HRANA News Agency – Foad Khanjani, a former student of industrial management at Isfahan University who was expelled because of his Bahai beliefs, has been released at the end of his four-year sentence.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), he was arrested in Tehran on March 2, 2010, and taken to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence, released and rearrested, and arrested for the third time on April 27, 2010, when he was sent to Evin Prison.
His arrests followed the widespread unrest in Iran following the announcement of national election results. Authorities initially tried to claim that Bahais had a hand in stirring up the protests. His sister Leva Khanjani, another student excluded from education for being a Bahai, was also arrested after the election unrest, along with her husband Babak Mobasher. She was arrested on January 3, 2010, and sentenced to two years in prison. She was released on June 24, 2014.
Mr. Khanjani was released on bail on May 8, pending his trial which was conducted on December 11, 2010. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison, by Judge Maqiseh, and this sentence was confirmed in the review court by Judge Mouhed.
His lawyer attempted to appeal this sentence to the Supreme Court, but the lawyer was confronted with threats from the Ministry of Intelligence. Mr. Khanjani began his sentence in Evin Prison on January 17, 2012, but on August 5 of that year he was transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison. From late September that year he was in need of urgent hospital treatment for a cyst in the abdomen, which was denied until early November. On March 2, 2013, he was denied family visits for refusing to wear prison uniform.
Foad Khanjani’s father, Ala’eddin Khanjani, known as Niki, was also arrested following the election protests, and again in August 2014, apparently because he was running an optician’s shop, and such businesses had been added — unannounced — to the list of sectors in which Bahais are forbidden to work. He was summoned to appear at Bench 5 of the court at Evin Prison in Tehran on August 10, 2015. Bench 5 has specialised in the persecution of Bahais. So far as I know, his sentence has not yet been announced.
Niki Khanjani’s father Jamalledin Khanjani is one of the seven ‘Yaran’ (Bahai national facilitators) who are now in the eighth year of 10-year sentences for their services to the Bahai community.