News 

Two Bahai aid workers sentenced to five months (Sen’s Daily – May 20th)

Seyyid Husayn Raunaqi-Mulki and Navid Khanjani, two Baha’i aid workers who organized a relief camp for victims of the earthquake that struck Azerbaijan in 2011, have been sentenced to five months in prison by the general court in Tabriz. They’ve been charged with refusal to follow police instruction. Several other aid workers were fined 5 million rials (400 USD) for the same charge.

Didar Ra’ufi reports back to prison (Sen’s Daily – May 21st)

A Baha’i educator, Didar Ra’ufi, who was released from Raja’i Shahr prison last January was ordered back to serve the rest of his three year sentence. Ra’ufi was imprisoned in January 2010 for teaching the Baha’i faith.

Heavy sentences for seven Bahais from Gorgan (Sen’s Daily – May 22nd)

Seven Baha’is from Gorgan who were charged with “organising and running an illegal organisation, membership of an illegal organisation, and propaganda against the regime” have finally received their sentences. Six of the group received a sentence of five years in prison; Farhad Fahandezh was sentenced to 10. The seven were among 20 Baha’is who were detained in a sequence of arrests that occurred last October. They were sent to Raja’i Shahr prison.

Amanollah Mostaghim is arrested to serve his imprisonment (HRANA – May 23rd)

A Baha’i Scientific Institute faculty member and engineer, Amanollah Mostaghim, was arrested Monday after being summoned to Evin prison by security forces. He will be serving a five year sentence. Mostaghim suffers from diabetes and has undergone two heart surgeries in the past years. His doctors say that prison conditions will worsen his health.

UN Committee Finds Widespread Discrimination Against Baha’is in Iran (Int’l Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – May 24th)

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued a report this month detailing egregious human rights violations by Iran. The report highlights the persecution of members of the Baha’i faith, finding a history of “widespread and entrenched discrimination” against them.

32 agents raid the home of one 85-year old lady (Sen’s Daily – May 25th)

Thirty-two Ministry of Intelligence agents raided the home of Maryam Khanjani, an 85-year old Baha’i resident of Senman and sister of Jamalodin Khanjani, one of seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned by the regime. Agents reportedly searched the house while cursing and insulting the inhabitants, including Khanjani’s daughter, who lost consciousness during the raid.

Two Baha’i sisters denied full access at Mashhad exhibition (HRANA – May 26th)

Nika and Nava Kholoosi, two Baha’i sisters who were imprisoned for six months and then released on bail, were prevented from participating in the annual plant and flower exhbition at the Mashhad Internation Enxhibition Center. Intelligence agents reportedly ordered management to cut electricity off from the sisters’ booth. The sisters refused to leave even after management asked them to, lighting candles to operate their booth.

Opinion

Why Do Baha’i Babies Go to Prison in Iran?

“The persecution of young and innocent children whose parents are unjustly imprisoned due to their religious beliefs is a brutal expression of the violation of human rights.  According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency of Iran (HRANA)  a 12 month-old Baha’i infant, Rassam who lived with his mother in prison developed a serious respiratory infection which required treatment in hospital.  Earlier, his mother had requested several times that he be sent for medical treatment outside of prison but the authorities ignored her pleas for help.  She too was imprisoned due to false accusations that she had been “teaching against government” and had been practicing her religion which included the education of children.  She was sentenced to 20 months in prison. “