Eight Baha’i Citizens Arrested in Shiraz and Yazd

On July 19, security forces arrested three Baha’i residents of Yazd identified as Nematollah Shadpour, Nima Shadpour and Shafigh Eslami, searched their houses, and confiscated their personal belongings.

On the same day, five Baha’i individuals were also arrested in Shiraz, which HRANA has identified as Niloofar Hosseini, Bahyeh Manavipour, Misagh Manavipour, Elhan Hashemi, and Hanan Hashemi.

An informed source told HRANA that the authorities had also summoned Mishagh Manavipur’s sister.

Shaghayegh Khaneh-Zarin, Negar Ighani and Zhila Sharafi Nasrabadi had also been arrested in Shiraz and are still in detention. 

The reason for these arrests and the whereabouts of the above-mentioned individuals are unknown so far.

Three Baha’i Citizens Arrested in Bojnurd

On July 13, three Baha’i individuals, Sholeh Shahidi and her two sons Faran and Shayan Senai, were arrested in Bojnurd, North Khorasan Province. The agents searched their house and confiscated some of their personal belongings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on July 13, 2022, Baha’i individuals, Sholeh Shahidi and her two sons Faran and Shayan Senai were arrested and transferred to an unidentified location.

An informed source told HRANA that another Baha’i citizen’s house, whose identity remains unknown, has also been searched and some of her belongings have been confiscated.

The reason for these arrests, the charges and the individuals’ whereabouts are unknown so far.

Freedom of 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 practice religion freely, freedom of converting to a religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively, openly or secretly.

26 Baha’i Citizens Sentenced to a Total of 85 Years in Prison

Last Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz sentenced 26 Baha’i citizens to a total of 85 years in prison as well as additional punishments such as a ban from leaving the country and residing in exile.  

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 26 Baha’i individuals were sentenced to a total of 85 years in prison.

During the third court session held last Wednesday, these individuals were sentenced to a total of 85 years in prison and a ban from leaving the country for 2 years. Of the 26 defendants, 11 were sentenced to five years and 15 to two years in prison.

These individuals have been charged with “assembly and collusion to act against national security”. During the trial, holding gatherings in poor neighborhoods or tourist districts under the guise of addressing issues such as water crisis and other social issues have been presented for this charge.

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

Freedom of 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 practice religion freely, freedom of converting to a religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

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.

Denial of Access to Higher Education Surges for Baha’i Citizens in Iran

Since the beginning of this year, HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has documented 16 cases of Baha’i citizens being barred from higher education due to their faith.

As in previous years, many examinees of the nationwide university entrance exam encountered the message either “Rejected” or “Rejected due to general ineligibility”, indicating that they have been identified as Baha’i and hence barred from higher education.

According to HRANA, each year, numerous Baha’is examinees are rejected as the results of exams for various excuses by the official website of the National Organization of Educational Testing (NOET), an organization for holding the nationwide entrance exam.

Following the call of one of these citizens, NOET mentioned the intervention of the intelligence police as the reason for the rejection and in case an objection is filed, they can pass the written objection on to the intelligence police for further assessment.

In a written response to another citizen, NOET stated, “This message is shown when the intelligence office or any other security institution has an open case regarding the examinee or they have not approved his/her ineligibility. Your objection will be passed on the intelligence office, but until you identify yourself as Baha’i, the objection will not be taken into account.”

After taking exams many times, Some of these citizens are still facing various excuses such as “document defect” and therefore, they are barred from continuing their education due to being Baha’i.

At odds with Iran’s law clarifying the rights to education indiscriminately for all citizens, the enactment of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, which oversees to ensure that education and culture remain Islamic, barres Baha’is from taking an occupational position as well as tertiary education.

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.

According to unofficial reports, 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 Baha’i faith, which conclusively leads to the systematic violation of their rights.

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Thirteen Baha’is Have Been Barred From Higher Education So Far This Year

Tehran resident Negar Sobhani Azabadi has become the 13th Baha’i citizen this year to be barred from higher education on the grounds of her faith.

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has identified one more examinee of the university entrance exam who has been rejected due to her belief in the Baha’i faith.

Azabadi received the rejection message when visiting the school website to view her exam results. It read “Rejected due to General ineligibility”, indicating that she had been identified as Baha’i and was thus ineligible to enter the university.

Each year, there are numerous reports about Baha’is who are barred from higher education once detected as Baha’is even on the verge of graduation.

At odds with Iran’s law clarifying the rights to education indiscriminately for all citizens, the enactment of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, which oversees to ensure that education and culture remain Islamic, barres Baha’is from taking an occupational position as well as tertiary education.

 

Appellate Court Upholds Prison Sentence for Baha’i Citizens Abbas Taef and Ataollah Zafar

Branch 26 of the Tehran Court of Appeals recently upheld the primary court’s sentence for Baha’i citizens Abbas Taef and Ataollah Zafar.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on July 6, Branch 26 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, presided by Judge Seyed Ahmad Zargar, had sentenced each of these citizens to one year in prison on charges of “acting against national security through the administration and activity in the Baha’i sect”.

According to unofficial sources, 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 beeen systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation 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.

Below is the picture of the AppealsCourt verdict.

Baha’i Citizen Ali Ahmadi Sent to Ghaemshahr Prison to Endure Sentence

On Thursday, August 26, Ali Ahmadi, a Baha’i citizen and native of Ghaemshahr, was arrested and transferred to prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ahmadi was sent to Ghaemshahr Prison to endure his one-year prison sentence.

Ali Ahmadi, who suffers from the underlying conditions of diabetes and heart disease, is being forced to serve out this prison sentence during the peak of the coronavirus crisis in Iran.

Mr. Ahmadi had been detained and imprisoned before. He was arrested by security forces and transferred to the Kachuei Detention Center in Sari, in November 2018. He was released on bail in January 2019.

Ghaemshahr Revolutionary Court sentenced Mr. Ahmadi to a total of 11 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime and the administration of the Baha’i organization”. This sentence was upheld by the appeal court without holding a trial. Eventually, the Supreme Court accepted the request for retrial and sent the case to the Branch 28 of the Mazandaran Court of Appeals, where Mr. Ahmadi’s sentence was reduced to 1 year in prison.

According to unofficial sources, 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 beeen systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation 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.

Baha’i Citizens Sina Kamali and Dorsa Dehghani Still in Detention in Shiraz

After 14 days, Baha’i citizens Dorsa Dehghani and Sina Kamali Sarvestani are still in detention in an unknown location in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the citizens were arrested separately on June 15 by IRGC intelligence agents.

A source close to their families said that Dehghani and Sarvestani have made a brief calls and spoken with their families but are being interrogated under psychological and physical pressure. The lack of accountability of the security agencies about their condition and whereabouts has caused increasing concern from their families.

Darsa Dehghani was treated for a medical problem before his detention, but he has not had access to his medications since being arrested.

According to unofficial sources, 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 violation 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.

 

Baha’i Citizens Sina Kamali Sarvestani and Dorsa Dehghani Arrested in Shiraz

On June 14, Baha’i citizens Sina Kamali Sarvestani and Dorsa Dehghani were separately arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, officers reportedly searched Sarvestani and Dehghani’s homes in Shiraz and confiscated all electronic devices including phones, laptops, and books.

More than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, according to unofficial sources, 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 violation 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.

As of this writing, no information is available on the detention facility or the status of Sarvestani and Dehghani.