February 27, 2011 | Sentinel Project
Recent weeks have seen a large number of incidents targeting Iranian Baha’is:
Two female Baha’i leaders transferred to harsher prison conditions
The Baha’i World News Service carried a press release from the Baha’i International Community reporting that Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet, the two female members of the seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned in Iran, have been transferred to a different section of Gohardasht Prison. The area, known as section 200, is notorious for its harsh conditions and the brutal nature of the inmates held there. It has been speculated that the women were moved with the intention of placing them in a more dangerous environment, where they have already been reported to be threatened by other inmates.
Two arrested in Isfahan
CHRR (English translation available here) reports that Mithaq Muhammad ‘Alipour and Anisa Matahar, residents of Isfahan, have been arrested after their homes were raided. A later report from RAHANA states that they have been charged with “propaganda against the regime and assisting organizations and groups that were against the Islamic Regime of Iran.”
Seven Bahais reported arrested in Shiraz
HRANA (English translation available here) reports that the state-sponsored Tabnak news agency is claiming that seven Baha’is were arrested in Shiraz. This was supposedly done on charges of links to Israel and involvement in recent unrest but the seven have not been identified so it is speculated that this is a formulated story in an attempt by the government to blame Baha’is for recent protests.
High school student expelled in Isfahan
CHRR (English translation available here) reports that Arad Ishtiyaq, a second-year student at the Shahid Nilfarushzadeh school in Isfahan, has been expelled for being a Baha’i. He is the grandson of a prominent Baha’i who is currently serving a one-year prison term for his religious beliefs and the nephew of a man who was targeted for arrest by security agents on the same day as the expulsion.
Payman Kashfi begins a 4-year term for Baha’i activities
The Khabar Navard blog (English translation available here) reports that Payman Kashfi, a Baha’i resident of Tehran, has begun a four-year year prison term. The charge for which he is imprisoned is “membership and promotion of an illegal group,” which refers to the Baha’i religion. This charge appear to stem from a 2009 incident when Kashfi hosted a Baha’i feast against the wishes of government officials who had pressured him. The Tehran Revolutionary Court later imposed this sentence, which Kashfi is serving in Evin Prison.
Baha’i university student arrested
CHRR (English translation available here) reports that Mithaq Afshar, a Baha’i student at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, has been arrested and some of his personal belongings confiscated. The reason for his arrest and his current location are unknown.
Baha’i home raided in Qaemshahr
The Baha’i News Service (English translation available here) reports that the home of Changiz Derakhshayan in Qaemshahr has been raided and some of his possessions confiscated. Derakhshayan’s home had previously been raided by Ministry of Information agents in December 2010.
February 20 (date of report)
Man arrested in Mashhad
The Baha’i News Service (English translation available here) reports that Majid Majidi was recently arrested in Mashhad. The exact date of the arrest, the reason for it, and Majidi’s current location are all unclear.
Behzad Dhabihi arrested in Sari
CHRR (English translation available here) reports that Behzad Dhabihi of Sari was arrested after receiving a summons from the Ministry of Intelligence. Several of his possessions, including his personal computer and Baha’i materials, were seized and he is currently being held in an unknown location.