22 Iranian Baha’is Were Denied Higher Education in September

Posted on: September 22nd, 2019

At least 22 Baha’i students have reportedly been denied entry to universities in Iran despite successfully passing the national admissions test. These Baha’i applicants received a short message with the content: “Dear applicant, there is a flaw in your dossier. Please contact the Response Unit of the Appraisal Agency” when checking their test results online. Last year, at least 58 Baha’i students received the same message. Since 2006, this message has been used to inform several Baha’i students about rejection of their applications.

The 22 Baha’i students who have successfully passed the university entrance exam in 2019 but have been banned from higher education are identified by the Human Rights Activists News Agency as the following (name, city):

Seraj Safaryan (Sari), Tara Ehsan (Karaj), Rojin Kasiri (Karaj), Shamim Idelkhani (Ardabil), Sahand Shirazi (Tehran), Mahtab Khadem (Tehran), Armaghan Enayati (Semnan), Siavash Baloch Gherai (Mashhad), Shailin Aghili (Karaj), Negar Ighani (Shiraz), Rojan Ehsani (Kashan), Ghazal Allahverdi Gorji (Sari), Taranom Kamali (Shiraz), Negin Foroughi (Tehran), Dorsa Mostafavi (Tehran), Aria Ehsani (Karaj), Behzad Yazdani (Sari), Sholeh Movafaghi Eyvali (Sari), Mahsa Forouhari (Karaj), Vafa Nobakht (Sari), Aylar Roshan Nahad (Isfahan), and Noorieh Ferdosian (Isfahan)

Denying Baha’i students’ entry to universities in Iran is not an unprecedented matter. They have been systematically denied access to higher education by the Iranian government. Even dozens of Baha’is who have successfully passed the national examinations and other hurdles to continue their education at the university level have been forced to drop out, even several years into their programs.

Although unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. The Baha’i faith is not acknowledged as an official religion by the Iranian government. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated. Over the years, the government used various tactics at different stages of university admission process including application, entrance examination and enrollment, to exclude Baha’is from education at colleges and universities. From a small number of Baha’i students who have been able to register and start their studies at universities, the majority have been expelled at some point before graduation

Mitra Badrnejad Sentenced to Imprisonment

Posted on: September 18th, 2019

Mitra Badrnejad, a Baha’i resident of Ahvaz, was sentenced to a one-year prison term by the Khuzestan Appeals Court. In October 2018, she was sentenced to five years imprisonment by the Branch 2 of Ahvaz Revolutionary Court. She was arrested on March 3, 2018 and was temporary released on bail on May 14, 2018.

Baha’i citizens of Iran 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, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private.

Although unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. The Baha’i faith is not acknowledged as an official religion by the Iranian government. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

Searching Houses, Confiscating Belongings, and Summoning 12 Baha’is in Isfahan

Posted on: July 3rd, 2019

Between 9-15 June 2019, the houses of nine Baha’i families, Arshad Afshar, Aziz Afshar, Peyman Imani, Mahboubeh Hosseini, Bahram Safaei, Mehran Yazdani, Mesbah Karambakhsh, Sirous Golzar, and Naieem Haghiri were searched by security forces with warrant in Shahin Shahr. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, satellite devices, books, photos, pictorial carpets, identification documents, and working tools were confiscated. These citizens, along three other Baha’i citizens, were summoned by the judicial authorities.

The search had been going on, on different days, from 9 am to 2 pm by a group of seven security agents. They searched 11 Baha’i citizens’ houses and confiscated about 100 million Toman [approximate 7,000 USD] worth of belongings from these citizens. The agents didn’t provide any response to these families’ queries.

These 11 Baha’i citizens were summoned to the Intelligence Office. In addition, Naeem Haghiri was fired from his job under pressure of the intelligence office while Mitra Tashakori, Baha’i resident of Shahin Shahr, was summoned and threatened. Within the last two weeks, several previously licensed Baha’i businesses were shut down.

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.

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.

Sofia Mobini, Baha’i Citizen was Sentenced t 10 Years in Prison

Posted on: June 25th, 2019

A Baha’i resident of Tehran, Sofia Mobini, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. She was arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on October 26, 2017, during the ceremony of the 200th birthday of Baha’u’llah, religious leader and the founder of the Baha’i Faith, and was transferred to the Evin prison from which she was later released on bail. She was accused of “establishing and organizing an illegal Baha’i group with intentions to threaten the national security” and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, according to the Article 499 of the Islamic Penal Code, the maximum executable penalty for such charges is no more than five years imprisonment.

Negin Tadrisi, another Baha’i citizen who was arrested at the same ceremony sentenced to five years in prison on June 19, 2019 according to the aforementioned article with the charge of “membership in an illegal Baha’i organization”. She was later released on bail.

Heart Failure and Deprivation of Medical Treatment for Hasan Momtaz Savestani, Baha’i Prisoner of Evin Prison

Posted on: May 23rd, 2019

Hasan Momtaz Sarvestani, a Baha’i prisoner of Evin prison and a citizen of Shiraz, was transferred to hospital on Tuesday for medical checkup. Although his physician has recommended hospital bed rest to undergo medical treatments, he was returned to the prison after a day. He has been sentenced to five years in prison on the charge of teaching Persian literature at the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE). He began his sentence on December 28, 2017 in Shiraz’s Adelabad prison and was transferred to Evin prison about a year later.

Baha’i citizens of Iran 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, all people are entitled to freedom of religion, belief, and changes thereof, as well as the right to express and practice those beliefs as individuals or collectives, in public or in private.

Though unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 5, 2019

Posted on: February 5th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 5th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) At least eight protests were organized on February 5, 2019 in Iran. The municipality workers of Abezhdan city in Khuzestan province and Towhid city in Ilam province, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Kermanshah and Ilam, the workers and employees of Ayson Project in Tabriz, the investors of Sekeh Samen website, the members of the Cooperative Housing Company of the workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, and taxi drivers in Khorramabad have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) A Baha’i citizen, Roya Hasanzadeh, was arrested at her home in Manjil and transferred to Lakan prison in Rasht. She was released on bail on February 4, 2019. Baha’i is Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority and are systematically persecuted by the government.

(3) During the last nine months, 98 child marriages have been registered in Ilam province according to the head of Welfare Organization of this province, Zahra Hemmati.

(4) Tohid Ghoreishi, Sunni prisoner of Rajaee Shahr prison, refused to attend the court session protesting the insufficient period between him being informed and the session date and also not having access to a lawyer.

(5) A student, Aynaz Hatamian, was transferred to the hospital after being beaten by her teacher in Meshginshahr. Her skull is cracked and her eye and forehead are swollen.

(6) Mohammad Hossein Khalil Ardakani, a Karaj councilman, was released on bail. He was arrested on Monday on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

(7) Tehran council members, Nahid Khodakarami and Seyed Mahmoud Mirlohi, were summoned to the prosecutor’s office. Khodakarami is charged with “promoting de-veiling” and Mirlohi is charged with “disrupting the public mind” and “spreading lies”.

(8) The Sanandaj Revolutionary Court renewed the detention of 10 arrested citizens for another month. Among the arrested are Kurdistan’s environmental activists. They are identified as Hadi Kamangar, Fazel Gheitasi, Reza Asadi, Rashed Montazeri, Hossein Kamangar, Isa Feizi, Amanj Ghorbani, Zaniyar Zamiran, and Farhad Mohammadi.

(9) Jamal Kermani (Mohammad Mobin Mohabbatian), a resident of Mahshad, is serving his one-year prison term in Vakilabad prison. He was arrested during the mass uprisings of January 2018.

(10) The death sentence of Mohiadin Ebrahimi, a political prisoner of Urmia prison, has been canceled and his lawyer has been informed. He had been sentenced to death on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(11) A man wearing a white shroud (as a symbol of readiness of martyrdom) was arrested while chanting and writing anti-governmental slogans on the wall of Turkish Embassy in Tehran. The target of his slogans were the Supreme leader and other authorities.

(12) Four construction workers were injured in Dezful because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace.

(13) Four poachers were arrested in Tarom and Salas-e Babajani. Tarom county is in Zanjan province and Salas-e Babajani is a city of Kermanshah province.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 4, 2019

Posted on: February 4th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 4th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than eight protests were organized across the country. The workers of inter-city rail in Ahvaz, the customers of the Iranian automaker companies SAIPA, Iran Khodro and Sanat Khodro Azarbaijan Group in Tehran, the investors of Caspian financial institution in the cities of Mashhad, Rasht and Tehran, Zagros Railway workers and employees in Andimeshk, taxi drivers in Dorud, and the customers of Sekeh Samen website in Tehran have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) Mahmoud Abdollahi, a prisoner in Urmia prison, was transferred to the main prison ward after was kept for 21 days in solitary confinement on the charge of “cooperation with an opposition group”.

(3) Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, a teacher in Mashhad, who published a video to protest the arrest of teachers, workers, and union activists was summoned to the court on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “spreading lies”.

(4) Mahmoud Behzadirad, the lawyer of Narges Mohammadi, requested medical furlough for her. The prison officials have denied her transfer to hospital for her urgent medical need although the Evin prison general prosecutor has granted this permission.

(5) The appeals court confirmed the 27-month prison term sentence given to an Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, Mohammad Abdolmohammad-Zadeh, who was charged with “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state”.

(6) The head of Razavi Khorasan Intelligence and Public Security Police (PAVA) reported the arrest of 40 massage therapists who have been advertising in cyberspace.

(7) The court of appeals will review Nasrin Sotoudeh’s sentence. She is a predominant human rights lawyer who has security-related charges. One of her criminal charges is putting a flower bouquet by the electricity junction box in Enghelab street.

(8) Parvin Mohammadi’s request to set a bail bond for her, was denied by the court. The detained vice-president of the Free Union of Workers in Iran was arrested on January 29 and was transferred to the Kachoui prison in Karaj to serve her one-month detention.

(9) Tayeb Roozmehr was executed in Quchan on the charge of murder and another prisoner was sentenced to death by hanging in Alborz province.

(10) A Baha’i citizen, Mohammad Reza Teyfouri, was arrested on December 16, 2018 and was transferred to the Isfahan prison to serve her one-year prison term for proliferation of a movie about Baha’is. Meanwhile, Hamed Rezvani’s whereabouts is still unknown. He was interrogated several times in the last 10 years about his contacts with Baha’is.

(11) Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, claimed “there are no political prisoners in Iran”.

(12) The Supreme Court changed the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member death penalty to ten years in prison. Arsalan Khodkam was charged with “collaborating with an anti-regime party through espionage,” allegedly on behalf of a Kurdish opposition party. According to Hrana, the married, 50-year-old resident of Mahabad was formerly a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), which eventually “surrendered to the forces of the Islamic Republic.” Later, in the 2000s, he switched allegiance by joining the IRGC, which he served for 16 years before being accused of spying on behalf of the KDP.

(13) A member of Isfahan’s city council, Mehdi Moghaddari, was sentenced to six-month in prison for tweeting in support of a detained councillor in Shiraz, Mehdi Hajati. Hajati was arrested on the charge of “supporting Baha’is”.

(14) According to a member of Islamic Parliament Research Center, Abdolreza Azizi, workers have lost 70 percent of their purchasing power.

(15) Marivan Karkuki (Najaf Abdolrahman), an Iraqi citizen, is serving seventh year of his sentence in Rajaee shahr prison in Karaj. He was sentenced to 33 years and three months imprisonment on the charge of “Moharebeh” (enmity against god).

(16) A 20-year old girl and her 2-year old niece suffer serious injuries after an acid attack in Qazvin. Meanwhile, they were denied urgent medical treatment by the hospital because their insurance, refused to cover the acid attack medical care.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 3, 2019

Posted on: February 3rd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 3rd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than four protests have been organized across the country on February 3, 2019. The educators in the cities of Karun and Bavi in Khuzestan province, the investors of Persian Pars Company in Tehran, the customers of Iran Khodro Company, and the workers of Cham-e Shir dam in Gachsaran have held separate protests to requests their demands.

(2) The whereabouts of 20-year old who was arrested two months ago in Piranshahr on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”, is still unknown. Soleiman Mohammadnejad is a resident of Gargul village in the West Azerbaijan Province.

(3) The nurses of Azadi hospital in Tehran have at least two months of unpaid wages.

(4) Mehran Bandi Amirabadi and Mehran Eslami Amirabadi, Baha’i citizens of Yazd, began their one-year prison sentence in the Yazd prison.

(5) Arjang Davoudi, 65-year-old political prisoner in Zahedan prison, is detained in quarantine ward despite his sickness and sever kidney pain. He is banned from visits, medical care, and meeting other inmates. He is serving a five-year prison term.

(6) The attorney of Parvin Mohammadi , a labor activist and the vice-president of the Free Union of Workers in Iran, announced that his client’s case has been transferred to the court after an appeal on her one-month warrant.

(7) Abubakr Rostami, political prisoner on death row in Zahedan prison, was transferred to the quarantine ward after being summoned to the prison warden’s office on Saturday. The reason of his transfer is still unknown.

(8) Mostafa Tork Hamedani, the attorney of the workers of the Social Security Organization, began his prison term. He was sentenced to 40 lashes and six-months imprisonment for the complaint filed by Saeed Mortazavi, the former general prosecutor of Tehran.

(9) Afsaneh Emami (Naseri), Baha’i citizen, was arrested at her house in Tehran. The security forces searched her house and confiscated her belongings. Her whereabouts after the arrest is still unknown.

(10) Mohammad Parvazeh and Hamid Parvazeh, citizens of Marivan, were released on bail. They were arrested on January 16 on the charge of “cooperation with a Kurdish opposition group”.

(11) The Evin prison officials refused to transfer Ahmadreza Jalali, an Iranian-Swedish doctor on death row,to the hospital despite prior arrangements. He is suspected to have Leukemia. He was arrested in 2016 accused of espionage.

(12) One worker was killed, and seven others were injured in separate incidents in Khoy and Tehran because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions in the workplace.

(13) A prisoner who was accused of murder, was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Andimeshk after nine years in prison.

(14) 13 citizens who were arrested during the uprising of July 2018, received their sentences. Five of them are sentenced to one year in prison and eight others are sentenced to six months in prison. They are accused of “acting against the national security and illegal gatherings”.

(15) Pouria Sepahvand, an environmentalist and a consultant of Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was arrested on February 3, 2019. The reason of his arrest and his whereabouts’s are still unknown.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for February 2, 2019

Posted on: February 2nd, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on February 2nd, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Karim Mohebbi was executed in the central prison of Tabriz on the charge of murder and another prisoner was sentenced to public hanging in Gilan.

(2) More than four protests were organized across the country. Educators in the cities of Karun and Bavi, the customers of two Iranian automakers, Iran Khodro (IKCO) and Kerman Motor, the students of Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch in Tehran, and the investors of the project of Shahid Keshvari in Isfahan have held separate protests to request their demands.

(3) A landmine explosion severely injured a citizen in the city of Dehloran. More than 42 thousand square kilometers of the lands in the Iran‘s western provinces contain landmines left from the Iran-Iraq war. Dehloran is in the Ilam province.

(4) Five Baha’i residents of Shiraz have been sentenced to six months imprisonment, each, on the charge of “propaganda against the state”. They were identified as the following: Farhad Sarafraz, Shahram Mansour, Vahid Dana, Saeed Abedi, and Adib Haqpajouh.

(5) An Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, Hakimeh Ahmadi, is in prison since October 18, 2018. According to Hrana, she underwent hospital treatment for rib cage and finger injuries which have been occurred in the Intelligence detention in Marand County. Security forces entered Ahmadi’s home on October 18th, threatening both her and her spouse with a weapon. She was arrested and transferred without explanation to an undisclosed location. In a video which was published on October 30th, Ahmadi’s husband, Gholamreza Ghorbani, related news of her hospital transfer, explaining that authorities had refused to disclose where she had been admitted, forbade him from visiting, and advised him that pending treatments would be at his and Ahmadi’s expense.

(6) Expulsion of Sepehr Shahidi Ghamsari, a Baha’i civil engineering student from Sina Higher Education Institute in Kashan due to his faith. Baha’i students in Iran routinely experience either denial of entrance to university or removal from student lists during their studies. Numerous reports are published annually regarding the barring of Baha’i citizens from education.

(7) Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami filed an appeal against their conviction. They have been sentenced to six years in prison each, and were banned for two years form traveling, membership in any social or political group, and internet activism.

(8) The second court session of eight environmentalists on the espionage-related charges was in session in Tehran. Moreover, five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”.

(9) A detained Baha’i citizen, Maryam Ghafarmanesh , was arrested on September 16th, 2019. Her family did not receive any answer to why, and for how long, she will be held in prison. She was one of the eight Baha’i citizen who were arrested and transferred to Evin prison between September 16th and October 17th. They were identified as Parvan Manavi, Elham Salmanzadeh, Hooman Khoshnam, Payam Shabani, Peyman Manavi, Maryam Ghaffarmanesh, Jamileh Pakrou (Mohammad Hossein) and Kianoush Salmanzadeh.

(10) Jafar Azimzadeh, the leading member of the Free Union of Workers in Iran, was transferred to Evin prison to serve his six-year prison term. Moreover, Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsanirad have been acquitted of charges of “acting against national security” in June 2018. In 2016 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison over charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security through organizing an illegal group’.

(11) Hossein Rezaei, a teacher and the secretary of the teachers’ union in Bushehr, who was arrested on January 26, was released on bail. He had been summoned twice to the intelligence office and was interrogated in January.

(12) The workers of Saman Tile Manufacturing Company in Borujerd, have more than four years of unpaid wages. The workers of IranPetroTech have also unpaid wages and 12 workers of this company have been laid off last month.

(13) A labor activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, has been detained for one month and a half, although his family provided his bail bond which has been set for 200 million Toman [approximately 20 thousand USD]. He had been released from prison last year after finishing his seven years sentence.

(14) The special needs students’ transportation vehicle crashed, leaving eight injured in Sharafkhaneh in Shabestar County in the East Azerbaijan Province.

(15) Iran has six thousand disabled veteran women of Iran-Iraq War and more than six thousand women had been killed in this war. These women and their families have been treated unequally by the government and the society in comparison with men veterans.

(16) Saeed Malekpour’s mother wrote an open letter to Tehran’s Prosecutor General to request her son’s release after serving ten years in prison. A Canadian resident and alumna of Sharif University was arrested in 2008, during a trip to Iran on blasphemy-related charges. According to Hrana, the Cyber Unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), accusing Malekpour of managing Persian-language pornographic websites, arrested him during a trip to Iran to visit his family and sentenced him to death plus seven and a half years in prison, on counts of “propaganda against the regime,” “blasphemy,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” “insulting the president,” “contacting opposition groups” and “corruption on earth.” Malekpour’s death penalty sentence was eventually reduced to a life sentence. Throughout his legal proceedings, Malekpour has insisted that case analysis by a computer and internet expert would absolve him of the charges.

(17) Hamid Askari, a singer, was banned from working and the rest of his concerts have been canceled because of featuring a female vocalist and guitar player, Negin Parsa, in his concert. Women are prohibited from singing or playing musical instruments solo in Iran.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 31, 2019

Posted on: January 31st, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 31st, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Arash Sadeghi, a detained civil rights activist, was deprived from medical care which health professionals have said he desperately requires. He is suffering from bone cancer and infection in a surgical wound on his arm. Also, he has an urgent need for chemotherapy.

(2) Of the one million phone calls the Emergency Social Services Hotline received last year, 21 thousand were regarding child abuse and domestic violence.

(3) Saba Kord-Afshar and Yasaman Aryani, political prisoners, wrote an open letter reacting to a newspaper article that described the political prisoners’ conditions ‘favorable’, giving an overview of the hardship they face in the Evin’s women’s ward.

(4) The director of the Department of Environment of Tabas announced that two poachers were arrested in Tabas city along with a carcass of a chinkara.

(5) Parvin Mohammadi, a labor activist and the vice-president of the Free Union of Workers in Iran, was transferred to the Kachoui prison in Karaj to serve her one-month detention. She was arrested on January 29.

(6) Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, a teacher’s rights activist in Shiraz, was sentenced to two years imprisonment and one year of exile. His accusations are  “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Founder of the Islamic Republic”.

(7) Shahin Barzegar, an Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, began his three-months imprisonment sentence in the Tabriz prison. His charge was attending the funeral ceremony of a former prisoner, Hasan Damirchi.

(8) Soroush Agahi, a Baha’i prisoner of the Evin prison, was released on bail. He and Neda Shabani, another Baha’i citizen, have been arrested in Karaj on November 28, 2018.

(9) Amnesty International requested the release of Iranian labor activists Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian who spoke out about abuse and torture they suffered in detention. They have been rearrested and are at risk of severe torture.

(10) A prisoner was executed in Nowshahr and a 24-year old was sentenced to death in Birjand. A prisoner who was accused of murder, was spared from hanging on gallows by consent of next of kin in Karun after 12-year in prison.

(11) A member of Iranian Parliament representing Nishabur, Hajar Chenarani, confirmed that 200 workers of Khorasan Exhaust Manufacturing Company have been laid off.

(12) A 66-year old Christian converted, Esmail Maghrebi-Nejad, was arrested by security forces in Shiraz on January 15 and his whereabouts is still unknown. His home was raided, and his belongings confiscated.

(13) Saeed Sadeghifar ,an Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, was released on bail. The security forces on Tuesday, arrested him in Ardabil. His court was on January 24, on the charge of “establishing illegal groups with the intention to disturbing national security”.