Fuad Na’imi and Faizollah Roshan, two Baha’is from the Iranian city of Sari, were arrested and subsequently sentenced to imprisonment and exile for the “crime” of being active in the Baha’i community and offering classes. Human Rights Activists in Iran reports that both were humiliated and reprimanded for their refusal to participate in commemorative gatherings that are exclusive to the Shi’a.

Two Baha’is incarcerated in Sari were punished and humiliated for failing to partake in a Shi’ah commemoration.

At the beginning of Muharram* [Dec 2008] and the commencement of commemorative gatherings exclusive to the Shi’ahs, two Baha’i prisoners by the names of Fuad Na’imi and Fayzollah Roshan who are imprisoned in Sari were pressured by the prison authorities to participate in these gatherings. When they refused to attend, the prison warden instructed their heads to be shaved and both were then transferred to Ward 8 of the prison which is designated as the reprimand facility. Among the limitations imposed in Ward 8 upon the prisoners is a complete ban on the use of phone and visits and denial of temporary leaves.

The prison authorities have already announced that these prisoners will be released from the Reprimand Ward on the condition of promising that henceforth they would attend Muslim gatherings and commemorative meetings.

Fuad Na’imi and Fayzollah Roshan are two Baha’i prisoners and were arrested at the beginning of the year [circa April 2008] by the agents of security department in the province of Mazandaran on charges of “membership in the group of khademin” (an ad hoc group of Baha’is in each town responsible for the coordination of Baha’i spiritual gatherings), “activities against national security and membership in institute classes (collaborative learning)” and were sentenced to prison terms and subsequent exiles.

*Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, and is commemorated by Sh’ia Muslims as the anniversary of the death of Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.