Monthly report about Bahais in Iran

Sheida Qoddusi granted prison furlough

Sheida Qoddusi, who has served over a year of her 5-year sentence in Gorgan prison, began a 10-day furlough on June 27. She was one of about 20 Bahais who was arrested in Golestan Province in October 2012 and later released on bail. They were tried by Judge Qanbari. Sheida Qoddusi was initially sentenced to 11 years in prison, reduced to five years by the reviewing court. She has two children.

Plot to seize property from a Bahai in Mahabad

Saman Mithaqi is a 31-year-old Bahai living in Tehran, whose detention in Mahabad has not previously been reported here. He traveled to Mahabad over six months ago to sell his father’s apartment there, which had been used by a tenant. However, the tenant, a Mr. Bakhtiar, had become a member of the Revolutionary Guards in the city and refused to hand over the property because of Saman Mithaqi’s Bahai beliefs. Mr. Bakhtiar used his position to file a charge against Mr. Mithaqi and have him detained by the Ministry of Intelligence, leaving Mr. Bakhtiar in possession of the apartment. Mr. Mithaqi remains in detention but has been offered bail if he will leave Iran and never return.

Business closed and one arrest in Abadan

A sewing machine shop run by two Bahai brothers, Arman and Aram Azadi has been closed by the local authorities because of their Bahai identity and because they closed their business to observe a Bahai Holy Day. Aram Azadi’s wife, Nushin Afshar, has been arrested, and the operating licence of the business has been revoked. The brothers have run the shop for the past 38 years. Over the past 5 years, over 500 Bahai-run businesses have been shut down in Iran, in a policy of economic apartheid that also bars Bahais from the civil service and from private employment in many sectors of the economy.

Baha’i Student Expelled From University On Grounds Of Religion

A Baha’i woman, Sogol Zabihi, 21 has been banned from continuing her undergraduate degree because of her Baha’i faith. The sophomore undergraduate student of graphics at Rasam University of Karaj found that she could no longer access the university website when she intended to receive the exam entry card in June 2018. After following up with the university officials, she was informed that she cannot continue her education because she is a Baha’i.

Baha’i Student Dismissed from Kerman Azad University on Grounds of Religion

Hooman Imani, a 2nd-semester student in graphic arts, has been expelled from Kerman Azad University because he is a Baha’i, and has been prevented from continuing his education.

Hooman Imani, a student of Kerman Azad University, who was accepted in 2017, is a student who was seeking an associate’s degree in graphic arts.

Despite their explicit right granted by law, according to the Supreme Council of the Iranian Cultural Revolution, in addition to being prevented from being employed in government organizations, Baha’is are banned from university studies.

Baha’i citizen transferred to Mashhad Vakilabad Prison

A Baha’i citizen in Mashhad arrested and transferred to Mashhad Vakilabad Prison, charged with assisting two Baha’i students, including her son. Fataneh Nabilzadeh will begin serving her one-year sentence.

Four years ago in August 2014, Fataneh Nabilzadeh was also arrested along with Peyman Sarraf and Diane Teimuri, in her private home in the city. Ms. Nabilzadeh was sentenced by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad to one year in prison for propaganda against the regime.

Baha’i citizens in Iran are systematically deprived of religious freedoms and civil rights.

About the Author
Mohammad Zolfaghari is a Baha'i News reporter and human rights defender who worked exclusively on Human Rights Violations especially religious minorities in Iran and as a documentary maker with Amnesty International. Lives in Norway.
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