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CHINA : Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (16-31.07.2021)

Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (16-31.07.2021)

General

21.07.21 – Religious books publicly burned, DVDs bulldozed in Yunnan

Totalitarian regimes have a thing for burning books, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) joyfully burn dissident books and destroys other material not approved of by the regime.

Continue reading…

15.07.21 – Religious freedom is dying in China

Against a backdrop of pandemic restrictions along with genocide allegations in Xinjiang, the year 2020 saw Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members vigorously preparing the populace to participate in the party’s centenary celebrations

Continue reading…

Uyghur Muslims

15.07.21 – UHRP hails unanimous senate passage of Uyghur forced labor prevention act

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) welcomes the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the U.S. Senate, and urges swift action by the House of Representatives.

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Catholics

22.07.21 – Catholic bishop and 10 priests detained in Henan

The priests, conscientious objectors who reject the Vatican-China deal, have been released after “legal education,” the fate of Bishop Zhang remains unknown.

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Tibetan Buddhists

23.07.21 – Tibetan political prisoner convicted for demanding freedom has sentence reduced

Tsultrim Gyatso’s sentence was reduced by 5 months last year after Chinese court claims he has “reformed” after showing “remorse”

Free Tibet’s research partner Tibet Watch has learned that Tibetan political prisoner, Tsultrim Gyatso, was handed a six-month reduction of his prison sentence in April last year.

Continue reading…

20.07.21 – Four Tibetans detained after authorities step up mobile phone checks

Authorities in Serthar County have been increasingly checking Tibetans’ phones for images of the Dalai Lama

Chinese authorities have arbitrarily arrested four Tibetans while digitally investigating individual mobile phones in eastern Tibet.

Continue reading…

Protestants

20.07.21 – “Sinicization of christianity” in full speed after the 100th anniversary

Christians are ordered to “completely get rid of the foreign religion.” “Sinicizing” really means “identifying with the leadership of the CCP.”

Continue reading…

Falun Gong

31.07.21 – Elderly woman sentenced to six years for giving out a flyer

A Huainan City, Anhui Province, woman was recently sentenced to six years for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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31.07.21 – Guangdong man faces trial for his faith, lawyer pursues State compensation for torture-induced disability

A resident of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, is facing trial for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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29.07.21 – Spying on Falun Gong: The man who sold two practitioners for $300

The heinous system of delation was at work in Anhui province.

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16.07.21 – Daughter and blind mother both convicted for their faith

A Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident was imprisoned on July 1, 2021, to serve a two-year term for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Continue reading…

Further reading about FORB in China on HRWF website





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IRAN : News Digest about Baha’is and Christians in Iran in July

IRAN : News Digest about Baha’is and Christians in Iran in July (02.08.2021)

Baha’is

Touraj Amini released from jail in Karaj

Hrana / Sens Daily (29.07.2021) – https://cutt.ly/gQjjjJs 

Baha’i researcher and author Touraj Amini was released from Karaj Prison on July 28 after serving a six-month prison sentence. In June, 2020, he was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court in Karaj to one year in prison and two years of exile from the city, but this was reduced to a six-month sentence by the Review Court. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime.”

On August 4, 2019, security forces searched his home, seizing books and notes and a laptop. Mr. Amini was previously detained for a short time, in March 2008. His books include one on the role of religious minorities in the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911, “The Hidden Awakening”, on the relationship between Iranians intellectuals and the Babi and Baha’is Faiths, and a five-volume collection of source documents relating to the Baha’is in Iran.

 

Four Baha’is sentenced by a Revolutionary Court in Yazd

Hrana/ Sens Daily (21.06.2021) – https://cutt.ly/uQjkq9Y – A Revolutionary Court in Yazd, presided over by Judge Reza Javad Musavi has sentenced four Baha’is to two years and eight months in prison for membership of anti-regime groups, and to eight month in prison for propaganda against the regime.

Amin Dhulfaqaari was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on May 21, and released on bail on June 23. He was accused of teaching the Baha’i Faith. Mahbubeh Mithaaqiyaan-Dehqaan was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on June 1, and bailed on June 16, 2020. Mitra Bandi-Amirabaadi-Baaghi and Heyva Yazdaan-Mahdiabaadi-Bahifar were arrested on May 30, and released on bail on September 1 after three months of detention.

Mrs. Bani-Mahdiabadi and Mrs Yazdaan-Mahdiabaadi had also been arrested in late November, 2017, for teaching music to children. The report says that both were given suspended sentences, which have expired, but does not indicate when this occurred.

 

Sina Kamali Sarvestaani bailed in Shiraz

Hrana/ Sens Daily (11.07.2021) – https://cutt.ly/yQjkSr6 – Sina Kamali Sarvestaani, who was arrested in Shiraz on June 15, was released on bail on July 11. After his arrest, he was taken first to a detention centre run by the intelligence arm of the Republican Guard. A short time later he was transferred to Adelabad prison. On July 3 he was permitted telephone contact with his family from Adelabad prison.

 

Four Bahais released in Bushehr

Hrana / Sens Daily (05.07.2021) – https: https://cutt.ly/TQjlif0 – Mrs. Minou Reyaazati, Ehteraam Shakhi, Farideh Jaaberi and Mr. Asadollah Jaaberi, Baha’i prisoners in Bushehr prison, were recently given furlough and have now been told they will not be required to return to prison. They were among seven Baha’is sentenced to three years in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country by a Revolutionary Court in May 2019. These four Baha’is began their sentences on January 25, 2020. They were charged with “membership in the Baha’i group and sect with the intent of disrupting national security.”

All seven were arrested in raids on Baha’i homes in Bushehr on February 2018. They were released on bail six weeks later, and tried by the Revolutionary Court in May, 2019. Their sentences were confirmed by the Provincial Review Court in November, 2019.

 

Christians

Christian convert begins prison sentence for ‘propaganda against Islamic Republic’

Article 18 (28.07.2021) – Christian convert Hamed Ashouri has begun his 10-month prison sentence for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”.

The 31-year-old submitted himself to Karaj’s Central Prison yesterday.

Before doing so, he recorded a short video, in which he explained that he had been arrested for his Christian activities. 

Hamed was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents two and a half years ago as he left his home in Fardis on the morning of 23 February 2019.

He was then taken to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he was held in solitary confinement for 10 days, before being transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison, also in Karaj, for another two days.

During interrogations, Hamed was offered a large monthly salary if he “cooperated” by becoming an informant against other Christians.

When he refused, he was beaten. 

Hamed was finally released on bail after submitting guarantees in the form of payslips.

Hamed and another family member were then forced to attend “re-education” sessions with an Islamic cleric.

After four such sessions, Hamed refused to participate in any more, and it was then that the court proceedings against him began.

He was summoned to begin his prison sentence after the failure of his appeal on 26 June.

Hamed was initially told to submit himself to prison within 10 days of his failed appeal, but he was later given a few weeks longer.

Christians summoned to answer charges of ‘propaganda against the Islamic Republic’

Article 18 (23.07.2021) – Eight Christian converts in the southwestern city of Dezful have been summoned to answer charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The eight Christians – Hojjat Lotfi Khalaf, Esmaeil Narimanpour, Alireza Varak-Shah, Mohammad Ali (Davoud) Torabi, Alireza Roshanaei Zadeh, Masoud Nabi, Mohammad Kayidgap, and Mohsen Saadati Zadeh – were summoned on Tuesday, 20 July, to appear at the 4th branch of the prosecutor’s office of the Civil and Revolutionary Court of Dezful within five days.

Four of the men – Hojjat, Esmaeil, Davoud, and Alireza Varak-Shah – were arrested in April and released two days later, after signing statements pledging to appear when summoned.

The charges against the eight men fall under Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code, one of two articles controversially amended earlier this year. 

It is not yet clear whether the charges against the eight Christians will contain the new phrasing of Article 500, but this was the case when three Christian converts in Karaj were given the maximum sentences of five years in prison last month for “engaging in propaganda that educates in a deviant way contrary to the holy religion of Islam”.

Christian convert Reza Zaeemi (40) from Karaj turned himself in at Karaj Central Prison

Article 18 (16.07.2021) – An Iranian human rights lawyer says the latest move by the judiciary to stifle the independence of lawyers shows the presence of “even a small number of human rights defenders is intolerable for the judiciary”.

Hossein Ahmadiniaz, who now lives and works in Europe, was speaking to Article18 after new regulations were introduced last month, giving the judiciary the power to issue and revoke lawyers’ licenses – a power until now held by Iran’s independent Bar Association.

“For 42 years, the Iranian judiciary has been trying to undermine the relative independence of the Bar Association and gain more control over it,” Mr Ahmadiniaz explained.

“All the efforts and goals of the Iranian judiciary are to suppress independent lawyers and human rights defenders. The judiciary itself has become a tool of repression and violation of the law of advocacy.”

Continue reading…

‘Just because I’m Christian, I’m deprived of any promotion’

Article 18 (13.07.21) – An Iranian-Assyrian Christian claims he was denied a promotion and received much less compensation than he was entitled to after an injury at work – only because he is a Christian.

“Farough” told IranWire that after losing three fingers due to a lack of safety provisions at his factory, “they were supposed to do an expert examination and pay me [compensation], but when I was paid, I realised that the amount I received was much lower based on the fact that I was a religious minority”.

He added that when he returned to work, he was offered an office job due to his injury, so he decided to get a university degree to further his career; but after gaining a degree in business management – in an attempt to secure a promotion – Farough says a Muslim colleague was promoted instead of him.

Continue reading…

Iran’s recognised Christians – the unlikely allies of the Islamic Republic

Article 18 (06.07.21) – The Iranian state propaganda machine continues to use the country’s recognised Christian minority groups – of Armenian and Assyrian descent – as tools to speak out against the rise of evangelical Christianity in Iran.

The latest example is a video published yesterday by Roshangar Media – which introduces itself as a “centre for the study of religions and sects” – in which senior Armenian and Assyrian representatives distance themselves from Iran’s burgeoning house-church movement, denounced by the regime as “enemy groups” of a “Zionist cult”.

“We do not encourage people to change their religion,” says Iranian-Armenian Catholic archbishop Sarkis Davidian in the video. “People must remain in their religion.” 

Continue reading…

Further reading about FORB in Iran on HRWF website





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CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief – Special bimonthly digest (01-15.07.21)


CHINA: Special bimonthly FORB digest (01-15.07.21)

General

14.07.21 – Religious freedom is dying in China

The government makes churches and mosques glorify the Communist Party above all else.

Continue reading…

13.07.21 – China’s latest ban of Christian content on social media

In a recent crackdown on online Christian content, the Chinese government banned the WeChat accounts belonging to many registered churches.

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06.07.21 – Chinese Communist Party: “100 Years of Promoting Atheism”

A forum in Nanjing insisted that atheism is “a mandatory feature of a Socialist country,” and “sinicization” is just a tool to promote it.

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05.07.21 – When Christian self-media gradually disappears in China

Currently, everyone will have such consensus that there is less and less Christian information on the Internet in China. It is not known since when WeChat official accounts related to Christianity were permanently shut down.

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Uyghur Muslims

15.07.21 – More MPs call for UK government to take action on human rights crisis in Xinjiang

British MPs have increased calls on the UK government to pressure the Chinese government to end human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Continue reading…

09.07.21 – Uyghurs remember the Urumqi Massacre of 2009

Peace turned to fury on the streets of Urumqi twelve years ago after protests over the killing of Uyghur factory workers in inner China fell on deaf ears. Later that evening merciless summary retaliatory justice was meted out by Chinese troops that mowed down hundreds of Uyghur civilians, as witnessed by Risalat, a Uyghur eyewitness, their bodies piled onto trucks and disappeared.

Continue reading…

08.07.21 – Foreign Affairs Committee publish report: Never again: The UK’s responsibility to act on atrocities in Xinjiang and beyond

The report provides solutions, setting out the response required of the UK Government to stop the atrocities that the Chinese government is committing against the Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Committee recommends a range of measures that, together, will pressure the Chinese government to end its persecution of Uyghurs.

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07.07.21 – Uyghur genocide denier condemned for appeasement with China

“As far as we know, no one has been killed,” claims a prominent UK politician whose naysaying views on Uyghur persecution have shocked Uyghur exiles.

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07.07.21 – UHRP praises parliamentary report, urges U.K. government to take up recommendations

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is encouraged by the strong recommendations made by the U.K. Foreign Affairs Committee following months of research and testimony, and calls on the government to quickly implement the recommendations on genocide, forced labour, and the protection of Uyghurs abroad.

Continue reading…

Tibetan Buddhists

13.07.21 – Two Tibetans arrested for celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday

Chinese officials in a Tibetan-populated region of Sichuan have arrested two Tibetans for celebrating the 86th birthday this month of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Tibetan sources say.

Continue reading…

08.07.21 – Four Tibetan monks handed harsh prison terms after police raid: report

Chinese authorities in Tibet last year sentenced four Tibetan monks to long prison terms following a violent raid by police on their monastery in Tingri county, a New York-based rights group said in a report released this week.

Continue reading…

06.07.21 – Long live his Holiness the 14th Dalaï Lama as we celebrate his 86th birthday

Today, on 6 July 2021, the esteemed spiritual leader of Tibetans from all over the world – the Dalai Lama – turns 86. Free Tibet wishes him a very happy birthday and a long life!

Continue reading…

02.07.21 – Tibetan Monk in Sichuan: 4 ½ years in jail for chatting with his sister

Rinchen Zhuzhen was sentenced to for “inciting separatism” in WeChat conversations.

Continue reading…

Protestants

14.07.21 – Christian Churches ordered to preach Xi Jinping’s July 1 speech

Pastors are expected to hail the CCP and the President, and conclude with “Long live the great, glorious and correct Chinese Communist Party!”

Continue reading…

13.07.21 – Bob Fu testifies at the Lantos Human Rights Commission’s “State of Religious Freedom Around the Globe”

The Lantos Human Rights Commission’s “State of Religious Freedom Around the Globe” July 13 conference coincides with the nongovernmental International Religious Freedom Summit July 13-15. During the seminar, a panel of experts, including Bob Fu, PhD., president of ChinaAid, Sam Brownback, ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom during President Donald Trump‘s administration, and Congressman French Hill (Republican) examine the status of religious freedom throughout the world.

Continue reading…

Link to Bob Fu’s speech transcript

13.07.21 – CCP officials release Chen Wensheng, street preacher held under designated residential surveillance for 20 days

After Zhejiang Province State security officers arrested Chen Wensheng, a Christian from Hengyang City, Hunan Province, Brother Chen on June 19 and transported him back to Hengyang, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities held Brother Chen under designated residential surveillance at West Lake Resort for 20 days.

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12.07.21 – Yunyan District Yanzhong police officers detain three Guiyang Renai Reformed Church females

During the morning of July 8, Yunyan District’s Yanzhong police officers phoned three female Christians from Guiyang Renai Reformed Church and advised them to come to their station for interrogation. Although officials did not reveal any reasons for their summons, nevertheless, they detained the three Christians for more than nine hours.

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09.07.21 – Police criminally detain Zhao Weikai with “illegal holding of materials promoting terrorism and extremism”

At 8 am on July 7, police again summoned Zhao Weikai, a 35-year-old Christian from Taiyuan Xuncheng Reformed Church. Later, although Brother Zhao’s family had not received a formal detention notice, they heard that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials had criminally detained him with the charge of “illegal holding of materials promoting terrorism and extremism.”

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Falun Gong

16.07.21 – Reported in first half of 2021: 9,470 Falun Gong practitioners arrested or harassed for their faith

The first half of 2021 recorded 3,291 Falun Gong practitioners being arrested and 6,179 harassed for their faith, an ancient spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999.

Continue reading…

16.07.21 – Daughter and blind mother both convicted for their faith

A Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident was imprisoned on July 1, 2021, to serve a two-year term for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Continue reading…

Further reading about FORB in China on HRWF website





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CHINA: Freedom of religion: Special bimonthly newsletter (01-15.05.2021)

General

13.05.21 – Department of State religious freedom report: China is guilty of “crimes against humanity”

The Department of State releases its yearly religious liberty report: China (with 85 quotes from Bitter Winter), Russia, Pakistan are severely criticized.

Continue reading…

05.05.21 – China leveraging the International System to further religious persecution

As China assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of May, human rights activists around the world are raising concerns about China’s abuse of the international system to further its persecution of religious minorities. The presidency rotates among the fifteen member states, with China last holding the position in March 2020.

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02.05.21 – China shuts down Bible App, Christian WeChat as new crackdown policies go into effect

China’s communist authorities are continuing their crackdown on Christianity by removing Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts as new highly restrictive administrative measures on religious staff went into effect Saturday.

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01.05.21 – Bible apps and Christian WeChat accounts shut down in China

In a move to crack down on Christianity nationwide, the Chinese government is targeting the cyberspace— Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts have been removed.

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30.04.21 – China introduces new regulations restricting religious practice

New administrative measures on religious staff, released by China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs in February 2021, will come into effect on 1 May amid concerns from some religious leaders about their restrictive nature. One human rights lawyer described the measures as “one more weapon in (the Chinese authorities’) arsenal to limit or further persecute the religious communities.”

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Church of Almighty God

06.05.21 – Church of Almighty God refugees: why they should be granted asylum

A monumental study of 271 decisions rendered in administrative and court cases shows that more applications are being accepted—but not everywhere.

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Uyghur Muslims

14.05.21 – Xinjiang: An extraordinary UN event elicits China’s furious reaction

Gathered by the U.S., UK, and Germany, 18 countries vowed to break the United Nations’ silence on the Uyghur genocide.

Continue reading…

14.05.21 – On Eid, Xinjiang imams defend China against US criticism

Muslim leaders from the Xinjiang region rejected Western allegations that China is suppressing religious freedom, speaking to foreign diplomats and media at a reception at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Continue reading…

13.05.21 – China detaining and sentencing Uyghur Imams en masse, UHRP reveals

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), in partnership with Justice for All, has released a new report detailing the mass detention of Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim imams in East Turkistan, and attempts by the Chinese government to cut off the transmission of religious knowledge across generations.

Continue reading…

13.05.21 – Since 2014 Beijing has imprisoned at least 630 imams in Xinjiang

According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project, 18 Muslim clerics have died in prison or immediately after their release. Many have not been heard from for some time. Little official documentation exists about people sent to concentration camps. Uyghurs and members of other Muslim groups have been imprisoned just for praying.

Continue reading…

12.05.21 – Islam dispossessed

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) promotes the rights of the Uyghur people through research-based advocacy. We publish reports and analysis in English and Chinese to defend Uyghurs’ civil, political, social, cultural, and economic rights according to international human rights standards.

Continue reading…

Falun Gong

15.05.21 – Once incarcerated for eight years, Ningxia woman gets another four years for her faith

A Yinchuan City, Ningxia Province resident was sentenced to four years on February 25, 2021, for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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Protestants

10.05.21 – Leading house churches targeted in China

Beijing’s Zion Church, Renai Church in Guiyang, and Early Rain in Chengdu continue to be under attack.

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09.05.21 – China: Authorities arrest preacher of heavily-persecuted house church for officiating funeral

Communist authorities arrested a preacher from the heavily-persecuted house church in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, Early Rain Covenant Church, for “allegedly disturbing public order” by officiating a member’s funeral.

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07.05.21 – House church leader formally arrested on fraud charges after weeks in detention

Zhang Chunlei, an elder of Love (Ren’ai) Reformed Church in Guiyang in China’s southwestern Guizhou province, has been officially arrested and accused of fraud after nearly seven weeks in detention.

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Buddhists

10.05.21 – No Religion in Tibetan schools, China tells parents

Across China, multiple celebrations mark the anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. Catholics and other believers can choose among a panoply of seminars, conferences, trips, visits, and exhibits. For Mgr Ma Yinglin, without the Communist Party there would be no New China, no socialism with Chinese characteristics, and no happy life for people today.

Continue reading…

07.05.21 – Buddhists celebrate the 32nd birthday of the Panchen Lama, still held hostage by Beijing

Buddhists in Ladakh and the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Bylakuppe (Karnataka) joined Tibetans around the world to celebrate the Panchen Lama’s 32nd birthday. The celebrations, held on 25 April, were accompanied by renewed calls on China to release him.

Continue reading…

 





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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.

 


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