Furlough Granted to Bereaved Baha’i Prisoner Azita Rafizadeh

Posted on: November 12th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Authorities have granted a November 7th to November 10th furlough period to Baha’i prisoner Azita Rafizadeh, who will attend memorial services for her father, Seyed Yadollah Rafizadeh, who recently died in a car accident.

Azita Rafizadeh is serving a four-year sentence for her Baha’i affiliations, including the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education, as well as a charge of acting against national security.

The furlough request of her spouse Peyman Koushk-Baghi, who is currently serving a five-year sentence on the same charges, was denied.

Update on Arrested Shirazi Baha’is

Posted on: November 6th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Baha’i citizen Bahareh Ghaderi, who was arrested September 15th, was released Saturday, November 3rd on a bail of 200 million tomans [approximately $13,500 USD] pending completion of her investigation.

On October 18th, Niloufar Hakimi and Ehsan Mahboob Rahvafa also went free on bail. Their fellow Baha’is Nora Pourmoradian, Soudabeh Haghighat, and Elaheh Samizadeh were released October 10th.

Two Baha’i prisoners remain in the custody of Shiraz Intelligence Ministry detention center No. 100.

Shiraz, the capital of Fars province located 425 miles south of Tehran, is the birthplace of Ba’b, who formulated the Baha’i religion there in the 19th century. It is home to one of the largest Baha’i communities in Iran.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Verdict Bulletin on 202 Gonabadi Dervishes

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Since coming to the defense of their spiritual leader in what came to be known as the “Golestan Haftom” incident, the Gonabadi Dervish religious minority has faced unprecedented pressure from Iranian authorities.

Around midnight on February 3, 2018, several hundred Gonabadi Dervishes gathered before the home of their spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh, in a gesture of protection against heightened security monitoring of his activities (security forces had aggressively intervened in Dervish gatherings in the same spot less than two weeks earlier). Their February 3rd demonstration — on Golestan-e Haftom street in Tehran, hence the incident’s name — would fare no better and was soon violently disbanded by Iranian police and plainclothes forces of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij faction.

While Iranian judiciary authorities and law enforcement initially announced that they had detained about 300 citizens in connection to Golestan Haftom, HRANA was able to confirm the identities of 382 arrestees. Among them were 11 women who were transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin after their arrests: Nazila Nouri, Shima Entesari, Sima Entesari, Sedigheh Safabakht, Shokofeh Yadollahi, Sepideh Moradi, Elham Ahmadi, Maryam Afrasiabi, Avisha Jalaledin, Masoumeh Barakoohi, and Shahnaz Kian Asl.

HRANA was able to obtain the verdicts of 202 of these detainees, as well as details on those who were brutalized by the Judiciary. 201 people were sentenced to prison terms, lashings, travel bans, exile sentences, and long-term bans on civic activity. Two more, Mohammad Raji and Mohammad Salas, were killed for their participation in Golestan Haftom.

On the night of March 3rd, police had contacted Mohammad Raji’s family, asking them to bring his photo and identifying documents. The next morning, police at Shapoor Criminal Investigation Department Base 10 told the family that Raji was in a coma. A few hours later, police followed up by phone to say he had died. Upon their arrival at the police station, officers announced his cause of death: he had been beaten to death by interrogators.

Mohammad Salas was accused of driving a bus that allegedly struck and killed three police officers on Pasdaran Street in Tehran. He exhausted all avenues of appealing his death sentence without success, and was executed in the morning of Monday, August 20, 2018 — though Salas’ children and his spouse Zaynab Taheri attest that he could not have been the driver of the bus, as he was already in custody three hours prior to the crash.

Tehran General Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced July 24th that 330 sentences had thus far been handed down in Dervish cases. He added: “In the cases of those 25 who refused to attend their court sessions in attempts to thwart trial proceedings, the court […] followed through with procedure. Their verdicts were delivered to them in person.”

Dervishes’ Rights Activists in Great Tehran Penitentiary penned an open letter to the prison’s director refusing to attend a trial that lacked transparency.

At least five of the convicted Dervishes currently detained in Great Tehran Penitentiary are former administrators and collaborators of the Majzooban-e-noor Dervish news site: Mostafa Abdi, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Saleh Moradi, Reza Entesari, and Sina Entesari.

Some Dervish prisoners who have been assaulted by authorities were denied medical care for their injuries and reported hostile and discriminatory treatment from authorities.

Prison regulations and conventions on prisoners’ rights stipulate that prisoners, as a safety precaution, be housed separately according to their crimes and beliefs. Authorities at Gharchak Prison and Great Tehran Penitentiary, however, house Dervishes [political prisoners] in a general ward alongside common criminals.

Below are the identities and convictions of 202 Golestan Dervishes:

1. Mohammad Yavar Salas, executed.
2. Mostafa Abdi, Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, sentenced to 26 years and 3 months in prison, 148 lashings, a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel, and a 2-year exile sentence to Sistan & Sistan & Baluchestan Province.
3. Mehdi Mahdavifar and 4. Mostafa Mirmohammadi, each sentenced to 13 years and 6 months in prison, 144 lashings, a 2-year travel ban, and a 2-year exile sentence to Sistan & Baluchestan Province. Mahdavifar was also sentenced to a 2-year ban on civic activities.
5. Reza Rezai, sentenced to 13 years in prison, 148 lashings, and a 2-year exile sentence to Mirjaveh (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).
6. Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Majzooban-e-Noor journalist, sentenced to 12 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year travel ban, a 2-year exile to Borazjan (Bushehr Province), and a 2-year ban on civic activities.
7. Vahid Khamooshi, sentenced to 12 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Rayen (Kerman Province).
8. Bashir Riahi Ghaletaki, sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison, 148 lashings, a 2-year exile to Khash (Sistan & Baluchestan Province)[3] and a 2-year ban on civic activities.
9. Faramarz Mangari, sentenced to 10 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile sentence to Roudbar (Kerman Province).
10. Reza Yavari, sentenced to 9 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile to Taybad (Razavi Khorasan Province).

Sentenced to 7 years in prison and 74 lashings (plus a 2-year exile sentence for detainees No. 11 to 32):

11. Manouchehr Kokabi 12. Mansoor Farhoodmand 13. Moslem Norouzi 14. Morteza Shokri 15. Mahmood Barakoohi 16. Mohammad Karimaei 17. Mohammad Reza Darvishi 18. Alireza Lak 19. Alireza Azadravesh, 20. Ali Karimi 21. Ali Ghamari 22. Siamak Sohrabi 23. Saeed Soltanpour 24. Heydar Teymouri 25. Habib Ghanbari 26. Babak Moradi 27. Iraj Madhi 28. Ehsan Malekmohammadi 29. Ehsan Saffari 30. Rasoul Hoveyda 31. Mehrdad Rezai 32. Ramin Eshkoh 33. Mostafa Rahsepar 34. Masoud Alimadadi 35. Mohammad Reza Zehtab 36. Mohammad Reza Abolfathi 37. Mohammad Asad Zamani 38. Majid Rashidi 39. Majid AmirAhmadi 40. Hamid Reza AmirAhmadi 41. Jahangir Haghani 42. Armin Abolfathi 43. Arman Abolfathi 44. Amir Seyedi 45. Amir Salimi Chegini 46. Afshin Salimi Chegini 47. Abolfazl Babahosseini 48. Ebrahim Allahbakhshi Hafshejani 49. Nemat Kazemi 50. Saeed Khamooshi.

Sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year ban on civic activities:

51. Morteza Bidchi Kangarloo 52. Mahmoud Baghyar 53. Mohammad Samadyar (Kangarloo was also sentenced to a 2-year exile in Sarbisheh, South Khorasan Province).

Sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel:

54. Morteza Sohrabpour 55. Sajjad Razmi 56. Reza Nematollahi 57. Hassan Abbasi 58. Hassan Shahreza 59. Hesam Moeini 60. Amin Soleymani 61. Mohsen Norouzi

62. Majid Moradi, sentenced to 7 years in prison and 75 lashings.

63. Ali Bahadori, sentenced to 7 years in prison, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile to Mirjaveh.
64. Abdollah Esmaeili, sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

65. Samad Dadras and 66. Saleh Kamali Dehkordi were sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year travel ban.

67. Khashayar Dehghan, a Ph.D. candidate in Electronics at Tehran University, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year in exile to Borazjan.

68. Saeed Karimaei and 69. Sekhavat Salimi, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year in exile, Karimaei to Nehbandan (South Khorasan Province) and Salimi to Nikshahr (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).

70. Saeed Doorandish 71. Saeed Sigarchi 72. Ahmad Barakouhi 73. Mojtaba Beiranvand 74. Behnoud Pour Rostami 75. Moghimi 76. Ahmad Iranikhah 77. Mohsen Abolhassani

The above were all sentenced to 7 years in prison and a 2-year exile sentence, Doorandish to Zabol (Sistan & Baluchestan Province), Sigarchi, Barakouhi, Beiranvand, and Pour Rostami to Sistan & Baluchestan Province, Moghimi to Zahak village (Sistan & Baluchestan Province) and Iranikhah and Abolhassani to Borazjan.

78. Rostam Sagvand 79. Behrouz Sadeghi Oliyaei and 80. Ardeshir Ashayeri, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile, Sagvand to Nehbandan and Sadeghi, Oliyaei, and Ashayeri to Saravan (Sistan & Baluchestan Province).

81. Akbar Beiranvand, sentenced to 7 years in prison, a 2-year ban on civic activities and a 2-year in exile in Zahak.

82. Abolfazl Sahraei, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on civic activities, and a 2-year exile to Sarbisheh (South Khorasan Province).

83. Saleh Moradi, a Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year in exile to Borazjan.

84. Reza Entesari and 85. Sina Entesari, Majzooban-e-Noor administrator, each sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year exile and 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.

Each sentenced to 7 years in prison:

86. Younes Lak 87. Nima Azizi Tazangi 88. Nader Beiranvand 89. Mehran Asgharzadeh, 90. Mehdi Bakhtiari 91. Mostafa Armandoost 92. Masoud Marzoughi 93. Morteza Ghaderi Samani 94. Mohammad Reza Babazadeh Shayan 95. Mohammad Reza Rooein Esfandiari 96. Mohsen Ashtiani 97. Majid Karimi 98. Ghasem Hassanloo 99. Farhad Naeimi 100. Gholam Abbas Avazeh 101. Gholam Abbasi 102. Ali Asghar Shariat 103. Mohammad Reza Heidari 104. Reza Bavi 105. Hamid Amir Ahmadi 106. Bijan Soltani 107. Babak Taghian 108. Arash Moradi 109. Amir Astaraki 110. Omid Moghaddasi 111. Asghar Mohammadi 112. Gholam Abbas Hajatinia

113. Maryam Farsyabi and 114. Mehdi Eskandari, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 2-year travel ban.

115. Farhang Bouzari Kharrazi and 116. Amir Nouri, each sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year travel ban.

117. Hossein Soleymani and 118. Asghar Ebrahimi Magham, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

119. Amin Hosseini and 120. Akbar Dadashi, each sentenced to 6 years in prison and 74 lashings.

121. Abolfazl Avazeh, sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashings, and a 2-year exile to Mirjaveh.

Each sentenced to 6 years in prison:

122. Farham Farhang Kermani 123. Seyed Mehdi Fateminasab 124. Reza Farashi 125. Seyed Hossein Hashemi 126. Habib Gallehdari

127. Elham Ahmadi and 128. Sepideh Moradi, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.

129. Mehdi Izadpanah and 130. Ali Barian, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Sirjan (Kerman Province).

131. Hossein Arang 132. Shokoufeh Yadollahi 133. Seddigheh Safabakht, each sentenced to 5 years in prison and a 2-year ban on civic activities.

Each sentenced to 5 years in prison:

134. Nazila Nouri 135. Shima Entesari 136. Sima Entesari 137. Avisha Jalaleddin 138. Ali Mashallah Vafaei Fard 139. Shahab Bakhshian 140. Mohammad Dalvand 141. Hossein Arab Ameli 142. Asghar Samadyar.

Each sentenced to 3 years in prison:

143. Amir Bahador Jafari 144. Ghasem Zamani 145. Mohsen Azizi 146. Meysam Azizan

147. Mehrdad Eini, sentenced to 2 years in prison and a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel.
148. Hamid Ashayeri, sentenced to 2 years in prison and a 2-year exile to Sistan & Baluchestan Province.

Each sentenced to 2 years in prison:

149. Esmaeil Norouzi 150. Ashkan Kazemi 151.Elyas Mohammadi 152. Omid Mahdavi 153. Seyed Jalaloddin Ghaznavi Bidgoli 154. Pouria Nouri 155. Hossein Jashn 156. Hossein Haj Mohammadi 157. Sajjad Baradaran 158. Abbas Beraghmadi 159. Ali Afshar Asli 160. Ali Bolboli 161. Ali Rashno 162. Ali Asghar Salari 163. Ali Reza Siasi 164. Kamaran Bahadori 165. Malek Rezaei 166. Mohammad Amir Ahmadi 167. Mohammad Alamdoost 168. Mohammad Ghasem Allahyari 169. Mousa Fazlipour.

170. Kasra Nouri, an M.S. student in Human Rights at Tehran University, sentenced to 1 year in prison, 74 lashings, a 2-year ban on both civic activities and travel, and a 2-year exile to Salas Babajani (Kermanshah Province).

171. Ali Ghannadzadeh, sentenced to 1 year and 4 months in prison.

Each sentenced to 1 year in prison:

172. Yaser Soleymani 173. Ebrahim Rezaei 174. Alborz Rostami 175. Hossein Kalhori 176. Ali Mohammad Shahi 177. Kia Nejad Hosseini 178. Majid Shaegh 179. Mohsen Parvin 180. Mohammad Nezam Eslami 181. Moslem Rezaei 182. Mehdi Imanzadeh 183. Mehdi Sadat 184. Ahmad Nabaei 185. Hashem Avazeh.

Each sentenced to 6 months in prison:

186. Nima Alieh 187. Mahmoud Taghpour 188. Ahmad Daraei 189. Esameil Abedini 190. Jamal Tehrani 191. Hossein Karimi 192. Shahram Shokri 193. Ali Karami 194. Emad Goodarzi 195. Farshad Sepahvand 196. Mostafa Mirzaei 197. Mehdi Moghaddam Alavian 198. Mehdi Nazari 199. Nader Yavari 200. Nourali Moghimi

201. Mostafa Beiranvand, sentenced to 4 months in prison.
202. Mohammad Ali Raji, sentenced to 91 days in prison.

Listed below are the identities of 180 Dervishes whose verdicts have yet to be confirmed:

1. Ebrahim Mohammadi 2.Abolfazl Salari 3. Abolghasem Nasiri Bafghi 4. Ehsan Alavi Badalchi 5.Ahmadreza Talebi 6. Esmaeil Samadyar 7. Asghar Ganji Panahi 8. Alborz Eskandari Sabzi 9. Omid Zamiri 10. Omid Ghasemi 11. Omid Hivadi 12. Amir Bahador Seifi 13. Amir Hossein Shaaban 14. Amir Labbaf 15. Amir Mousavian 16. Amin Hosseinpour 17. Amir Ramezani Sheshdeh 18. Amin Sarrafi 19. Ayoub Asadi 20. Aghabak Zamanipour 21. Borzou Dolatshahi 22. Borzou Mousavizadeh 23. Bahman Boloor 24. Bahman Azizi 25.Pouya Ayazi 26. Payam Noor 27.Peyman Rasouli 28. Taghi Moradi 29. Jafar Ahmadi 30. Jafar Roustaei Dareh Mianeh 31. Jafar Sohrabi 32. Jalal Modarresi 33. Jamshid Asgarian 34. Javad Khamis Abadi 35. Habibollah Rahdar 36. Hojattollah Zamani 37. Hassan Barghamdi 38. Hassan Parvin 39. Hassan Dehghani 40. Hassan Feizi Zadeh 41. Hossein Biranvand 42. Hossein Rezaei 43. Hossein Abedi 44.Hossein Asgari 45.Hossein Forootan 46.Hossein Fahimi 47.Hossein Ghadrkhani 48.Hamzeh Pourahmadi 49.Hamid Ansari Ramandi 50.Hamid Mohammadpour 51.Hamid Neemat Tavoosi 52.Heidar Esparjani 53.Ramin Yavari 54.Rahim Ebrahim Pourahmadi 55.Reza Parhizkar 56. Reza Soori 57.Rouhollah Nasiri 58.Sajjad Amir Ahmadi 59.Sajjad Kazemi 60.Saeed Zoghi 61. Saeed Ramezani Sheshdeh 62.Saeed Zangeneh 63.Saeed Sohrabi 64.Saeed Arab Halvaei 65. Saeed Kakavand 66.Saeed Goodarzi 67.Saeed Morad 68.Saeed Noroozi 69.Soleyman Rafighpour 70.Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi 71.Seyyed Amin Seyyedi 72.Yousef Esfehani 73.Seyyed Ali Mokabberi 74.Seyyed Mehdi Ashiani 75. Seyyed Milad Sadat Ardestani 76.Seyyed Noorali Mousavi 77. Seyyed Yousef Raeeszadeh 78.Shoaib Esmaeili 79.Shahb Akbari 80.Shahnaz Kian Asl 81.Sadegh Gheisari 82.Solat Hosseini 83.Abbas Amani Ali Abadi 84.Abbas Dehghan 85.Abbas Ghiasi 86.Abbas Valinia 87.Abdolsamad Kashefi 88.Ezzatollah Lotfalian 89.Ali Asghar Aramiyon 90.Ali Asghar Farrokhi 91.Ali Asghar Yekkeh Shenas 92.Ali Afshari 93.Ali Akbar Ataei 94.Ali Jamshidi 95.Ali Soltani Azad 96.Ali Suri 97. Ali Sadeghi 98.Ali Abidavi 99.Ali Kandi 100.Ali Mazyar 101. Ali Nezhad Sahebi 102.Ali Nashtoor 103.Ali Vafaei 104.Alireza Jahedi Darvish 105.Alireza Sayyah 106.Alireza Shakouri 107.Alireza Ghasemi 108.Ghaffar Fereydooni 109.Gholamreza Khani 110.Farzad Kazemi 111.Farhad Biranvand 112.Farhad Arab 113.Farhad Feizzadeh 114.Farhad Kavand 115.Fariborz Hemmati Diarjam 116.Firooz Rostami 117.Ghasem Pourali 118.Keramat Jeddi 119.Kourosh Alishahi 120.Kianoush Biranvand 121. Kianoush Abbasi 122.Mojtaba Shokri 123.Majid Zamiri 124.Mohsen Afrooz 125.Mohammad Asad Samani 126.Mohammad Bagher Moghimi 127.Mohammad Barakoohi 128.Mohammad Parhizkar 129.Mohammad Panahi Ghale Taki 130.Mohammad Hassan Edris Abadi 131.Mohammad Hassan Heydari 132.Mohammad Hossein Abolfathi 133.Mohammad Hossein Amir Ahmadi 134.Mohammad Davoodi 135.Yousef Sedigh Maram 136.Mohammad Raji 137.Mohammad Rajaei 138.Mohammad Reza Rajaei 139.Mohammad Sedighi 140.Mohammad Ali Ghannadzadeh 141. Mohammad Kamarei 142.Mohammad Medi Alie 143.Mohammad Nematollahi 144.Younes Ezzati 145.Mohammadreza Talebi 146.Mohammad Ali Karami Abad Shapoori 147.Mahmoud Farrokhi SaadAbadi 148.Morad Bagheri Heydari 149.Morteza Amin Zadeh 150.Masoud Siroosian 151.Moslem Bani Hashem 152.Mostafa Shirazian 153.Mazaher Pourahmadi 154.Mazaher Heydari 155.Masoumeh Barakoohi 156.Mehdi Mahdilou 157.Moein Pourrezagholi 158.Mansour Tabasi 159.Mansour Fouladi 160.Mehdi Razghandi 161. Mehdi Rouhbakhsh 162.Mehdi Fakhrolsadat 163.Mehdi Keivanlou 164.Mehdi Mardani 165.Mehdi Mofidi 166.Mehdi Nematollahi 167.Mehrdad Pirfalak 168.Mehrdad Shirazi 169.Mehrdad Goodarzi 170.Mehrdad Mosavvari 171.MirSadegh Hosseini 172.Milad Ostovarnavan 173.Milad Kakavand Nejad 174.Naser Fouladi 175.Hadi Asgharzadeh 176.Hadi Jangjoo 177.Hadi Dehnavi 178.Hadi Shahreza Gamasaei 179.Homayoun Dolatshahi 180.Yaser Akbari Aalam

Rajai Shahr Prisoner Enters 38th Day of Hunger Strike

Posted on: November 4th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Rajai Shahr Prisoner Hamzeh Darvish, 24, a member of Iran’s Sunni religious minority, has been on hunger strike since September 23rd in protest of the Supreme Court’s denial of his retrial request.

A close source told HRANA that “Darvish is in a bad state. The prison officials are ignoring him in order to send the message that the strike will not get him anywhere. They’re not even acting as a go-between with the judiciary so that he can pursue his rights.”

Rajai Shahr authorities have shown brutal intolerance towards Darvish’s demonstrations of protest. Following the launch of his most recent hunger strike, he was reportedly held in solitary confinement for three days.

In response to a prior hunger strike — protesting a lack of due process in his judicial proceedings — Prison Director Gholamreza Ziaei, Rajai Shahr Deputy Vice President Esmaeili, and Security Director Zolfali beat Darvish black and blue, sent him to the quarantine ward for three weeks, then transferred him to the coroner’s office in handcuffs and shackles.

His family, living far away from Karaj, are rarely able to afford transport for a visit. Meanwhile, prison authorities have restricted his extra-prison contacts.

Hamzeh Darvish was reportedly lured to Syria by ISIS (Daesh) agents in 2014, where he was transferred to the Islamic State’s prison in Raqqa before fleeing to Iran. In hopes of remaining free by posting bail or pledging allegiance to Iran — after which he planned to earn a living as a quail farmer — he turned himself in to Iranian security forces. A short while later, however, he was back in custody facing an 18-year prison sentence.

The circumstances of his trial were criticized for their lack of transparency and due process. With the application of a legal provision that came into effect later, his multiple prison sentences were permitted to run concurrently, reducing his total sentence to 15 years.

Darvish told his story in an open letter published in August 2017, in which he appealed to human rights advocacy groups for help. In it, he describes his ties to ISIS as accidental, claiming he was hailed to Turkey by an ISIS-defecting Iranian friend who needed help returning home due to a wounded leg. When he hitched a ride to meet his friend in Turkey, Darvish said, the story was revealed to be a setup: his drivers instead took him to Syria and handed him over to Daesh.

According to his letter, Darvish spent some time as a forced laborer and was tortured severely after protesting ISIS suicide attacks on civilians. He was finally able to flee amid a transfer between medical facilities in Syria.

Karaj is the capital of Alborz province, located 30 miles west of Tehran.

Baha’i Mother and Daughter Begin Prison Term

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – At 5 p.m. on October 31st, a Baha’i mother and daughter turned themselves in to begin serving one-year prison sentences.

Mashhad resident May Kholousi, her daughter Saghi Fadaei, and their fellow Baha’is Shayan Tafazzoli and Dori Amri were all sentenced February 2018 by Judge Soltani of Mashhad Revolutionary Court Branch 3 on charges of propaganda against the regime. Appeals court upheld their sentences on August 26, 2018.

Security forces arrested all four in Mashhad in June 2014. Two court sessions met for the defendants while they were free on bail, on December 17, 2014, and June 17, 2017.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Baha’i Citizen Zabihollah Raoufi Begins Prison Term in Sanandaj

Posted on: October 31st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On the morning of Wednesday, October 31st, Baha’i Sanandaj resident Zabihollah Raoufi, age 69, went to Sanandaj Prison to begin his one-year prison sentence.

In July, Branch 4 of Sanandaj Appeals court — for the charge of “propaganda against the regime” — sentenced Raoufi to one year in prison and one year of exile to Minab County, Hormozgan Province.

An informed source told HRANA that Raoufi was escorted to prison this morning by an entourage of his loved ones.

Raoufi’s wife Parvaneh Rahmani faces one year in prison on the same charge. Her case is currently under review in Kurdistan Province Appeals Court.

On September 8, 2015, Raoufi was arrested in his home by security forces and released on a bail of 300 million Rials [approximately $2,000 USD] six days later. He was also detained in 2009 and sentenced to a year in prison, again on charges of propaganda against the regime. This sentence was appealed to a six-month term of exile to Tuyserkan, Hamedan Province.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Iran: An Overview of Human Rights Abuses September – October 2018

Posted on: October 29th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran between September 23rd and October 22, 2018, per information compiled and verified by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI).

Domestic restrictions in Iran on independent human rights reporting make it difficult to capture the full extent of these issues on the ground. The following overview draws on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources, including other human rights associations operating outside Iran’s borders.

Summary

Human rights violations continued all across the country over the past month, and included, but were not limited to: executions, child abuse, mass arrests, violation of prisoners’ rights, violation of freedom of expression, labor abuses, and unchecked environmental pollution.

Death Penalty

Capital punishment remains the most egregious violation of human rights in Iran. On October 10th — the World Day against the Death Penalty — the Center of Statistics at HRAI published its annual report to sensitize the public about the situation of the death penalty in Iran. The report provides statistics about executions carried out in this country between October 10, 2017, and October 9, 2018.

More than 25 citizens, including a juvenile offender, were executed in the last month (between September 23rd and October 22, 2018). More than 20 individuals, including a juvenile offender, were sentenced to death. Four people were executed in public.

HRANA was able to identify or gather details about death row prisoners, including a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Arsalan Khodkam, the ex-spouse of Leila Tajik, Hedayat Abdollahpour and three individuals convicted of financial crimes. New details on the executions of Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi were also reported during this period.

Freedom of Thought and Expression

Freedoms of thought and expression were also widely restricted over the past 30 days.

Arrests: Arrestees in this category included a Shiraz city council member, Ahmad Alinejad and his wife, at least 20 residents of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, writer and Mashad resident Abbas Vahedian, Zahra Majd in Isfahan, and six individuals involved in the Freedom Movement of Iran, arrested in Nain (near Isfahan).

Convictions: Leila Mir-Ghaffari was sentenced to 2 years in prison, Ejlal Ghavami to 8 months, Hassan Abbasi to 35 months (five 7-months prison terms), an Arak resident to 1 year and 30 lashings, Hamidreza Amini to 11 years. Women who protested this past August were sentenced from 6 months to 1 year in prison, Mohammad Mahdavifar was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months, a dual-nationality defendant faces 8 years and 6 months in prison, Soheil Arabi faces 3 years in prison, 3 years in exile, and a fine; the prison sentence of Abdolreza Ghanbari was increased to 15 years, Alireza Moeinian was sentenced to 8 months in prison; a new 6-month sentence extended the prison term of Saeed Shirzad through 2020; six Arak residents arrested amid the January protests were collectively sentenced to a total of 6 years in prison and 444 lashings, and a group of political activists in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province were sentenced to exile and prison terms ranging from 8 to 18 years.

Eleven civil activists, including Mohammad Najafi, Ali Bagheri, and Abbas Safari were sentenced to 3 years in prison and 74 lashings. Behzad Ali Bakhshi, Mohammad Yaghoubi, Yousef Shirilard, Neda Yousefi, Davoud Rahimi, Massoud Ajlou and Mohammad Torabi were sentenced to 1 year in prison and 74 lashings, suspended over five years. Kian Sadeghi faces 3 years in prison and 74 lashings, suspended over five years. Morteza Nazari was sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison, 2 years of exile, and a fine; Zahra Zare Seraji, on the same convictions, to 8 years in prison and a fine. Their co-defendants Ali Kabirmehr and Ali Bazazadeh were both sentenced to 13 years in prison and exile.

Summons: Hamid Farrokhnezhad, Parastoo Salehi, a number of reformist political activists, Tehran city council member Kazem Imanzadeh, Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, and Mohammad Najafi were all summoned by courts and the Ministry of Intelligence.

Censorship: The weekly magazines “Nabze Bazaar” and “Paytakht Kohan,” as well as the website “EntekhabKhabar,” were convicted in press court. Courts also issued indictments for the Chief Executive Officers of “Shargh” and “Shahrvand” newspapers for their reporting on sexual tourism. The National Front of Iran was prevented from holding its Central Council meeting in Tehran, a journalist was beaten by Qazvin municipal agents, and a Kurdish student was barred from education, presumably for his political affiliations.

Prisoners’ Rights
Prisoners are rarely protected from cruel and unusual punishments, and their rights to proper nutrition, hygiene, and medical treatment are systematically violated. A few of these victims are detailed below by category of violation.

Raids and beatings: Prison agents punched Arash Sadeghi on his cancer surgery site; Urmia prison authorities attacked political prisoners and injured them severely, inciting them to hunger strike by the dozens; another Urmia prisoner was assaulted; a prisoner was beaten and injured by Rajai Shahr Prison personnel; Bandar Abbas Prison authorities broke an inmate’s fingers; an Urmia prisoner suffered a TBI after a beating by authorities; and prisoners were forcefully undressed and beaten in Zahedan Prison.

Withholding of medical treatment: A prisoner died after being denied medical care in Zahedan Prison. Farhad Meysami, Arash Sadeghi, and a prisoner in Sanandaj were also denied medical treatment.

Going without: Dozens of Gachsaran prisoners launched protests and hunger strikes in opposition to prison conditions. Six Gonabadi Dervish prisoners continued in an ongoing hunger strike. Reza Sigarchi, also in an act of protest, refused food and medicine in Great Tehran Penitentiary, while 8 Gonabadi Dervishes at the same penitentiary and 8 Baha’i prisoners of Karaj disappeared off of the administrative radar for 30 days. Houshmand Alipour was denied access to an attorney. Three prisoners in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison were blocked from receiving visits, and the fate of sequestered labor activist and Sanandaj resident Zanyar Dabbaghian was still unknown.

Three prisoners attempted suicide in Zahedan, Urmia, and Saravan prisons. Local sources consistently impute prisoner suicides and suicide attempts to the violence and oppression of prison life.

Religious and Ethnic Minorities

Religious and ethnic minorities remained under threat and consistent judicial pressures this past month.

Baha’is: Eight Baha’i citizens were arrested in Baharestan (near Isfahan), four were arrested in Karaj, one of whom had his business forcibly shut down, and three were arrested in Shiraz.
[Some of these arrests reflect coordinated or group arrests, and linked articles will reflect that information overlap].
A Baha’i resident of Yazd who had been blocked from pursuing education was fired from work for their faith, and the parents of a Baha’i prisoner were temporarily detained following a search of the prisoner’s home.

Sunnis: Five Sunni scholars were sequestered for hours in the Zahedan-Khash road patrol office. Three Baluchi citizens, who are scholars of the Ghalamouei seminary, were arrested in Sirik County (southern Iran). Sunni scholars expressed outcry over the public statements of a soccer player they alleged to be disparaging of Sunni sanctities.

Six members of the Yamani Religious Group in Izeh County were also arrested, presumably for their beliefs.

Ethnic minorities: Arab citizens were arrested, and are still being arrested en masse in wake of the Ahvaz Parade Attack. HRANA is still in the process of confirming the identifies of the arrestees, which according to local reports number into the hundreds. Other arrests suspected to be ethnically discriminatory include Nasim Sadeghi, Mohammad Abdolmohammad-Zadeh, Mojtaba Parvin, Ebrahim Divazi, as well as residents of Ilam, Ahvaz, Marivan, Urmia, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Saqqez, Pevah, Oshnavieh, and Sardasht.

News emerged on the convictions of Abbas Lasani, Kiumars Eslami, Eghbal Ahmadpour, Keyvan Olyali, Hossein Ali Mohammadi Alvar, as well as defendants in Sanandaj, Urmia, Kamyaran, and two detainees of the Afrin battles in Syria. Turkic activist Javad Ahmadi Yekanli was summoned by county security police in the city of Khoy.

Children’s Rights

Children are among the most vulnerable to human rights abuses in Iran. Over the past month, four wrongful child deaths were reported in the cities of Tehran, Falavarjan (Isfahan Province), Qaem Shahr (Mazandaran province) and (Isfahan Province).

The national director of Iran’s social emergency hotline said that 30% of reports called into the center are flagging some form of “domestic violence,” 30% of which turn out to be child abuse cases. Of this 30%, 50% were related to educational negligence, 30% to physical abuse, 15% to psychological abuse, and 4% to sexual abuse of children.

Maryam Sedighi, deputy director of the social welfare department of Alborz Province, said that 12% of “123” social emergency calls made in Alborz — i.e. an average of 40 calls per month — are child abuse reports.

Reports indicate the rape of a young girl by her father in Tehran; a boxing coach accused of raping his teenage student; a father pouring boiling water over his 7-year-old daughter in Genaveh, Bushehr Province; and a teacher using corporal punishment on a pupil in Kazeroon, Fars Province.

Three juvenile suicides were also reported: one student in Rigan County, Kerman Province, and two teenage girls, aged 14 and 16, in the cities of Abadan and Sanandaj.

The Iranian education system allocates fewer and fewer resources to its pupils, and educational facilities across the country — particularly in rural or underprivileged areas — can be found in varying states of wear and disrepair. One pupil in Razan, Hamadan province was injured in the chest, neck, and shoulders when he was caught in falling debris of a school wall that suddenly collapsed. The Razan director of education said that he is currently stable, but will require surgery.

Elementary-school student Donya Veisi of Garmash village, Kurdistan Province, fell victim to her own school’s disrepair when one of the walls surrounding her school yard collapsed, killing her. Later — amid allegations that Donya had in fact been raped and killed — the Kurdistan Prosecutor verbally engaged to investigate the matter.

Women

The question of women’s rights at sporting events gained heightened public attention this past month when, under pressure from FIFA to permit their entry into stadiums, a select number of Iranian women (most of them family members of players and federation employees) were finally allowed to witness a kickoff in person (Iran vs. Bolivia). Authorities’ exclusive selection criteria were highly criticized.

Meanwhile, Shiraz-based activist Maryam Azad was arrested by security forces at a Tehran Airport as she was leaving the country for Turkey.

The managing director of the office of forensic medicine in Kohkiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province indicated that, of the 429 domestic violence crimes recorded in his office over the past 6 months, 404 were incidents of violence by husbands against their wives.

Additional cases of violence against women included a man’s murder of his ex-wife when he failed to meet “mehrieh” obligations [a type of alimony settlement], and the circumstances surrounding one woman’s decision to set herself on fire in Mashad.

Two women, long hounded by the judiciary for participating in a rally on International Women’s Day, were recently acquitted of their charges.

Laborers and Guilds

This past month was rythmed by strikes, sit-ins, and rallies organized by guilds and employees across sectors who demanded more secure working conditions.

Commercial Transport: This past month, truck drivers in Iran went on a nationwide strike for the third time [in 12 months]. Over the course of their 20-day strike, at least 261 striking drivers in 19 different provinces were arrested and threatened with heavy sentences, including the death penalty. Strikers’ demands did make significant headway: after years of guild activism, the High Council of Transportation Coordination approved a new freight transport measurement rate known as the tonne-kilometre (tkm) method, which was among the most pressing demands of truck drivers. Despite this partial victory, the fates of the 261 detained protesters are still unknown.

Education: Six Educator-Activists who participated in demonstrations May 10th were sentenced to 9 months in prison and 74 lashings. Also reported was the conviction of schoolteacher and University of Tehran student Ruhollah Mardani, who was arrested earlier this year in connection to nationwide protests. Five teachers were summoned by the Bureau of Public Places in Saqqez.

Following a call to strike by the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI), Iranian teachers staged sit-ins [on October 14th and 15th] to demand more liveable salaries and justice for their persecuted colleagues. Strike activity was recorded across the provinces of Kerman, Lorestan, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Kurdistan, Alborz, Hamadan, Fars, Zanjan, Qom, Mazandaran, Tehran, North Khorasan, Ilam, East and West Azerbaijan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Bushehr, Gilan and Hormozgan.

Merchants: Merchants went on strike against the many interconnected symptoms of Iran’s current recession, including unstable exchange rates, inflation, rising prices, and unemployment. Merchant strikes went on for two consecutive days in the cities of Karaj, Shahreza, Shahriar, Shiraz, Kermanshah, Tabriz and Sarab.

Two street vendors were reportedly beaten by municipal agents in Qazvin and Gorgan.

Health and Environment:

Five environmental activists arrested 8 months ago have been indicted with charges of “corruption on earth,” which can carry the death penalty.

Intelligence agents halted a group of environmental journalists, including Javad Heydarian, before they could board a flight to Germany for work. Their passports were confiscated.

Public concern over pollution and waste issues is ballooning, and [many citizens are critical of the government’s inaction in face of myriad threats to the public health].

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Iranian Ministry of the Interior, Iranians surpass the worldwide average of daily waste production (300 grams) by a whopping 400 grams every day.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency of Miandoab (West Azerbaijan Province) announced that contamination of the Zarrinehroud River from the city’s sugar factory, coupled with poor ecological management of the river and its dam system, has caused thousands of fish to die in the river.

High levels of air pollution were reported this month in the cities of Kerman, Mahshahr, Ramshir, Rigan, and the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan and Kerman.

Cultural Rights and Censorship

A number of photographers from Shiraz faced persecution for their instagram activity this month [which was cited as “improper”].

Two cultural directors from Sistan and Baluchestan province were summoned to the Intelligence office for attempting to host a peaceful community celebration.

Pending content modifications and the resolution of charges against the Home Video Entertainment Network, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance banned distribution of the network’s TV series “13 Shomali” (Northern 13), which previously aired on Saturdays.

Military and Law-Enforcement Power Abuses

Several citizens were killed as a result of power abuses and negligence by security forces this past month.

Police car chases, inappropriate shootings by border authorities, and authorities’ failure to warn civilians of road barriers led to 2 civilian injuries and 5 civilian deaths in Iranshahr (Sistan and Baluchestan Province), Jask (Hormozgan Province) and Azadshahr (Golestan Province) and Razavi Khorasan.

Security forces reportedly assaulted fuel vendors in Saravan (Sistan and Baluchestan Province).

More than a dozen “Kulbars” [laborers who make their living carrying goods across border areas] were wounded and killed across the country, namely in Sardasht (West Azerbaijan Province), Piranshahr (West Azarbaijan Province), Urmia (West Azerbaijan Province) Nowsud (Kermanshah Province), Marivan and Baneh (Kurdistan Province) and Ilam (Ilam province).

A prisoner in Urmia was sentenced to hand amputation, and a robbery convict was dealt 74 lashes in public in the Zeberkhan Rural District (Nishapur County, Razavi Khorasan Province).

__________________________________________________________________________

The above-cited reports are only a few examples of dismally more widespread trends. Their mention in this overview by no means implies their significance over those incidents which went unreported, due to tight restrictions on investigative journalists on the ground.

Among available reports of human rights abuses, however, some are more oft-cited due to their sensitive nature or predominating presence in public opinion. It bears mention that all human rights abuses are worthy of the news coverage and social media activism that has come to the aid of so relatively few. Bearing in mind their roles as public opinion influencers, social media activists and human rights reporters must be wary not to underlie existing human rights abuses with unintentional discrimination in their reporting.

In Solidarity with Fellow Gonabadi Dervish Prisoners, Reza Sigarchi Forgoes Food, Medicine

Posted on: October 21st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In an act of protest, Reza Sigarchi, a Great Tehran Penitentiary prisoner of conscience and member of the * Gonabadi Dervish religious minority, announced Saturday, October 20th that he will be abstaining from both food and medicine.

Sigarchi’s strike is a demonstration of support for his fellow downtrodden Dervishes, according to Majzooban Noor, a website covering Dervish community news. He will reportedly not eat or ingest medicine until the following demands are met: lift the house arrest order on Dervish leader Noor Ali Tabandeh; release female Dervish prisoners; reunite separated Dervish prisoners into the same Ward; return Abbas Dehghan to Great Tehran Penitentiary.

Sigarchi, who suffers from heart disease, was hospitalized last week in Imam Khomeini Hospital where he underwent an angiography.

Five other Dervish prisoners in Great Tehran Penitentiary — Salehodin Moradi, Mojtaba Biranvand, Mohammad Reza Darvishi, Saeed Soltanpour, and Ali Mohammad Shahi — have been on hunger strike since a violent raid on their sit-in by prison guards on August 29th.

Hunger-striking Dervish Abbas Dehghan still hasn’t eaten since September 2nd. Dehghan reportedly spent one hour in Great Tehran Penitentiary post-trial before being transferred to Ward 2A of Evin Prison, under IRGC jurisdiction, where he has remained since.

All of the aforementioned prisoners were arrested amid the “Golestan Haftom” incident in February 2018, where Iranian police and plainclothes members of the IRGC’s Basij faction confronted hundreds of Gonabadi Dervishes who had rallied outside the home of their spiritual leader Noor Ali Tabandeh. The Dervish demonstrators sought to prevent the possible detainment of Tabandeh, who has reportedly been placed under extended house arrest by Iranian authorities.

Hundreds of Dervishes were beaten, wounded, and arrested during the Golestan Haftom incident. A similar attack occurred on January 24th after an intervention from security forces on the same street, heightening the sense of fear within the Dervish community.

Though Iranian judicial authorities estimate that around 300 people have been arrested in connection with Golestan Haftom, HRANA has thus far published the names of 324 arrestees and estimates that the actual number is considerably higher.

* There are various divisions among Dervishes in Iran. In this report, the term “Dervish” refers to Nematollahi Gonabadis, who declare themselves as followers of Twelver Shi’ism, Iran’s official state religion.

Five Sentenced in Connection to 2017 Armed Attack in Tehran

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Five Sunni prisoners detained in connection to a 2017 attack on both Iranian Parliament and the late Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum have been sentenced to prison terms in Branch 2 of Urmia Revolutionary Court.

HRANA has confirmed the identity of the prisoners as Ebrahim Moradi, Mohammad Nikzad, Ahmad Ghanbardoust, Mohammad Ghanbardoust, and Ghader Salimi. They have been held in Urmia Prison’s Ward 13 since their arrests one week after the attack.

An informed source detailed their sentences to HRANA: Moradi was sentenced to three years; Nikzad to nine months, Ahmad Ghanbardoust to three years; Mohammad Ghanbardoust to four years; and Salimi to five years. All were charged with “collaboration with ‘Takfiri’ groups [a term commonly used by Iranian authorities to denote Daesh (ISIS) sympathizers].”

The attack in question, which took place on June 7, 2017, injured 52 and took the lives of 17 civilians and parliamentary security agents. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two days later, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence announced that 41 people had been arrested on suspicion of ISIS collaboration in Tehran, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, and West Azerbaijan provinces. Local sources counter that the total number of arrestees was closer to 70. As of now, HRANA has no further information on the arrestee’s interrogations, wellbeing, or access to due process.

Eight people accused of ISIS affiliation were executed July 7, 2018, on charges of “Baqi” [rebellion] and “abetting corruption on earth.” All had been sentenced to death in May 2018 by Judge Salavati of Revolutionary Court Branch 15, a sentence later upheld in Branch 39 of the Supreme Court on June 10, 2018.

Baha’i Crackdown Continues with Two More Arrests in Karaj

Posted on: October 19th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Two Baha’i residents of Karaj, a northwestern suburb of Tehran, became the latest victims of the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on the Baha’i community when they were arrested October 16, 2018.

Parvan Manavi and Elham Salmanzadeh became the seventh and eighth Baha’is to be arrested in their city after authorities confiscated some of their books and personal belongings during a raid of their homes.

A close source told HRANA that security forces first searched the workplace of Manavi, a greenhouse operator, before escorting him to his home where they carried out a search and seizure. “They raided Elham Salmanzadeh’s home at the same time, and then arrested her afterward too,” the source added.

On September 16th, HRANA reported on the arrest and transfer to Evin Prison of four Baha’i Karaj residents: Peyman Manavi, Maryam Ghaffaramanesh, Jamileh Pakrou, and Kianoush Salmanzadeh. HRANA also reported on the arrest of two more Baha’i Karaj residents, Hooman Khoshnam and Payam Shabani, on September 24 and 25, 2018. In recent weeks, HRANA also reported on the arrest of a number of Baha’i citizens in Shiraz and Isfahan.

Over the past month, members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority have faced increased pressure across the country from Iran’s security and judiciary establishment.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.