News 

Political prisoner: 110 Baha’i detainees in various parts of Iran (Iran Daily Brief – Jul 29th)

Bahman Ahmadi-Amu’i, a journalist and political prisoner serving his sentence Raja’i Shahr Prison, released a statement last week calculating the number of Baha’is imprisoned in Iranian prisons at 110. Ahmadi-Amu’i wrote in the letter that he hopes Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, will explore the possibility of setting all the prisoners free.

One arrest in Qorveh (Sen’s Daily – Jul 29th)

Security agents arrived at the workplace of Behnam Eqdamian, a Baha’i from Qorveh, where they arrested him and transferred him to a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility in Sanandaj. Officials have not yet released any information about his arrest. Earlier this year, Eqdamian’s home was searched in a wave of raids in Qorveh.

 A Note from Navid Khanjani for the 80th Birthday of Prison Mate Jamaloddin Khanjani (Persian2English – Jul 31st)

Human rights activist and journalist Navid Khanjani, who the Muslim Alliance for Baha’i Rights profiled last week, wrote a birthday letter from prison to Jamaloddin Khanjani, one of seven Baha’i leaders sentenced to 20 years in prison. Jamaloddin Khanjani turned 80 years while serving his time in Raja’i Shahr Prison. Navid wrote:

“Sometimes, when [a prisoner is in the presence of someone like Jamaloddin Khanjani]– who patiently lives [each day], doesn’t frown upon harsh prison conditions, and still holds hope for the future– they get embarrassed for feeling tired or frustrated.  [Jamaloddin Khanjani] has spent a total of 20 years in prison, and he’s still standing like a mountain.

I only ask God for [Jamaloddin Khanjani’s] health and to not take [him,] our support away from us. I pray for the day that we could [celebrate] his birthday with the both of us released– the day when a person is no longer imprisoned for their beliefs.”

Iraq’s Baha’is Continue to Face Persecution, Social Exclusion (Al-Monitor – Aug 1st)

Journalist Ali Mamouri explores the situation of Baha’is, detailing their history in the country and the extent of their persecution. As in Iran and Egypt, the Baha’i faith is banned in Iraq and Baha’is are prohibited from listing their faith on their civil records. Their religious sites are targeted by extremists, and they’re often subject to harsh interrogations and arbitrary arrests.

Samim Zara’i free on bail (Sen’s Daily – Aug 2nd)

 Zara’i, a Baha’i from Sanandaj who was arrested in early July, has been freed on a bail set at 200 million tumans (123,000 euros, $US 162,000).