Archive for January, 2009

Demands on Baha’i Prisoners for Participation in Shi’ah Commemorations

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

From an article in Human Rights Activists in Iran, January 7, 2009

Two Baha’is incarcerated in Sari were punished and humiliated for failing to partake in a Shi’ah commemoration.

At the beginning of Muharram [Dec 2008] and the commencement of commemorative gatherings exclusive to the Shi’ahs, two Baha’i prisoners by the names of Fuad Na’imi and Fayzollah Roshan who are imprisoned in Sari were pressured by the prison authorities to participate in these gatherings. When they refused to attend, the prison warden instructed their heads to be shaved and both were then transferred to Ward 8 of the prison which is designated as the reprimand facility. Among the limitations imposed in Ward 8 upon the prisoners is a complete ban on the use of phone and visits and denial of temporary leaves.

The prison authorities have already announced that these prisoners will be released from the Reprimand Ward on the condition of promising that henceforth they would attend Muslim gatherings and commemorative meetings.

Fuad Na’imi and Fayzollah Roshan are two Baha’i prisoners and were arrested at the beginning of the year [circa April 2008] by the agents of security department in the province of Mazandaran on charges of “membership in the group of khademin” (an ad hoc group of Baha’is in each town responsible for the coordination of Baha’i spiritual gatherings), “activities against national security and membership in institute classes (collaborative learning)” and were sentenced to prison terms and subsequent exiles

Photos document the destruction of yet another Baha’i cemetery.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Around midnight on the 18th January undercover agents in Qaimshahr
accompanied bulldozers into the towns Baha’I cemetery and proceeded to destroy
this sacred sight. After firing gunshots into the air, gravestones were demolished and removed and the ground flattened. This is one of many Baha’I cemeteries in Iran that has so shamelessly been desecrated.

More photos

Anglican Bishop adds his voice in raising concerns over the possible execution of 7 Baha’i leaders.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Since their arrest in March 2008, the 7 Baha’i leaders have remained imprisoned without any formal charges, whilst Shirin Ebadi, their legal representative is placed under constant threat. Now it seems that their situation could be reaching a critical point, as recent reports have suggested they have been sentenced to death. Although this has not been confirmed, alarm bells are ringing. Amongst those voicing their concerns are British Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown and the Anglican Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.

Bishop George Cassidy asked at question time in the House of Lords: “What action are the Government taking on the position of the seven leaders of the Baha’i community who have been imprisoned without trial and held in severe conditions and who are now threatened with execution for no other crime than their religious beliefs?”

Ten Baha’i families harassed

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

From an article written by Ahang Rabbani at Iran Press Watch

14 January 2009 (IPPA), in a coordinated operation, ten families affiliated with the Bahai faith were harassed by Iranian regime security agents, their belongings searched, confiscated and their members arrested and taken away to Evin prison.

According to reports released by Bahai students; Jinus Sobhani, Shahrokh Taeff, Azizollah Samandari, Payam Aghsani, Didar Raoof, Nima Haghar have been arrested.

Read article in full

Jinus Sobhani, secretary for human rights group, is arrested.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Jinus Sobhani used to work as a secretary at the Human Rights Center in Iran, that is until it was shut down by the Iranian authorities. This was the office which the Human rights Lawyer and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi was based. Her offices were shut down on December 21 during a police raid as guests arrived for a belated celebration of the 60th anniversary of the U.N.’s Human Rights Day

Yet even though Jinus was no longer able to work there she was still arrested.
Why should a woman who used to work for our NGOs be arrested?” the Nobel laureate asked. “I think this may be an effort to exert pressure on the Defenders of Human Rights and the Organization for Defending Mine Victims.”

Could it have something to do with the fact that she is a Baha’i?

Shirin Ebadi: new threats against the Nobel Laureate cause concern at the UN

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

UN Secretary General
A new wave of hostility against the human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi has raised concerns at the UN, as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “calls on the Iranian authorities to take immediate measures to prevent any further harassment and to ensure Shirin Ebadi”s safety and security.” In recent report it appears that her center for the Defence of Human Rights was broken and that materials were stolen. And in usual mob style crowds have gathered outside her office with displays of hostility.

Read original article

Three More Leading Baha’is Arrested in Semnan

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

This is an article translated by Ahang Rabbani from Iran Press Watch.

On Sunday, 4 January 2009, Human Rights Activists of Iran reported the following:

Earlier today, three Baha’is responsible for the Baha’i community of Semnan were arrested by security agents and conducted to an unknown location.

The three detained individuals were Mr. Adel Fanaian and Mr. Abbas Nurani, who are among the members presently responsible for the activities of the Baha’i community in Semnan, and Mr. Taher Eskandarian, a former member of the same responsible body. All three were seized after security agents went to their residences.

It should be mentioned that about 20 days ago, security agents went to the homes of dozens of Baha’is of this town and [on 15 December 2008] arrested Mrs. Sahba Rezvani, another member of the responsible body for Semnan.

The three Baha’is who were arrested earlier today were also arrested three years ago, but their first trial resulted in a suspended sentence. After their appeal, their file was sent to a higher court for reevaluation. During the course of their arrest earlier today, security agents referred to this six-month suspended sentence and the appeal court’s ruling, as well as the implementation of this sentence.

Until now, the judiciary has not stated reasons for these arrests and charges against the three Baha’is.

Read More

Threat Against Three Baha’i Families in Qa’emshahr

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

This is an article translated by Ahang Rabbani from Iran Press Watch.

On Monday, 5 January 2009, Human Rights Activists of Iran reported the following in the Persian section of their online news organ:

The agents of the Ministry of Intelligence went to the residence of three Baha’i families in the town of Qa’emshahr, and conducted a search of homes and summoned everyone to the office of the Ministry [for further questioning].

On 24 December 2008, security agents arrived at the homes of three Baha’i families in Qa’emshahr and searched throughout the homes and confiscated such personal items as family books, papers and computers.

The Agents also asked Mr. Bijan Naw’khah, Mr. Sohrab Loghmani, Mrs. Fanaian, Miss Emilia Fanaian and Miss Anisa Fanaian to present themselves to the office of the Intelligence Ministry.

No further detail about these incidents is available at this time.