Repression of Baha’i Community Continues In Iran: 37 Arrests, Detention & Convictions

Three weeks after arrest of Kamran Rahimian and his wife Faran Hesami of Baha’i faith they continue to be detained in Evin Prison.

Eight Bahai’s in Mashhad were sentenced to 15 years in prison collectively and 20 Baha’is were arrested in Esfehan last week.

Kamran Rahimian and his wife Faran Hesami were arrested on September 13 along with Kayvan Rahimian and Shakib Nasrollah, all Psychology Department faculty members of the Baha’i online university.

Kayvan Rahimian and Shakib Nasrollah were released on bail on September 21 but Rahimian and his wife continue to be detained. Also they both have been fired from their psychology consultant jobs in NGOs. These firings occurred after threats were made by Intelligence Ministry agents.

Also, Mashhad Revolutionary Court has sentenced eight Baha’is residing in Mashhad to fifteen years in prison collectively.

Mashhad’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced Bahman Yazdani, Vesal Mohamadi, Shahab Taefi and Afshin Nikaaein to 2-3 years in prison.

Nahid Ghadiri, Rosita Vaseghi and Nora Nabizadeh have been sentenced to five years in prison each. Nahid Ghadiri, Rosita Vaseghi are currently detained in Mashhad prison.

Arrest of twenty Baha’is in Esfahan:

According to Human Rights news agencies, 20 people of Baha’i faith, including a 9 year old were arrested in Esfahan on Thursday September 29, 2011.

According to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, on Thursday September 29, 2011, Farid Eshtiyagh, Parisa Rahmani, Farzad Rohani, Rohiyeh Hakimian, Samira Ghane, Arman Rahimi, Heshmatollah Niki, Shahla Sanaei, Fazel Behnam, Ferdown Niki, Saha Behnam, Soheila Davardan, Dariyoush Dashtpich, Laleh Namjouyan, Attaollah Daneshgar, Lava Daneshgar, Anisa Daneshgar, Darab Yazdani, Sohaila Vahedian, Tajolmolok Janamian and Dina Safapour (9 years old) were all arrested.

Eight of the twenty arrested, including the nine year old were released later.

According to this same report, after the arrest of these people, homes of Parisa Rahmani, Farzad Rohani and Attaollah Daneshgar were searched and number of items were confiscated from their homes.

Trial of seven faculty and those connected with Baha’i online university:

This same Human Rights agency also reports that trials of seven Bahai’s connected with the Baha’i online university were held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghayeseh.

According to this report, within the last few weeks, Vahid Mahmoudi, Ramin Zibaei, Kamran Mortezaei, Farhad Sedghi, Noushin Khadem, Mahmoud Badavam and Riyaz Sobhani were all tried at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court.

All were charged with membership in the anti-national security Baha’i organization (Article 499). It should be noted that the trial of some these people only lasted for few minutes.

Six of these people were arrested in raids of their homes on May 22nd. Riyaz Sobhani was arrested on June 15, 2011. They are all currently held in ward 209 of Evin prison in shared cells.

From May 22, 2011 there has been added pressure on Baha’i online university. During this period, more than 20 people connected with this university have been arrested and more than 50 officials, faculty members and students have been summoned by Intelligence Ministry and pressured to sign a pledge not to cooperate with the university.

Also during this period, several locations associated with the University have been locked and sealed by the authorities and the university’s site has been filtered several times.

Source: Jaras

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