freed on bail on May 16 that year. Mr. Hamaayuni and Sohraab Naqipur were among five Bahais arrested in Isfahan on March 28, 2017: their release on bail and that of Mr. Rahmaani has not been reported here, but if they had not been bailed their long detention would have been reported.
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`Ali Ahmadi bailed in Qaemshahr

Campaign for Prisoners of Conscience, January 2, 2019. –

Mr. `Ali Ahmadi (علی احمدی), a Bahai from Qaemshahr, was freed on bail on January 2, after posting bail of 150 million tumans (31,000 euros ; $US 35,000). He was arrested on November 20, 2018, by agents who insulting his religious beliefs and calling him “unclean” and “Bahai dog.” They also seized some religious books mobile phone and computer. He is charged with “propaganda against the regime.” This is the fifth time he has been arrested in the past ten years: On the first occasion he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, and on the second occasion he was acquitted. In 2011 he was arrested with two others and charged with participation in Bahai activities.
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Sentences confirmed for eight Bahais from Baharestan

Iran International, January 2, 2019. –

The Review Court for Isfahan Province has confirmed six-year sentences of Afshin Bolbolaan (افشین بلبلان), Sahaam Armin (سهام آرمین), Milaad Daavardaan (میلاد داوردان), Farhaang Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا) and Anush Raayneh (انوش راینه) and four-year sentences for Bahaareh Dhini-Sobhaaniaan (بهاره ذینی صبحانیان), Fuzhaan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی) and Sepideh Rouhani (سپیده روحانی) have been given four-year sentences. A ninth Bahai sentenced in the same case, `Ali Thani (علی ثانی), received a five year sentence (plus one year concurrently on another charge), but he is not mentioned in this announcement from the Review Court. The nine Bahais were arrested Baharestan, near Isfahan, on September 23rd, 2018, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence.
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Six Bahais in Sistan and Baluchistan sentenced to 6 months, not 3 years

Radio Farhang, January 1, 2019. –

The court of review for the Province of Sistan and Baluchistan has reduced the 3-year prison sentences for six Bahais to six months each. They were initially charged with acting against national security through membership of an illegal organisation, but this has been changed to “propaganda against the regime.” They are (right to left in the photo): Bahaadar Kaamju (بهادر کامجو) from Chabahar (whose optician’s shop was closed in January 2018, Manouchihr Barqi (منوچهر بارقی) from Chabahar, Fahimeyyeh As-haq Nurabadi (فهیمه اسحاق نور آبادی) from Chabahar, whose name is reported as Fahemiyyeh As-haqi (فهمیه اسحاقی), Bijan Eslami-Mahdiabadi (بیژن اسلامی مهدی آبادی) of Khash, Ali Anvari (علی انوری) from Iranshahr and Houshang Mokhtari (هوشنگ مختاری) from Saravan.
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Graduate denied his diploma

HRANA, December 23, 2018. –

Three months ago, Behrouz Farzandi (بهروز فرزندی), a Bahai from Shiraz, completed a graduate degree in business studies at the Payam-e Nour university, but has not been issued his diploma because of his religious beliefs. Mr. Farzandi is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and spent two years in a prisoner of war camp. He has a 25% disability because of his war injuries. The University has claimed that it has lost his file, but it the “security office” (an on-campus branch of the Ministry of Intelligence) that is handling the case. He has had contact with the security office and the head of security has told him “we will call you,” but after three months he is still in limbo. He has completed all the degree requirements: he needs only a single signature from a university official. During his studies he was harassed several times, with diverse excuses, summoned to the security office and threatened with expulsion. His Bahai identity must have been known to the security office when he enrolled, since in August 2014 his family was in the national news when the administration at the government-run Martyr Khonsari secondary school in Shiraz refused to enrol his children, because the family are Bahais. This was in contravention of explicit legislation regarding civil rights, the right to education and the ban on investigating people’s religious beliefs. Moreover, Mr. Ardekani provided a copy of an official letter stating that Iran’s Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa stating the Bahai ex-prisoners of war and disabled veterans are entitled to the rights of other veterans and ex-POWs.
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Afif Na`imi is finally free

Editorial, December 21, 2018.

Numerous reports and photographs from the Bahais in the Tehran region attest that Afif Na`imi (عفیف نعیمی), one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (national facilitators for the Bahai community in Iran), has been released from Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj at the end of a ten-year sentence. He is the last of the Yaran to be released, because during his sentence he was granted two medical furloughs of several months, and had several periods of hospitalisation. He suffers serious heart problems, blood clots, lymph node problems and acute swelling of the throat. On several occasions in recent years, he has been taken from prison for treatment, only to be returned to prison with the treatment incomplete. His health problems are described as “severe,” and the prison’s Medical Examiner determined that he was not fit for prison. His sentence was due to be fully served (i.e., without the usual early release provisions) on February 27, 2018, but the authorities decided he should serve another 10 months, apparently because his sentence was suspended on two occasions.

Background
The seven ‘Yaran’ served as national facilitators assisting the Bahais of Iran in their dealings with government organs until their arrest and imprisonment. They were appointed following the disappearance and execution of the elected leadership of the Bahais in Iran in 1980, and again in 1981. The elected leaders in many cities were also executed at that time, notably in Tehran, Tabriz, Yazd and Hamadan, where a total of 33 members of the local Bahai “Assemblies” were executed, in addition to the 18 members of two successive national “Assemblies” and two appointed “assistants.” In August 1983, the government declared the elected assemblies illegal. In accordance with the principle of obedience to government, the Bahais then dissolved all elected bodies. Nevertheless, seven former members of the national Assembly were arrested and executed. (see this Wikipedia article).

National and local facilitators were later appointed, principally because government bodies needed to have a Bahai representative to discuss necessary matters and to transmit government instructions to the Bahais, which were not publicised in the media. One of the most important tasks of the facilitators was to arrange for Bahai burials, as Bahais are often barred from burial in public cemeteries, and Bahai practice requires a coffin, which is not allowed in many public cemeteries.

On 5 March 2008, one of the Yaran, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet (مهوش ثابت) – a schoolteacher and mother of two – was arrested having been summoned to the Iranian city of Mashhad to discuss some matters regarding a Bahai burial. Two months later, on 14 May, the other six Yaran were arrested in raids of their homes. Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi was one of these, the others being Jamaloddin Khanjani (جمال الدین خانجانی), Afif Na`imi (عفیف نعیمی), Sa`id Reza’i (سعید رضایی), Behrouz Tavakkoli (بهروز توکلی), and Vahid Tizfahm (وحید تیزفهم).

After twenty months in prison without charge, a trial began on January 12, 2010, under Judge Moqayesseh (قاضی مقیسه, also spelled محمد مقیسه‌ای). Throughout their long wait for justice, the seven had received barely one hour’s access to their legal counsel, and suffered appalling treatment and deprivations, including psychological and physical hardship. They were charged with spying for Israel, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, and the establishment of an illegal administration – charges that were all rejected completely and categorically by the defendants. According to the defence lawyer, the charge of spying for Israel was based only on the fact that the Bahai properties in Israel are tax exempt. However Bahai properties are tax exempt in almost every country, and Islamic holy sites in Israel are also tax exempt! The trial of the seven accused ended on 14 June 2010 after six brief sessions, characterized by their lack of due legal process.

The initial sentence of 20 years imprisonment for each of the defendants, met with outrage and condemnation throughout the world. One month later, the appeal court revoked three of the charges, including that of spying for Israel, and reduced their sentence to 10-year jail terms. In March 2011, the prisoners were informed that their original 20-year sentences were reinstated. In November, 2015, the 20-year sentences were again reduced to ten years. Despite repeated requests, neither the prisoners nor their attorneys have ever received official copies of the original verdict or the ruling on appeal.
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Seven detainees bailed, in Karaj and Tabriz

Radio Farda, December 18, 2018. –

Mr. Parvan Ma`navi (پروان معنوی) and Mrs. Ilham Salmanzadeh (الهام سلمانزاده) have been released on bail on i Karaj, after two months in detention. Monika Alizaadeh (مونیکا علیزاده), Mrs. Shabnam Issakhaani ( شبنم عیسی‌خانی), Shahryaar Khodaapenaah (شهریار خداپناه), Kaambiz Mithaaqi (کامبیز میثاقی) and Khayrullah Bakhsi (خیرالله بخشی) have been bailed in Tabriz, after one month in detention.
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Yekta Fahandezh-Sa`adi sentenced to 11 years

Iran Human Rights Monitor, December 16, 2018.

Yekta Fahandezh-Sa`adi (یکتافهندژسعدی), a Bahai from Shiraz, has sentenced to 11 years prison. The verdict was issued by the Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz.

Miss Fahandezh-Sa`adi was one of fifteen Bahais arrested in Shiraz in 2010. She was expelled from the Shiraz Payam Noor University in 2012, for her religious beliefs. 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. The Ministry of Intelligence was not satisfied, and has now obtained an eleven-year sentence from another revolutionary court in Shiraz.
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Sepideh Keshaavarz bailed in Tehran

HRANA, December 5, 2018. –

As previously reported, on November 20, the home of Mrs. Sepideh Keshaavarz (سپیده کشاورز) was searched, some books and electronic devices were seized, and she was arrested. She was detained in Evin Prison for interrogation, and was released on bail on December 4. Bail was set at 500 million tumans (105,000 euros ; $US 119,000).
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Ten Bahai-run businesses closed in Omidiyeh

HRANA, December 4, 2018. –

Ten Bahai-run business in Omidiyeh have had their doors sealed under a judicial order because they had closed for a Bahai religious observance. They are:
– an electric motor winding workshop belonging to Sa`id Afshaar (سعید افشار) and Behman Afshaar (بهمن افشار), an electronics business run by Farhad Afshaar (فرهاد افشار), an aluminium workshop run by Mohammad Afshaar (محمد افشار), a washing machine repair shop run by Kamaal Afshaar (کمال افشاری), a motor tuning shop run by `Ali-Reza Afshaar (علیرضا افشار), a waterproofing service run by Shokrollah Azizi (شکرالله عزیزی), a refrigeration parts shop run by Mostafa Ebaadi (مصطفی عبادی), an MDF workshop run by Arsalaan Farzaaneh (ارسلان فرزانه), and a refrigeration service business run by Jahaan Behbehaani (جهان بهبهانی). These closures mean that the total of recent closures in Khuzestan Province has reached 23. As previously reported, on November 15 the businesses of at least six Bahais in Khorramshahr were also sealed by order of the judicial authorities. Two were closed in Abadan, and five (not 10) were closed in Ahvaz, but allowed to reopen two weeks later.
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Shahrzaad Nazifi free on bail

HRANA, December 4, 2018. –

Shahrzaad Nazifi (شهرزاد نظیفی), a well-known champion and trainer in women’s motocross who was arrested by security forces on November 18, was freed on bail on December 3. She had been detained at Evin Prison in Tehran. Bail was set at 700 million tumans (147,000 euros ; $US 167,000 ). She was arrested on a motocross track, and taken to her home which was searched for about five hours. The agents seized books, mobile phones and laptops. They had already searched the house once, in a previous raid lasting several hours on November 10. Mrs. Nazifi, her husband Mehrshaad Naraaqi (مهرشاد نراقی) and their daughter Noura Naraaqi (نورا نراقی) are prominent in motocross sport in Iran, and women’s participation in particular.
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Amir Saalaar-Daavudi, human rights lawyer, arrested

Radio Zamaneh, November 29, 2018. –

Amir Saalaar-Daavudi (امیرسالار داوودی), a lawyer who has acted for many prisoners of conscience, was arrested on November 20, and there is still no information about him. Security agents searched his home and workplace and seized both personal effects and his files about legal cases. It is thought that he is being held in a section of Evin Prison that is directly controlled by the judiciary’s Intelligence Arm, which supervises the work of judges and court staff. Many lawyers who act in human rights cases in Iran have themselves been punished for their work.
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Mahvash `Adaalati free bailed in Tehran

HRANA, November 29, 2018. –

Mrs Mahvash `Adaalati-Za’iri (مهوش عدالتی (زائری)) was released on bail in Tehran on November 29. Her home was searched for three hours on November 20, with the seizure of Bahai books and other personal effects, and she was summoned to Evin Prison for interrogation on November 26, and arrested after two hours of interrogation. Interrogations continued in the following days.
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Two arrests in Andisheh

HRANA, November 28, 2018. –

On November 28, security forces arrested two Bahais in Andisheh, a “new city” development near Tehran and Karaj. Their names are given as Neda Shabaani (ندا شبانی (بیوک آقایی)) and Soroush Aagaahi (سروش آگاهی). It is not known where they are being detained.
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Five businesses reopen in Ahwaz

HRANA, November 27, 2018. –

On the morning of November 27, officials in Ahwaz allowed the reopening of five Bahai-run businesses that they closed down on November 12. It was previously reported that ten Bahai-run businesses in Ahwaz were closed on November 12, but the current report implies that all the businesses closed that day have now been allowed to reopen, and identifies five by name.
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Shaayaan Tafazoli begins a one-year sentence

HRANA, November 26, 2018. –

Shaayaan Tafazoli (شایان تفضلی) began his one-year sentence in Mashhad prison on November 26. He is one of four Bahais from Mashhad who were sentenced to one year in prison by Judge Soltani ( قاضی سلطانی) in February this year. They were arrested in were arrested on July 8, 2014, following a raid on a Bahai religious meeting. The other three detainees in that case are Dori Amri (دری امری), Saaqi Fedaa’i (ساقی فدایی) and her mother Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی). They were charged with propaganda against the regime.
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Ninth Bahai sentenced in Baharestan

HRANA, November 22, 2018. –

Readers may have noticed that a November 23 summary of events in Iran, from the Bahai International Community, refers to nine Bahais being sentenced in Baharestan, while the post on Sen’s Daily mentioned only eight names. HRANA has identified the ninth Bahai as `Ali Thani (علی ثانی), whose arrest and trial were not previously noted on Sen’s Daily. He was sentenced to five years in prison for “participating in illegal Bahai activities” and one year in prison for propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith.
the court documents list him as “a Muslim who has been attracted to the Bahai Faith.” In addition to the six year sentence, he was sentenced to five years [concurrently] on a charge of selling cultural products. He was a seller of cultural products before being arrested. [Presumably, the Court considers that Bahais are banned from selling cultural products, so he should have abandoned his business when he became a Bahai ~ Sen].
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Home raid and summons in Tehran

HRANA, November 22, 2018. –

On November 20, security agents raided the home of Farid Ismaa`ili (فرید اسماعیلی), seizing mobile telephone, laptops and books and images relating to the Bahai Faith. They left a summons requiring him to report to Evin Prison in Tehran.
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One arrest in Qaemshahr

HRANA, November 22, 2018. –

On November 20, Mr. `Ali Ahmadi (علی احمدی) was arrested by seven agents from the security forces and taken to the solitary confinement section of Kashui prison in Sari. It is reported that he will be charged with “propaganda against the regime,” but at the time of the report he had not had any contact with his family. This is the fifth time he has been arrested in the past ten years: On the first occasion he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, and on the second occasion he was acquitted. In 2011 he was arrested with two others and charged with participation in Bahai activities. One report says that he is also known as Cheragh-`Ali (چراغعلی) Ahmadi.
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Two arrests and a summons in Tehran

HRANA, November 21, 2018. –

HRANA is reporting three apparently unrelated cases relating to Bahais in Tehran. The first concerns Mrs Mahvash `Adaalati-Za’iri (مهوش عدالتی (زائری)), whose home was searched for three hours on November 20. The security agents seized some Bahai books and other personal effects, and issued a summons to attend for interrogation, on an unspecified date. Also on November 20, the home of Sepideh Keshaavarz (سپیده کشاورز) was searched, some books and electronic devices were seized, and he was arrested: his whereabouts are unknown. On November 18, security forces arrested Shahrzaad Nazifi (شهرزاد نظیفی), a well-known sportswoman and trainer in women’s motorcross.
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Three Bahais arrested, bailed in Isfahan

HRANA, November 19, 2018. –

Three Bahais from Isfahan, Farid Amini (فرید امینی), Nasrin Khwaajeh (“نسرین خواجه) and Mozhgaan Khoushhaal (مژگان خوشحال), were arrested along with 15 other persons attending a health class on November 15. They were released on bail on November 19. The other 15 persons arrested were apparently not Bahais. The report does not say anything about them, but they would presumably have been released when the authorities discovered they were not Bahais.
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Eight Bahais sentenced in Baharestan, near Isfahan

HRANA, November 21, 2018. –

Afshin Bolbolaan (افشین بلبلان), Sahaam Armin (سهام آرمین), Milaad Daavadaan (میلاد داوردان), Farhaang Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا) and Anush Raayneh (انوش راینه) have been sentenced to six years in prison for their Bahai beliefs, while Bahaareh Dhini-Sobhaaniaan (بهاره ذینی صبحانیان), Fuzhaan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی) and Sepideh Rouhani (سپیده روحانی) have been given four-year sentences. They were arrested Baharestan, near Isfahan, on September 23rd, 2018, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence. The specific charges against them are not known, and this report does not say which court handed down the sentence (probably the Revolutionary Court in Isfahan ~~Sen).
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Business reclosed in Abadan

Iran Press Watch, November 18, 2018. –

On November 5th, the business of two Bahais in Abadan, Aaraam Aazaadi ( آرام آزادی) and Aarmaan Aazaadi (آرمان آزادی), was shut down and sealed by order of Judiciary Authorities, for the second time this year. This action coincides with important Bahai religious holidays, on which, based on their religious beliefs, Bahais close their place of business. Earlier this year, the business of these two Bahais was sealed for 15 days. A source close to the brothers told HRANA: “These citizens have been running this store for the last 38 years. Intelligence and Security officers seized their place of business and revoked their business license using unsubstantiated excuses.”
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Three more arrests in Tabriz

HRANA, November 20, 2018. –

As previously reported, on November 16, Kaambiz Mithaaqi (کامبیز میثاقی), Shahryaar Khodaapenaah (شهریار خداپناه) and Farzaad Bahaardori ( فرزاد بهادری), Bahais living in Tabriz, were arrested by security forces. On November 18, Khayrullah Bakhsi (خیرالله بخشی) and Monika Alizaadeh (مونیکا علیزاده) were likewise arrested. Today, November 20, security agents went to the home of Mrs. Shabnam Issakhaani ( شبنم عیسی‌خانی). Finding her not at home, they searched the house and told her family she should report to the Ministry of Intelligence in the morning. Mrs Issakhaani was one of six Bahais arrested following a raid on the Bahadori home in Tabriz on July 12, 2014, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence who seized all the Bahai books and other materials they could find. They were all sentenced to one year in prison, but the Court of Final Review later acquitted all six. Farzaad Bahaardori was another of these six.
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Mitra Zahdi and Farajollah Bengaaleh sentenced to 5 years in prison

HRANA, November 20, 2018. –

The Revolutoionary Court in Ahwaz has sentenced Mrs. Mitra Badrnezhad-Zahdi (میترا بدرنژاد زهدی) and Mr. Farajollah Bengaaleh ( فرج اله بنگاله) to five years in jail. Mitra Zahdi was arrested in Ahwaz on March 3 this year, and Farajollah Bengaaleh was arrested on March 28 in Shiraz and later transferred by the Ministry of Intelligence to Ahwaz. On May 14 they were both released on bail of 200 million tumans each (40,000 euros ; $US 47,500). In both cases, their houses were searched at the time of their arrests, and religious items were seized. The sentences are still subject to review.
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Six Bahai-run businesses closed in Khorramshahr

Iran Press Watch, November 19. 2018. –

By the close of business on Thursday, November 15, 2018, the businesses of at least six Baha’i citizens of Khorramshahr were also sealed by the order of the judicial authorities. The business owners are identified by HRANA as the optician’s shops of Behrouz Habibi (بهروز حبیبی), Hossein-Ali Habibi (حسینعلی حبیبی), Behnaam Habibi (بهنام حبیبی) and Bahaador Ahmadi (بهادر احمدی); the sewing machine shop of Kaambiz Aazaadi (کامبیز آزادی), and the engine repair shop of Kouroush Jaaberi (کوروش جابری). This is in addition to the ten closures in Ahwaz that were previously reported. 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 Union. However, this law is not extended to Bahai citizens and authorities routinely penalize Bahai business owners for observance of their Holy Days by sealing their businesses.
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Three arrests in Tabriz; three sentenced announced in Yazd

VOA News, November 18, 2018.

On November 16, Kaambiz Mithaaqi (کامبیز میثاقی), Shahryaar Khodaapenaah (شهریار خداپناه) and Farzaad Bahaardori ( فرزاد بهادری), Bahais living in Tabriz, were arrested by security forces. In June 2016, the Court of Final Review acquitted Mr. Farzaad Bahadori and five other Bahais from Tabriz who were arrested following a raid on the Bahadori home in Tabriz on July 12, 2014. Businesses run by Kaambiz Mithaaqi and Shahryaar Khodaapenaah were among about 90 Bahai-run businesses in East Azerbaijan Province that were closed by the authorities in December 2017.

Three Bahais from Yazd have also been informed of their sentences. Naaaser Baaqeri ( ناصر باقری) and his son Faa`iz Baaqeri (فائز باقری) were sentenced to nine months and three years in prison, respectively. Mrs. Rouhaa Emaani (روحا ایمانی), from Kerman, was sentenced to nine months in prison. Mrs. Emaani was arrested in Yazd during a raid on her home on May 12, 2015. Faa’iz Baaqeri and his father were arrested in their home on February 28, 2015. All three were released on bail in July, 2015.
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Ten Bahai businesses closed in Ahwaz

Keyhan Novin, November 12, 2018. –

On November 12, officials acting on a court order closed ten businesses in Ahwaz that were run by Bahais. Some of them were also closed down by officials last year, and later allowed to reopen.
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Music schools shut down for allowing Bahais to teach

Ettelaat, November 10, 2018. –

Two childrens’ music schools in Shiraz have been shut down by the judicial authorities for allowing (employing?) Bahais to teach. The schools were not owned or run by Bahais, but Noraa Pourmoraadian (نورا پورمرادیان) and Elaheh Sami`zaadeh (الهه سمیع زاده), two Bahai women who were arrested in Shiraz in mid-September and freed on bail in mid-October, taught music to children there.
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Body exhumed and dumped in Damavand

Iran Press Watch, November 10, 2018. –

Shamsi Aghdasi Azamian (شمسی اقدسی اعظمیان), a Bahai from Gilavand, a suburb of Damavand (in Tehran Province), was buried in Gilavand Bahai Cemetery on October 24. Four days later her body was exhumed by unknown individuals and abandoned in the deserts of Jaban in the suburbs of that city. No individual or institution has accepted responsibility for this action, although security forces had told the Gilavand Bahais earlier that they had no right to bury their deceased member in Damavand and that they should perform burials only in Tehran. Gilavand Bahai Cemetery has been the Bahai burial place for many years.

Four days after the burial, in a phone call, police told Mrs. Azamian’s son that the body of his mother, had been found in deserts near Jaban in the Damavand district. A source close to the family said, “After the body of Mrs. Azamian was found, her son was told by security forces to transfer his mother’s body to Tehran. They then faced the son’s objection, since the distance between Gilavand and Tehran is more than an hour … according to Bahai law, the distance between the location of the death and the place of burial should not exceed one hour. As a result, two hours later, the agents carried away the body of Mrs. Azamian without the consent of the family to Tehran.”

A group of Iranian progressive intellectuals has issued a statement condemning this action.

This is not the first time Bahais in Iran have faced the demolition of Bahai cemeteries in various cities. HRANA earlier has reported on the destruction of graves and the closure of Bahai cemeteries by judicial and security authorities in the past several years.

Among Bahai cemeteries, one in the city of Kerman has been sealed since noon on March 15, 2018, by order of the Kerman judicial authorities, and the burial of deceased Bahais has been prevented.

Also, on July 14, 2016, Ghorveh Bahai cemetery, in the province of Kurdistan, was destroyed by government agents.

On December 12, 2013, after confirmation of a court order in Sanandaj and confiscation of the land belonging to the Bahais which had been used as a cemetery, the site was demolished by a bulldozer.

In March 2014, the Bahai cemetery in Ahwaz was closed, and the alley leading to it was blocked by heavy cement blocks. No organization has accepted responsibility for this action.

Also, in the middle of December 2012, Sangesar’s old Bahai cemetery was thoroughly covered in soil and rubble by bulldozers and trucks, and all the graves were covered by dirt and rocks, so that no more graves could be seen.

Since August 2011, the Bahai community of Tabriz has not been allowed to bury their dead in this city, and their bodies are being transferred by intelligence officers to the city of Miyandoab, in West Azerbaijan province.
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Pejman Shahryari and Mahbub Habibi bailed in Shiraz, City Counselor still detained

Campaign for Prisoners of Conscience, November 5, 2018. –

Pejman Shahryari (پژمان شهریاری) and Mahbub Habibi (محبوب حبیبی), two of the six Bahais who were arrested in Shiraz on August 16, were released on bail on November 5. Two of those detainees, Dorna Esmaili (درنا اسماعیل)and Houman Esmaili (هومن اسماعیلی) were ‘temporarily’ released (i.e., without bail) after a few hours interrogation at the Ministry of Intelligence “Facility 100.” Negar Mithaqian (نگار میثاقیان) was also released, although her name is missing in the “Campaign” report. Mr. Koroush Rouhani (کوروش روحانی), who owns the garden where the six were arrested, was released on bail on September 24.

Another six Bahais were arrested in Shiraz three weeks earlier. On September 15, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested three Bahais in Shiraz: Navid Bazmaandegaan (نوید بازماندگان), his wife Bahaareh Qaaderi (بهاره قادری), and Elaheh Sami`zadeh. On the following day, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) and Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت) were arrested. Noraa Pourmoraadian (نورا پورمرادیان) was also arrested, on either the 15th or 16th of September.

The case of the September six drew national attention because a Shiraz city Counselor, Mehdi Haajati (مهدی حاجتی) made efforts for the release of Navid Bazmaandegaan and Bahaareh Qaaderi, and was himself arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence on September 27 and accused of defending the “false Bahai Faith.” He had twittered that “our generation has a duty to reform the judicial and other procedures that endanger social justice.” According to this report, he remains in detention although bail has been set at 50 million tumans. An earlier report that he was released on bail of 200 million tomans ($47,500 USD) appears to have been incorrect. He has since been put under judicial supervision for six months and banned from his seat on the Council. Some Council members who came to Haajati’s defense have also received warnings, according to Nozar Emami, one of the 10 members (of the 13-member Council) who called for Haajati’s release.
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Saqi Feda’i and Mey Khalusi begin sentences in Mashhad

Campaign for prisoners of conscience, November 1, 2018.

Saqi Feda’i (ساقی فدایی) and her mother Mey Khalusi (می خلوصی) began one-year prison sentences in Mashhad on October 31. They were charged with “propaganda against the regime.” They were arrested, along with two other Bahais, in a raid on a Bahai religious meeting in Saqi Feda’i’s home on June 1, 2014. During the raid some religious books were seized.
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Dhabihullah Ra’ufi begins jail sentence in Sanandaj

Campaign for prisoners of conscience, October 31, 2018. –

Dhabihullah Ra’ufi ( ذبیح الله رئوفی ), a 70-year-old Bahai from Sanandaj, has begun his sentence of one year in prison and one year in internal exile in Minab, 1700 kilometers from his home. He was arrested on September 8, 2015, by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence who searched the home he shares with his wife Parvaneh Rahmani-Ra’ufi (پروانه رحمانی رئوفی). Four agents seized CD’s, books, pictures and other items relating to the Bahai Faith. They also arrested some non-Bahais who were present during the raid. His wife was arrested later, when their home was searched a second time on December 19, 2015. She has also been sentenced to one year in prison and one year in exile.

Mr. Ra’ufi was freed on bail six days after his arrest, but after his release some of his non-Bahai contacts were detained and lodged personal complaints against him.
One of these contacts, Mr. Muhammad Salahaddin Rashidiyan (محمدصلاح الدین رشیدیان) said that while he was detained at the Ministry of Intelligence office he was threatened with charges of apostasy, which carries the death sentence, but promised freedom if he lodged a complaint against the Bahais. He said that he knew of at least three others who were forced to lodge complaints against the Ra’ufi family in the same way. Mr. Ra’ufi was eventually charged with “propaganda against the regime.”

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.
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Five detainees bailed in Karaj

Sarkhat, October 30, 2018. –

Jamileh Paakrou (جمیله پاکرو), Paymaan Ma’navi (پیمان معنوی), Payaam Sha’baani (پیام شعبانی )and Keyaarash Salmaanzaadeh (کیارش سلمانزاده) (here reported as Keyaanush Salmaanzaadeh (کیانوش سلمانزاده)), who were arrested in Karaj on September 16, have been released on bail. Another report states that Houman Khoushnam (هومن خوشنام ), arrested on September 25, has also been bailed, for 300 million tumans (63,000 euros ; $US 71,000). At the time of his arrest, his business in Karaj was also closed. During his time in detention, he was interrogated without the opportunity for family visits or telephone calls.
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Navid Bazmandegan bailed in Shiraz

HRANA (facebook), October 23, 2018. –

Navid Bazmandegan (نوید بازماندگان), who was arrested in Shiraz on September 15, has been released on bail.
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Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa and Nilufar Hakimi bailed in Shiraz

Gozar Net, October 18, 2018. –

Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) and Nilufar Hakimi (نیلوفر حکیمی) were released on bail on October 18. Mr. Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) was arrested in Shiraz on September 16, while Ms. Hakimi was arrested on October. On October 12, Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت), Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان) and Elaheh Sami`zadeh (الهه سمیع زاده) were also released on bail in Shiraz.
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Under pressure from security forces, Samsung subsidiary fires a Baha’i

Iran Press Watch (from HRANA), October 18, 2018. –

Yazd security officials put pressure on the administrator of a Samsung subsidiary to fire marketing representative Sahar Rouhani on the grounds of her faith.

An informed source told HRANA that Rouhani was already being commended by Samsung executives as one of the best employees in the company after working there for little more than a year.

Rouhani’s university photography studies were cut short for the same reason in 2009, the source added. “She was expelled from the university in the middle of the fourth semester, after paying full tuition fees, because of being Baha’i.”

In August of this year, HRANA reported on the sudden and permanent dismissal of Baha’i Shiraz residents Sabah Haghbin, Samira Behinayeen, and Payam Goshtasbi from their private companies. Their company’s executives, like those at Samsung, had been harried by security agents to fire them.
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Sixth arrest in Karaj

Campaign to defend prisoners of conscience, October 17, 2018. –

On October 16, security forces in Karaj raided the home of Parvan Ma`navi (پروان معنوی), seizing various personal effects, and arrested Mr. Ma`navi. It is not known where he is being held. He is the sixth Bahai to be arrested in Karaj in the past month.
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Baha’i spokesperson arrested in Yemen

BIC News, October 12, 2018. –

The spokesperson for the Bahai community in Yemen has been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. Abdullah Al-Olofi (عبدهللا العلف) was on his way to the market in Sana’a on 11 October when he was surrounded by armed soldiers in two pick-up trucks, blindfolded and taken away.

“This latest arrest is extremely worrying considering the recent intensification of persecutions against the Bahai community in Yemen,” said Diane Alai, Representative of the Bahai International Community to the United Nations.

Full report.
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Three Bahai detainees bailed

Campaign to defend prisoners of conscience, October 12, 2018. –

Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت), Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان) and Elaheh Sami`zadeh (الهه سمیع زاده) have been released on bail in Shiraz. Bail was set at 150 million tumans each (31,000 euros ; $US 36,000). They were arrested in mid-September, along with a number of other Bahais in the city. Bail amounts are said to have been set for other Bahai detainees in Shiraz, but their release has not been implemented.
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Ruhiyyeh Nariman and Farzad Delaram detained in Shiraz

Iranians Global, October 8, 2018. –

Mrs. Ruhiyyeh Nariman (روحیه نریمان) and her husband Farzad Delaram (فرزاد دلارام) were arrested in Shiraz on October 8, and their house has been searched. On July 30 I reported here that they had been summoned to begin their prison sentences within one month, but that was delayed as the couple appealed that they should not serve their sentences simultaneously, since they have two children. That appeal was denied, and it is likely that yesterday’s arrest is to begin serving their sentences, although the new search of their home and the recent arrests of other Bahais in Shiraz make other explanations possible. Books and computers were seized. It is reported that they were taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility, rather than to the city prison.

As previously reported, they were originally sentenced to five years in prison, but the Review Court reduced this to two years and six months for Ruhiyyeh Nariman and one year for Farzad Delaram.

They were arrested by agents from the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard Corps on October 3, 2016, not long after the arrest of 14 other Bahais in Shiraz on September 29. Their home was thoroughly searched. Ten days later, they were released on bail of 200 million tumans (approx. $US 63,600). They were tried in the Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Sadati ( قاضی ساداتی) on February 26, 2017, but their sentences were not announced until early in March, 2018. They were charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of illegal Bahai groups. They have two children, one a child and the other a teenager.
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New arrest in Shiraz

Hamid Rezataghipour, October 7, 2018. –

Nilufar Hakimi (نیلوفر حکیمی) was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz on October 6, the latest in a series of arrests of Bahais in Shiraz.
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Eighth arrest reported in Baharestan

HRANA (English), September 26, 2018. –

On Sunday, September 23rd, Saham Armin became the eighth Bahai to be detained by Ministry of Intelligence forces in Baharestan, near Isfahan. The agents searched his home before arresting him. I previously reported seven arrests on that day: Afshin Bolbolan (افشین بلبلان), Anush Rayneh (انوش راینه), Milad Davadan (میلاد داوردان), Farhan Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا), Bahareh Dhini-Sobhanian (بهاره ذینی صبحانیان), Sepideh Rouhani (سپیده روحانی) and Fuzhan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی).
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Koroush Rouhani bailed in Shiraz

HRANA (English), September 26, 2018. –

Koroush Rouhani (کوروش روحانی), who was arrested in Shiraz on August 16, was on Monday, September 24th on 1 billion rials (approximately $6000 USD) bail, and now awaits trial. As of the date of this report, no further information is available on his charges or the reasons behind his arrest.
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Nora Pourmoradian’s home raided

HRANA, September 27, 2018. –

On September 27, security forces raided the home of Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان), one of the six Bahais arrested in Shiraz in the past two weeks. They seized personal effects such as books and documents, and briefly arrested her father and mother.
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Sixth arrest and a business closure in Karaj

HRANA, September 26, 2018. –

On September 25, Houman Khoushnam (هومن خوشنام ) became the sixth Bahai to be arrested in Karaj in the past 10 days. His business was also closed down by the authorities. The arrests of five Bahais in Karaj are reported here.
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Bahai student expelled in Isfahan

Shahrvandyar (Facebook), September 26, 2018. –

Shaqayeq Shouqi (شقایق شوقی), a student of applied chemistry in her sixth semester of study at the Isfahan University of Technology, has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. She discovered she had been expelled on the last day of the term exams, when she found that her access to her student profile on the University’s web site was blocked, and there was no way to re-enroll for the coming semester. When she enquired with university officials she was told that she would have to pursue the matter with the national office of educational assessment. When she did so, officials said that they were sorry, and that she had done nothing wrong, but the system is based on regulations that bar Bahais from entering universities. She was not given any documentary evidence that she had been expelled, and officials have refused to return the high school certificates she submitted when she first enrolled unless she provides a form saying she has withdrawn from university voluntarily.
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Two more arrests in Karaj: environment a common factor in 19 arrests

Following the previous report of the arrest of three Bahais at a meeting for environmental education in Karaj on September 16, it has emerged that two other Bahais there have all been arrested. The report does not say whether this was also on September 16. The additional detainees are Payaam Sha’baani (پیام شعبانی ) and Paymaan Ma’navi (پیمان معنوی). Those originally reported are Maryam Ghafarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش), Jamileh Parkrou (جمیله پاکرو) and Keyarash Salmanzadeh (کیارش سلمانزاده).

Although no charges have been laid, it appears that environmental activities are a common factor in the arrest of the five Bahais in Karaj, seven (or eight, but the eighth is unnamed) in Baharestan, Isfahan province, and six in Shiraz.
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Seven arrests in Baharestan, near Isfahan

HRANA, September 23, 2018. –

Early on September 23, security forces arrested seven Bahais at their homes in Baharestan, a newly built planned city about 30 km south of Isfahan. Those arrested are Afshin Bolbolan (افشین بلبلان), Anush Rayneh (انوش راینه), Milad Davadan (میلاد داوردان), Farhan Sahba (فرهنگ صهبا), Bahareh Dhini-Sobhanian (بهاره ذینی صبحانیان), Sepideh Rouhani (سپیده روحانی) and Fuzhan Rashidi (فوژان رشیدی). There is no word yet of where they are being held. One report suggested there were eight arrests, but this is not confirmed.
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Student denied his diploma in Urmia

Hamid Rezataghpour (citing HRANA), Semptember 19, 2018. –

Mithaq Aghsani (میثاق اغصانی), an undergraduate student at the Payam-e Nour University in Urmia (Urumiyyeh), has been denied his Bachelor’s diploma and barred from further education because of his Bahai beliefs. His father is a veteran and war prisoner from the Iran-Iraq war, which, if he were not a Bahai, would give his son privileged access to university in Iran. The business of his father and grandfather have both been closed by the authorities for the past 14 months, because they are Bahais. They are continuing to work, on the footpath in front of their workplaces, in the heat of summer and cold of winter.
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Bahai student expelled in Karaj, 58 excluded from enrolling

Adian Bashariyat (relaying HRANA), September 20, 2018. –

Anahita Horr (آناهیتا حر), a Bachelor’s student of architectural drawing at the non-profit Rasam University in Karaj has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. She was able to enroll in 2016 (around August), and has completed two years of study.

HRANA continues to monitor the number of Bahai students who have completed the University Entrance examination successfully, but are barred from enrollment because their Bahai beliefs are known to the Ministry of Intelligence. Thus far, this year’s total is 58. At about this time last year, 115 Bahai students were known to have been excluded at the gate, and in October 2016 the figure for that year was 129.
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Three arrests in Karaj

Iranians Global, September 19, 2018. –

On the evening of September 16, security forces arrested three Bahais in Karaj, about an hour West of Tehran, and took them to Evin Prison in Tehran. They are Maryam Ghafarmanesh (مریم غفارمنش), Jamileh Parkrou (جمیله پاکرو) and Keyarash Salmanzadeh (کیارش سلمانزاده). Security forces raided a meeting for environmental education, held at the home of Ramin Sadeqi (رامین صدقی) and led by Maryam Ghafarmanesh. The officers seized all the cell phones, took the personal details of all those attending, and then searched the house, seizing a desktop computer and Bahai books and the ownership documents for the house. Then they went to Mrs. Parkrou’s house and seized mobile phones and computers and the ownership documents for the house. About 20 hours later Mrs. Ghafarmanesh reported in a telephone conversation that her bail had been set at 300 million tumans (61,000 euros; $US 71,000).
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Mehran Bandi Amirabadi released unexpectedly

Iranians Global, September 19. 2018. –

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi (مهران بندی امیرآبادی), a 60-year-old Bahai from Yazd who began his 18-month sentence on August 7 this year, has been released without warning, after serving just six weeks, as well as (presumably) recognition of time he spent under interrogation before his trial. Earlier sources said that his sentence was 12 months, but in either case his release is unexpected and early.
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Bahai student expelled from Tehran technical college

Hamid Rezataghipour, September 19, 2018. –

Nikan Sheydan-Shaydi, a Bahai student in the third semester of an Intermediate study in moulding technology at the Technical College of Tehran, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. He began his studies in February 2017. He was summoned to the Institute’s security office [a branch of the Ministry of Intelligence] and asked why he had enrolled, since he was a Bahai? “There is no place for Bahais here, just like the universities.” However he was told that he could change the religion field in his student records, and continue with his studies.

In recent days the number of Bahai students who have just passed the University Entrance examination, and find they are excluded from tertiary education on the excuse of “incomplete file,” has risen beyond 50. In previous years the total has been above 100 each year.
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Two more arrests in Shiraz

Iranians Global, September 17, 2019. –

Late in the evening of September 16, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Sudabeh Haqiqat (سودابه حقیقت) and too her to the Ministry’s offices in Shiraz. She was arrested at a family gathering to prepare for her grandmother’s funeral. Earlier [on the same day?], Nora Pourmoradian (نورا پورمرادیان) was arrested. These two arrests bring the number of Bahais arrested in Shiraz in the past week to six. On September 15, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested three Bahais in Shiraz: Navid Bazmandegan (نوید بازماندگان), his wife Bahreh Qaderi (بهاره قادری), and Elaheh Sami`zadeh. There present whereabouts is unknown. A fourth Bahai, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) was arrested on September 16, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility 100 in Shiraz.
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Trial of 24 Bahais begins in Yemen

Fuad Rajah, September 16, 2018. –

Houthi activists started the trial of several Baha’i families on Saturday. Fifteen men and 9 women are charged with spying for Israel, the U.S. and Britain. The report comes from Fuad Raja, a reporter in Sanaa, quoting Abdullah Al-Olofi, spokesperson for the Bahai community in Yemen.
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Four arrests in Shiraz

Radio Zamineh, September 16, 2018. –

On September 15, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested three Bahais in Shiraz: Navid Bazmandegan (نوید بازماندگان), his wife Bahreh Qaderi (بهاره قادری), and Elaheh Sami`zadeh. There present whereabouts is unknown. A fourth Bahai, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahufa (احسان محبوب راه‌وفا) was arrested on September 16, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention facility 100 in Shiraz.
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More students excluded for their Bahai beliefs

Mahvash Zaeri, September 15, 2018. –

More Bahai students who passed the University Entrance examination with good marks have learned that they are excluded from tertiary education because the authorities — who according to the Constitution are not permitted to inquire into religious beliefs — know they are Bahais. The new names (in addition to those I listed yesterday) are Sahand Qa’emi (سهند قائمی), Faran Abbas-Pouli (فاران عباس پولی), Basiz Zayn-`Ali (?) Baghini (بصیز زینلی باغینی), Sadaf Mithaqi-Sisan (صدف میثاقی سیسان), Yahya Mousavi Tang-rizi (یحیی موسوی تنگ ریزی) from Karaj, Anita Rastegar (آنیتا رستگار), Nabil Bashi-Ardestani (نبیل باشی ارد ستانی), Tara Bahamin (تارا بهامین), Bita Chorkhzarin (بیتا چرخ زرین), Arman Golzar (آرمان گلزار), Pegar Sirusian (پگاه سیروسیان), Nariman Movafeq-Evali (نریمان موفقی ایولی), Nuna Qadiri-Nafarest (نونا قدیری نُفرست), Sayeh Aqa’i (سایه آقائی), Farhud Bashi (فرهود باشی) from Tehran, Parsa Shaykhzadeh (پارسا شیخ زاده), Foruzan Nuredel (فروزان نوردل) from Tabriz, Hadi Hedayat (هدي هدايتي) from Semnan, Sina Tala`i (سینا طالعی), Aryan Baqa’i (آرین بقایی) from Sari, Wafa Nobakht (وفا نوبخت) from Sari and Adib Rahmani (ادیب رحمانی) from Sari. This brings the total of the new cohort of Bahai students who have been excluded this year to 33.
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Bahai student deprived of her Intermediate diploma

Tavaana (twitter), September 15, 2018. –

Sheqayey Dhabihi (شقایق ذبیحی), a Bahai from Karaj who has completed her Intermediate year in Architecture at the non-profit University of Karaj, applied to receive the Diploma. However she was summoned to the offices of the national Educational Assessments Bureau, and told that, because of her Bahai beliefs, she could not be awarded the Diploma and would not be allowed to continue her studies.
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Ten Bahai students excluded from education

Hamid Rezataghpour, September 13, 2108. –

As the academic year begins in Iran, reports show at least ten Bahai students who gained passing grades in the nation-wide University Entrance Examinations have been excluded from enrolling in a university or technical institute, with the excuse “incomplete file.” The names of the excluded students known thus far are Shamim Eydelkhani (شمیم ایدلخانی) from the Moghan [sic, مغان] in Ardabil Province, Farniya Ilyazadeh (فرنیا ایلیازاده) from Tehran, Parmida Hoseynpuli-Mamqani (پارمیدا حسینپولی ممقانی), Servin Adhar-Shab (سروین آذر شب) from Tehran, Parand Mithaqi (پرند میثاقی), Shahrzad Tirgar (شهرزاد تیرگر), Melina Qumi-Nik (ملینا قوامی نیک) from Tehran, Tarannom Mo`tamedi-Borujeni (ترنم معتمدی بروجنی) from Shahenshahr in Isfahan, Wahid Sadeqi-Sisan (وحید صادقی سیسان) and Shaqayeq Qasemi (شقایق قاسمی).
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For older news, see the “old news” archive on Sen’s Daily blog.

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