IRAN: Special monthly news about Baha’is and Christians in Iran in January

Farhaam Saabet and Farzaan Ma`sumi begin 2-year prison terms
Hrana / Sens Daily (26.01.2022) – – On January 23, Farhaam Saabet and Farzaan Ma`sumi reported to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz to begin serving their 2-year sentences. Mr Saabet and Ma`sumi were initially sentenced to five years in prison (with an additional one-year concurrent sentence) by Judge Sayyid Mahmud Saadaati, sitting in the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz. The Provincial Review Court reduced this to two years in prison.
Hrana / Sens Daily (22.01.2022) – Jamaal Afshaar was freed on bail from the Central Prison in Ahvaz on January 22. He is the last of seven Baha’is arrested in home raids in Mahshahr on December 27 to be freed. Five of these were questioned and released after a few hours, while Behzaad Afshaar was bailed on January 14.
Negaar Nasiri summoned in Tabriz
Hrana / Sens Daily (22.01.2022) – On January 22, Negaar Nasiri was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence facility in Tabriz known as “Room 37.” Her husband Sina Shahri was arrested during a raid on their home in Tabriz last week (the precise day is not specified).
Property of Shayda Taa’id confiscated by Article 49 court
Hrana / Sens Daily (20.01.2022) – – A special court for Mazandaran Province has ruled that the property of Shayda Taa’id, a Baha’i living in Nur County, Mazandaran, should be seized and handed to “The Executive Headquarters of the Imam.” This organisation, known as Setad, is a parastate organization controlled by the Supreme Leader of Iran. It was created from thousands of properties confiscated in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and serves as a front company for the dubious assets of the ruling elite.
Samira Ebraahimi arrested, released on bail
Hrana / Sens Daily (16.01.2022) – Samira Ebraahimi was arrested in Tehran on January 10, after answering a summons, and freed from Evin Prison on bail on January 11. Bail was unusually high, at 800 million tumans (165,000 euros ; $US 189,000). Mrs. Ebrahimi is the wife of Arsalan Yazdani, who was arrested on September 1, 2021, in a raid on the family home. He was detained for 45 days, and then released on bail of one million tumans (200 euros ; $US 240).
Behzaad Afshaar released, Jamaal Afshaar still held in Ahvaz
Hrana / Sens Daily (15.01.2022) – Behzaad Afshaar, A Baha’i from Mahshahr, in Southwest Iran, was released from Ahvaz prison on bail on January 14, while Jamaal Afshaar is still detained in Ahvaz. They were among seven Baha’is arrested in home raids in Mahshahr on December 27. The other five were questioned and released after a few hours.
Baha’i poet Naatoli Derakhshaan arrested in Sari City
Hrana / Sens Daily (12.01.2022) – – On January 11, Naatoli Derkshaan, a Baha’i poet, was arrested by intelligence agents at his home in Sari City and transferred to an unidentified location. The reasons for this arrest, the charges against him and his whereabouts are unknown at the time of writing.
Samira Ebraahimi summoned for questioning again
Hrana / Sens Daily (05.01.2022) – Samira Ebraahimi, the wife of Arsalan Yazdani, has been summoned to the Tehran Revolutionary Court for questioning, for the second time in three weeks. She is due to report to the court on January 8. Her previous questioning was about December 21. Arsalan Yazdani was arrested on September 1, 2021, in a raid on the family home. He was detained for 45 days, and then released on bail of one million tumans (200 euros ; $US 240).
Hrana / Sens Daily (02.01.2022) – On December 27, seven Baha’is were arrested in a raid on their home in Mahshahr, in the Southwest of Iran: five were questioned and released, and two have been taken to the city of Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan Province. They are Jamaal Afshaar and Behzaad Afshaar. The five who questioned and released a few hours later are Farideh Farzaaneh, Mehraan Afshaar, A`zam Afshaar, Kiomaarth Afshaar and Golnoush Afshaar. During the raid, some personal effects were seized. Mehraan. A`zam and Golnoush Afshaar were also summoned to return to the Security Agency next day, when they were again questioned and released after a few hours.
Date set for historic appeal hearing
Article 18 (27.01.2022) – Eight of the nine Christian converts recently released from prison pending a review of their case have been told their appeal will be heard next month.
The eight men – Shahrooz EslamdoustBehnam Akhlaghi, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi KhatibiKhalil Dehghanpour, Hossein KadivarKamal Naamanian and Mohammad Vafadar – were informed yesterday by SMS that their appeal will be heard on 22 February at Branch 34 of Tehran’s appeal court.
Iran’s Supreme Court agrees to review Christian convert’s 10-year prison sentence
Article 18 (26.01.2022) – Iran’s Supreme Court has finally agreed to review the case of a Christian convert serving a 10-year prison sentence for “acting against national security” through his involvement in a house-church.
Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh has spent the past four years in Tehran’s Evin Prison, and during that time has pleaded on numerous occasions for a review of his case, only to be repeatedly refused.
Iranian Christians decry denial of education to converts and their children
Article 18 (25.01.2022) – A group of Iranian Christian former prisoners of conscience between them sentenced to over 50 years in prison have published a joint statement decrying the denial of education to Persian-speaking Christians in Iran.
The statement, written in Persian, was released yesterday to coincide with the International Day of Education.
Annual report: Supreme Court ruling gave hope but Persian Christians still have no #place2worship
Article 18 (25.01.2022) – Two rulings at the end of 2021 offered hope that one day Iranian Christians may no longer be charged with “acting against national security” for simply meeting together to worship in their homes.
Isfahan brothers still missing after Christmas arrest
Article 18 (24.01.2022) – Two brothers remain missing more than a month after their arrest at a Christmas gathering near Isfahan.
Mansour Mardani-Kharaji, 42, and his brother Mahmoud, 40, were with around eight other Christians at a house-church meeting in Fooladshahr on 22 December when the celebration was raided by plainclothes officials, who showed no warrant and did not state which agency they came from.
Christian converts conclude prison sentences, but one now faces exile
Article 18 (20.01.2022) – Two Christian converts have been released from prison at the conclusion of their one-year prison sentences for belonging to a house-church, but one of them now faces two years’ exile.
Sasan Khosravi, who is 36 years old, and Habib Heydari, who turned 40 just last week, were released from Bushehr Central Prison this morning.
Christian convert back in prison just two weeks after release
Article 18 (18.01.2022) – Just two weeks after the release on bail of nine Christian converts, pending a review of their case ordered by Iran’s Supreme Court, one of them is already back in prison – thanks to a ruling by a different branch of that same Supreme Court.
Convert begins four-year prison sentence for ‘spreading Christianity’
Article 18 (11.01.2022) – Christian convert Hadi (Moslem) Rahimi has begun serving his four-year prison sentence for “acting against national security” by attending a house-church and “spreading ‘Zionist’ Christianity”.
The 32-year-old delivery driver, who has a nine-month-old daughter, handed himself in to Tehran’s Evin Prison on Sunday morning (9 January) so that the property deed submitted by a friend to secure his bail may be released.
Christian converts granted belated Christmas break from prison
Article 18 (4.01.2022) – Three Christian converts serving three-year sentences for “engaging in propaganda that educates in a deviant way contrary to the holy religion of Islam” have been given 10 days’ leave from prison after inquiring why they weren’t included in the publicised mass furlough of Christian prisoners over Christmas.