Seven Baha’is Were Sentenced to 21 Years Imprisonment in Bushehr

Posted on: November 25th, 2019

Bushehr Appellate Court upheld sentences of seven Baha’i citizens. On May 5, 2019, they were sentenced to 21 years imprisonment, compiled, by the Bushehr Revolutionary Court. Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Emad Jaberi, Farideh Jaberi, Farokhlegha Faramarzi, and Pooneh Nasheri were each sentenced to three years imprisonment.

They were arrested on February 13, 2018 by the security forces. Their houses were searched and their personal belongings such as laptops, books, flash memories, external hard drives, and family albums were confiscated. On March 6, 2018, Pooneh Nasheri and Emad Jaberi were temporarily released on 250 million Tomans bail. Subsequently, Mino Riazati, Asadollah Jaberi, Ehteram Sheykhi, Farideh Jaberi, and Farokhlegha Faramarzi, were released on 250 million Tomans bail on March 13, 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. 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.

Three Baha’is were sentenced to 23 years imprisonment

Posted on: November 15th, 2019

Behnam Eskandari, Yalda Firouzian, and Ardeshir Fanaiyan, three Baha’i citizens residing in Semnan, were sentenced to 23 years in prison and live in exile.

They were arrested on April 30, 2019 by the security forces, their personal belongings were confiscated, and they were transferred to Semnan Prison. The Revolutionary Court of Semnan put hold on their temporary releases. They are banned from having any visitor and contact with outside of prison. Behnam Eskandari was under pressure in the course of his interrogation for forced confession. He was resilient and was transferred to the quarantine ward where he was beaten by two other prisoners.

According to the verdict issued by the Semnan Revolutionary Court headed by judge Mohammad Ali Rostami, Ardeshir Fanaiyan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and one year live in exile in Khash on the charge of “cooperation in establishing an illegal group inside the country with the aim of acting against the national security”. Yalda Firouzian and Behnam Eskandarian were sentenced to five years imprisonment and two years ban from living in Semnan, each on the charge of “membership in establishing an illegal group inside the country with the aim of acting against national security”. Also, each of them were sentenced to a one-year prison term for the charge of “cooperation in acting against national security in favor of opposition groups”. Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Ardeshir Fanaiyan should spend 10 years in prison, Yalda Firouzian, and Behnam Eskandaian should spend five years in prison, each.

Ardeshir Fanaiyan’s first arrest was on January 8, 2019 and was sentenced to an eight-month prison term. Although the law of arresting the eligible ones for military service has been cancelled.

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.

Three Baha’is Were Arrested in Shiraz

Posted on: October 21st, 2019

On October 21, 2019, three Baha’i citizens were arrested in Shiraz while their houses and several other Baha’i houses were searched and their personal belongings such as laptops, cell phones, and computers were confiscated. Farzan Masoumi, Kiana Shoaei, and Soroush Abadi were arrested by the Intelligence Department officers and were transferred to an undisclosed location. The identities of the other Baha’i citizens whose houses were searched are still unknown.

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.

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.