News about Baha’is in Iran in July
Review court cuts sentences for 11 Baha’is in Fars Province
Sen’s Daily (21.07.2020) – https://bit.ly/3gBoo7d – The Review Court for Fars Province (Shiraz) has sentenced Nilufar Hakimi to five years and nine months in prison. In May, Judge Sayyid Mahmud Saadaati, sitting in the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, had sentenced her to eight years in prison. Navid Bazmaandegaan and his wife Bahreh Qaderi, Sudabeh Haqiqat, Elaheh Sami`zaadeh and Noraa Pourmoraadian were sentenced to six years by Judge Saadaati: this has been reduced to two years and nine months. Ehsanollah Mahbub-Rahwafa was given a one-year sentence by Judge Saadaati, which the Review Court has changed to a fine of one million tumans (200 euros ; $US 240). All were charged with propaganda against the regime and membership of groups opposed to the regime.
Mrs. Sami`zaadeh has also been sentenced — in a criminal court — to one year in prison by Judge Fakhaarzaadeh on a charge of “misuse of scientific titles,” which refers to her studies at the Bahai Institute of Higher Education. In addition to the prison sentence, he added a 2-year suspension from holding all governmental and public jobs. This seems to be a bit of black humour on the part of the Judge: all Bahais in Iran are permanently barred from governmental and public jobs, and also from work in many economic sectors, and from tertiary education. According to this report, Nilufar Hakimi has also been sentenced to five years in prison by a criminal court, but the report does not give further details. The only additional charge against Mrs Hakimi that I know of, is one count of blasphemy.
In a separate story, HRANA reports that the Court of Review has given two-year sentences to Farhaam Saabet, Farzaan Ma`sumi, Shahnaaz Saabet and Soheila Haqiqat. Mr Saabet and Ma`sumi were previously sentenced to five years in prison (with an additional one-year concurrent sentence), while Mrs Saabet and Haqiqat were sentenced to six years in prison, by Judge Saadaati. They were charged with “propaganda against the regime and membership in anti-regime groups. The report also says that Soheila Haqiqat faces additional charges, but that no details are available.
The same Review Court recently confirmed Judge Saadaati’s 5-year sentence for Shahryaar `Ataareyaan.
Mehrdaad Mousavi Khoulenjaani begins 6-month sentence
Sen’s Daily (11.07.2020) – https://bit.ly/30C8NPr – Mehrdaad Mousavi Khoulenjaani, a Baha’i from Shahin Shahr, was arrested in that city on July 9 after being summoned by telephone to the office responsible for the implementation of criminal (i.e., not ideological) crimes. He was taken the central prison in Dastgerd to begin a six-month sentence on what are apparently ideological charges : “propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith.” Shahin Shahr and Dastgerd are both towns just north of Isfahan City.
On June 10, the Provincial Review Court for Isfahan Province, headed by Judge Seyyed-Javaad Mansouri and Counsellor Mohammad Mohammadi Kalaal-Abaadi, confirmed his prison sentence.
Following a house raid and the seizure of personal effects in August/September 2018, he was summoned on November 27, 2018, arrested and taken to Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan. Some time later he was released on bail. He was acquitted [by the Review Court?] and the court ordered the return of confiscated items except those relating to the Bahai Faith.
However the Ministry of Intelligence then intervened to obtain a warrant sealing his place of business for “propaganda against the regime in the form of teaching the Bahai Faith.” On March 18, 2019, he was summoned, supposedly in relation to the return of confiscated items, and was again arrested — thanks to the intervention of the Ministry — on the charge. His case was then reopened.
Negin Qadamiaan granted early release
Sen’s Daily (07.07.2020) – https://bit.ly/39Z9wNm – Negin Qadamiaan, a Bahai prisoner who began a furlough from Evin Prison in Tehran on June 9, has been informed by telephone that she has been granted early release and will not need to return to prison. She began serving her 5-year sentence for educational crimes in relation to the Bahai Open University (BIHE) on December 16, 2017, and was granted a medical furlough April 22 to April 27, 2019. She was arrested, along with many others associated with the Open University, in May, 2011. On March 12, 2013, she and nine other Bahais associated with the Open University were tried, in absentia in a closed court, by Judge Moqiseh, a notorious abuser of human rights, and of judicial procedures, who was responsible for the imprisonment of the seven “Yaran.”