IRAN: Monthly news Digest about Baha’is in Iran in April (05.05.2021)
Home searches and arrests in Baharestan, Isfahan Province
Hrana / Sens Daily (25.04.2021) – https://cutt.ly/ebcLlVB – Thirteen Baha’i homes were raided, and eight Baha’is were arrested, in Baharestan, Isfahan, on the morning of April 25. Those arrested are named as Saara Shakib, Firouzeh Rastinejaad, Saanaaz Raasteh , Azita Rezvaani, Mozhgaan Pourshafi, Nasreen Khaademi, Afshin Vajdaani and his wife Noushin Hemmat.
There was some violence during the raid on Saara Shakib’s house. The agents at her home also had a warrant for Samira Shakib. The other raids were also violent, and in one case a door was broken down because there was nobody home.
Saara Shakib’s brother, Sina Shakib, a fourth semester student of statistics and applications at the University of Isfahan, was recently expelled because of his Baha’i beliefs. She was expelled first from the student accommodation, and then from the University, because of her Baha’i beliefs. Another sister, Samira Shakib, was barred from enrolling in a tertiary institution, when her file was marked “incomplete.” The siblings’ mother was also barred from university.
Manizheh A`zamiyaan arrested and released in Babol
Hrana/ Sens Daily (20.04.2021) – https://cutt.ly/EbcZFy5 – On April 13, security forces in Babol, a city on the Caspian Coast, arrested Mrs. Manizheh A`zamiyaan. Next day, she was released on bail of 50 million tumans (10,000 euros ; $US 12,000). Four days before her arrest, security forces raided her home and seized some personal effects including mobile phones, computer hard drives, flash drives, and pictures, books and other printed matter relating to the Baha’i Faith.
After the morning search, the agents asked her to go to the office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Babol for interrogation. She did so, and was questioned for several hours. This was repeated several times in the days before her arrest. Mrs. A`zamiyaan is 52 years old. Intelligence agents also contacted several of her contacts, stored on her mobile phone, and summoned them for questioning about their contacts with Mrs. A`zamiyaan.
Mo’in Mohammadi again sentenced to prison
Hrana/ Sens Daily (15.04.2021) – https://cutt.ly/JbcXPHL – A Revolutionary Court in Yazd has sentenced Mo’in Muhammadi to 19 months and 16 days in prison, based on a case file for which he has already been tried, sentenced, had his sentence reduced by the Review Court to electronic monitoring by wearing a tracking bracelet for one year, and has served out that penalty.
He was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on January 9, 2019. At the end of March he was sentenced to six years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Yazd, and was released on bail on April 10. In July, the Review Court for the Province of Yazd reduced his sentence, for “propaganda against the regime” to one year of electronic surveillance by wearing a tracking bracelet. He was required to remain within the city of Yazd and the associated industrial park where he works. The Review Court acquitted him of another charge of membership of groups opposed to the regime.
The Prosecutor objected to the Review Court’s decision and the case was re-tried in Iran’s Supreme Court, which overturned the Review Court decision and returned the case to the Revolutionary Court where the Judge has sentenced him to the maximum penalty for membership of groups opposed to the regime — 31 months and 16 days — but has deducted the 12 months he wore an ankle bracelet to give a sentence of 19 months and 16 days. The Revolutionary Court also sentenced him to 7 months and 16 days for propaganda against the regime, but this time is not added to his sentence because the two sentences are concurrent, as usual under Iranian law. Mr. Mohammadi was not aware of the Prosecutor’s objection or the Supreme Court trial, and was therefore not represented or defended. The Supreme Court’s decision has not been formally notified, let alone explained.
Eight Baha’is free on furlough in Bandar Abbas
Hrana / Sens Daily (15.04.2021) – Arash Raasekhi, Omid Afaaqi, Mehrollah Afshaar Nasim Qanawaateyaan, Adib Haqq-pazhuh , Farhaad Amri, Maaraal Raasti and Mahnaaz Jaan-Nethaar were released from prison on April 14. They began their one and two-year sentences in late February and early April, and the report does not indicate why they would be granted furlough so soon. A previous report on Sen’s Daily has details of their trials and sentences.
Seven arrests in Shiraz
Hrana / Sens Daily (09.04.2021) – https://cutt.ly/ubvJf5E – Sa`id Ettehaad, Qaasem Ma`sumi, Siyaamak Honavar, Soroush Abaadi, Sadiqeh Aqdasi and `Aliyyeh Farutan were arrested in home raids in Shiraz on April 6, and Farzandi Ardakaani was arrested the previous evening. During the raids, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence seized their personal effects such as books and electronic devices.
They were arrested and taken to a detention centre. Latest reports indicate that the home raids have continued in Shiraz — more details are expected.
Soroush Abaadi was one of three Baha’is arrested on October 21, 2019: it was later claimed that the three Baha’is were holding a religious ceremony intended to eclipse the Arba’een Pilgrimage in Karbala. [!]
Nine Baha’is summoned to prison in Andisheh and Karaj
Hrana / Sens Daily (08.04.2021) – https://cutt.ly/ZbvHQLi – Mr. Houman Khoushnam, Mrs. Ilhaam Salmaanzaadeh, Mr. Payaam Sha’baani, Mr. Keyaanush Salmaanzaadeh, Mr. Soroush Agaahi, Parvaan Ma`navi, Mrs. Jamileh Paakrou, Mr. Paymaan Ma’navi and Mrs. Neda Shabaani have been summoned to report to prison within five days to serve one-year sentences. They were charged with propaganda against the regime through activity and propaganda for the Baha’is.
At the time of their arrest, agents searched the homes of some of these detainees and seized personal belongings, including books, computers, laptops and mobile phones. The business premises of some of them were also sealed after their arrest.
Four Baha’i women go to jail in Mashhad
Hrana / Sens Daily (06.04.2021) – https://cutt.ly/vbc0DMj – Nika Paakzaadaan, Saanaaz Es-haaqi, Nakisa Hajipour and Noghmeh Dhabihayan began their one-year sentences in Mashhad’s Vakil-Abaad prison on April 6. These four were arrested, tried and sentenced in a group of five: Faraaneh Daaneshgari is not mentioned in this report.
The five were arrested on November 13, 2015, at the same time as agents from the Ministry of Intelligence also arrested 15 other Bahais in Tehran and Isfahan, and Baha’i-run businesses were closed down in Mazandaran Province. Judge Baagh-dehi, sitting in the Revolutionary Court in Mashhad on 28 September, 2019, sentenced them to one year in prison and the Review Court for Khorasan Province confirmed the prison terms in late December.
Maaraal Raasti and Mahnaaz Jaan-Nethaar begin their sentences
Hrana / Sens Daily (03.04.2021) – Maaraal Raasti and Mahnaaz Jaan-Nethaar were taken to Bandar Abbas prison to begin their sentences on April 3. They were among the eight Baha’is who, as previously reported, were summoned in late February.