Pedram Abhar’s House Searched While He Remains Detained in Unknown Detention Center

On Tuesday, November 23, security forces raided and searched Baha’i citizen Pedram Abhar’s house in Tehran. On November 21, security forces arrested Pedram Abhar at his father’s home in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, at the time of arrest, they also searched the house and confiscated several family belongings such as identity cards, passports, cell phones, pictures and books related to the Baha’i faith. While Baha’i citizen, Pedram Abahar is still in detention in an unidentified detention center, his house in Tehran was searched by security forces again on Tuesday.

“On Sunday morning, November 21, at 10 am., Mr. Abhar departed from Shiraz to Bushehr,” an informed source told HRANA. “While he was at a rest stop on the road, he was surrounded by three cars. They arrested and transferred him back to his parents’ home in Shiraz. About 13 security agents searched the house. Yesterday, his parents went to the courthouse to find out about their son. However, they did not get an answer. Finally, this morning, Mr. Abhar was allowed to make a short call to his parent.”

Regarding this report, HRA Senior Advocacy Coordinator Skylar Thompson stated that HRA strongly condemned these discriminatory acts against religious minorities in Iran. She asked that the regime take action to ensure Iranian people, and Bahai’s citizens in particular, are entitled to the freedom of religion and can perform their religious acts freely.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

The reason for Abhar’s arrest, the charges against him, the security institution responsible for the arrest, and the detainee’s whereabouts are all unknown as of this writing.

Baha’i Citizen Shiva Khalili Arrested and Released on Bail in Babol

On Tuesday, November 16, Baha’i citizen Shiva Khalili was arrested after being summoned and appearing at Branch 1 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Babol.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Khalili was released the following day on a bail of 700 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings. Shiva Khalili, a resident of Babol in Mazandaran Province, was summoned to the Revolutionary Court of Babol by phone.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

The reason for Khalili’s arrest and the charges against her are unknown as of this writing.

Two Christian Converts Sent to Bushehr Prison to Endure One Year Sentences

Earlier this Thursday, November 11, Christian converts Sasan Khosravi and Habib Heydari were sent to Bushehr Prison to endure their prison sentences.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Mohabbat News, the Revolutionary Court of Bushehr sentenced each of them to one-year imprisonment, among other punishments, in June of this year. These verdicts were later upheld by the court of appeals.

Khosravi and Heydari received these sentences on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”. They had also faced two other charges of “acting against national security” and “membership in anti-regime group”, but of both of these they were acquitted.

On July 1, 2019, the intelligence agents arrested Khosravi and Heydari in Bushehr and  released them on a bail of 300 million tomans after two weeks. During their detention period, the detainees were held in solitary confinement and denied any access to a lawyer. They were also forced to make a videotaped confession.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, the security services pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with those who convert to Christianity.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

 

Three Christian Converts Summoned in Karaj to Endure Their Sentences

Christian Converts Amin Khaki, Milad Goodarzi, and Alireza Nourmohammadi were summoned to appear today, November 10, at the Executive Unit of the Court of Karaj to endure their sentences.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 12 of the Court of Appeals of Alborz Province had previously sentenced each of these citizens to three years in prison.

In their first trial, which took place on June 26 of this year, they were each sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and paying a fine of 40 million tomans by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj on charges of “propaganda and catechizing deviant against the holy Sharia of Islam”.  Following the verdict, they were released each on bail of 250 million Tomans. On August 22, the verdict was reduced to three years each on appeal.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Islamic law, nevertheless, the security services pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity and deal harshly with the converts of the Christian faith.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

 

 

Four Baha’i Citizens Sentenced to a Total of 32 Months Imprisonment by Appeals Court

The Court of Appeals in Yazd Province recently sentenced Baha’i citizens Amin Zolfaghari, Mahboobeh Misaghian, Mitra Bandi Amirabadi and Hiva Yazdan Mehdi Abadi to a total of 32 months in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in recent days, Branch 11 of the Court of Appeals in Yazd sentenced each of the four Baha’i citizens to eight months in prison on a charge of “propaganda against the regime”.

Initially, Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Yazd Province had sentenced these citizens to a total of 13 years and 4 months in prison on a charge of “membership in Baha’s anti-regime groups and the propaganda against the regime”. Upon appeal, they were acquitted from the first charge.

On May 21, 2020,  intelligence agents arrested Mr. Amin Zolfaghari and transferred him to Yazd prison. He was released on bail on June 23 of that year. Ms. Misaghian was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2020, and released on bail on June 16, 2020.

Ms. Mitra Bandi Amirabadi and Ms. Hiva Yazdan Mehdi Abadi were arrested on May 30, 2020, and released on bail after three months of detention. These two citizens had previously faced other arrests and convictions. In December 2017, Yazdan Mehdi Abadi was detained for “teaching music to children” and transferred to Yazd Prison. She was released on bail on December 25 of that year.

According to an informed source, these two above-mentioned citizens were arrested and sentenced to suspended imprisonment for a period, which ended recently.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

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Baha’i Citizen Manijeh Azamian’s One Year Sentence Upheld by Court of Appeals

The court of appeals in Mazandaran Province recently upheld Baha’i citizen Manijeh Azamian’s one year prison sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 52-year-old Azamian had previously been sentenced on a charge of “propaganda against the regime” by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Babol.

On April 10, security forces searched Azamian’s house and confiscated several of her personal belonging such as her cell phone, PC hard drive, flash drives, and books about the Baha’i faith. They summoned her to appear at the Ministry of Intelligence office on the same day afternoon.

An informed source told HRANA, “During the interrogation, they called several phone numbers from the list on her cell phone and at least three of her non-Baha’i friends or neighbors were summoned for interrogation.”

Three days later, security forces arrested her and transferred her to Babol Prison. The next day, she was released on bail of 50 million tomans.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

 

 

Four Baha’i Citizens Released on Bail in Shiraz

On Tuesday, October 27, Baha’i citizens Moeen Misaghi, Negareh Ghaderi, Hayedeh Forootan and her son Mehran Mosala-Nejad were released on bail in Shiraz until the end of legal proceedings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, each of these citizens has been granted a bail of 800 million tomans.

On September 22 and 23, security forces arrested the citizens and transferred them to solitary confinement cells in block 201 of the police detention center in Shiraz City, where were held until their release.

On September 22,  after the inspection of their house, Moeen Misaghi and Negareh Ghaderi were arrested and transferred to an unidentified location. Meanwhile, security forces raided Hayedeh Forootan and her son’s house to arrest them, but they were not at home. The security forces searched the house and confiscated some of their belongings. These citizens were summoned to the Shiraz CID Police of NAJA office to give some explanations. She was arrested upon arrival. Twice before, their house had been searched by security forces. According to an informed source, during the search, the security forces behaved brutally and carelessly so that they caused their two-year old daughter to be burnt by a bowl of hot soup.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

Sunni Prisoner Zaher Roozkhun Released on Bail

On Thursday, October 14, Sunni prisoner Zaher Roozkhun was released temporarily on bail until the end of criminal proceedings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, Mahabad resident Zaher Roozkhun was released on bail for 350 million tomans (approx. 13,000 US dollars). He has been denied access to lawyer and family visitation during the detention.

Roozkhun had been previously arrested by security forces before too on August 29, 2021. After completing the interrogation process, he was sent from a detention center in Urmia to Mahabad Prison.

As of writing this, the reason for his arrest and the charges is unknown.

 

Baha’i Citizen Sheida Taeed Released on Bail

On Monday, October 11, Baha’i citizen Sheida Taeed, a resident of Qaemshahr city in Mazandaran Province, was released on a bail of 900 million Tomans (approx 33,000 dollars)  from a security detention center in this city.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Taeed had been arrested by security forces at her home on September 23, 2021, and then transferred to an unknown location. During the arrest, officers inspected her home and confiscated a number of her belongings, including her cell phone, electronics, books, photographs, and manuscripts.

According to an informed source, the security forces initially put Farideh Taeed, Sheida’s elderly mother, in the car as well, and dropped her off somewhere along the road.

Sheida Taeed had been detained and convicted once before because of her faith. She was arrested in the city of Noor in January of 2013 and was finally sentenced to one year in prison in 2015, which she served out in Babol Prison.

According to unofficial reports, by estimated there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran. While the constitution recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as accepted religions (People of Book, as articulated in Sharia law), it denies recognizing the Baha’i faith, which conclusively leads to the systematic violation of their rights.

Baha’i citizens are denied the right to exercise their religion. This systematic deprivation stands in violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which both affirm that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Political Prisoner Mojgan Kavousi Transferred Back to Evin Prison from Kachooie Prison

On Wednesday, October 13, political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi was sent back to Evin Prison from Kachooie Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Kavousi was relocated to Karaj police detention center a while ago, and from there to Kachooie Prison.

In a phone call with her family, Kavousi informed them about this relocation.  The reason for her transfer to Kachooie Prison is still unknown.

On July 26, 2021, Branch 28 of the appellate court in Mazandaran Province issued an order to transfer the political prisoner to a prison in Alborz Province for the remainder of her sentence.

“Due to  COVID-related restrictions making family visitation difficult, Mrs Kavousi asked for transferring to Noshahr where her family are living,” an informed source told HRANA. “On July 13, 2021, they transferred her to Noshahr but after spending one-night in police detention centre, they sent her back to Tehran. Considering that her family are residing in either Tehran or Noshahr, it is not clear why she should be transferred to a prison in Alborz Province.”

On November 20, 2019, Mojgan Kavousi was arrested by security forces amid nationwide protests in the mid-fall of the year, from her home in Noshahr. After being held three weeks in detention, she was sent to Noshahr Prison. On December 19, 2019, she was released on bail.

The Revolutionary Court in Noshahr sentenced her to 6 months on a charge of “the propaganda against the regime”, 33 months on a charge of “membership in opposition parties” and 30 months on a charge of “provoking to disturb the public order”. During the appeal process, the sentence was increased by seven months due to the influence of the prosecutor.

Mojgan Kavouci is a writer, researcher and follower of Yarsanism.