Translation by Iran Press Watch
In June 2014, Sahba Rezvani, sister of Ataollah Rezvani, wrote a number of letters to: the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani; Sadegh Amoli Larijani, Head of the Judiciary; Mohammad Javad Larijani, The Head of the Iranian Human Rights Council, and Ali Motahari, Member of Parliament, to demand an investigation into the murder of her brother.
In these letters, which were all uniform in content, and were sent to the above-mentioned officials, Sahba Rezvani listed 16 cases of violations against her and her family’s rights since the early years of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She writes that “the most brutal and painful” of all has been the “kidnapping and assassination” of her brother, Ataollah Rezvani, in Bandar Abbas on September 2013, and that “to date there has been no action on the part of police detectives in Bandar Abbas to identify the murderer or murderers”.
Ms. Rezvani has requested that the high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic order a “serious and immediate” investigation of these cases, especially the murder of her brother. So far, none of these officials has responded in any way to her request for justice.
I, Sahba Rezvani, daughter of Enayatollah, birth certificate number 191, issued in Birjand, born 1953, respectfully convey to you that “The words uttered by Mr. Mohammad Javad Larijani and Sadeq Larijani that no Baha’i will lose their citizenship rights merely because of being a Baha’i were very encouraging and heartwarming. But I have to say that my family and I have been deprived of many citizenship rights merely because of being Baha’is. To avoid lengthening this letter I will merely mention a few examples:
- Dismissal from work for being a Baha’i in 1980 (dismissal order attached).
- The dismissal of my husband from his work for being a Baha’i (dismissal order attached).
- Refusal of the school to enroll my daughter Anisa Fanaian in a pre-university program (No written order can be provided, but we were verbally told “because you are a Baha’i”).
- Preventing my daughter Anisa Fanaian from entering university (Because she is Baha’i, the application was marked Incomplete).
- Preventing my son Farhad Fanaian from entering university (Because he is Baha’i, the application was marked Incomplete).
- Preventing my son-in-law Siamak Ighani from entering university for 15 consecutive years (Because he is Baha’i, the application was marked Incomplete); two years after 2003, when he was finally accepted to university, he was expelled from the Payame-e-Nour University, and was told verbally that this was because he is Baha’i.
- My own arrest in 2008 because of my faith, after which, after a series of illegal interrogations and unfair trials in an illegal court, I was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment (Attached sentence validates the claim).
- The arrest of my son-in-law Siamak Ighani for participating in religious services and his imprisonment for three years ‒ this was in 2010, when he had two young children at home.
- Forced closure of Zeiss Optician Store where my son-in-law Siamak Ighani worked (without any reason, but simply “due to being Baha’is”) in 2011.
- Forced closure of Pouya Navar Factory where my husband Nezamoldin Fanaian worked, which led to my spouse’s unemployment in 2012.
- The arrest of my daughter Anisa Fanaian and her sentence of 22 months of imprisonment after an illegal mock trial, sending her to prison when she had two young children at home, a three-year-old and an eight-year-old, who were prevented from being able to live with their father and mother, and who were also deprived of minimum sustenance, since the workplace of their father had been shut down and sealed (as mentioned above).
- Preventing my daughter-in-law Tina Fanaian from entering university (Because she is Baha’i, the application was marked Incomplete).
- In all instances of forced closure of the businesses above, the Baha’i religion of the owners was the common denominator.
- The arrest of my uncle, Mohammad Hossein Nakhee, an 86-year-old man, his sentence of one year in prison (which he spent under arduous conditions in Birjand), as well as a financial penalty of 6 million toumans (approx $1,920).
- The raiding and plundering of all our religious books, and even our personal and private belongings, including home movies and family photos, etc. by Officers of the Ministry of Intelligence (3 times so far).
- And finally the most brutal and painful of all, the kidnapping and assassination of my brother, Ataollah Rezvani, in Bandar Abbas, on September 2013, since which “to date there has been no action on the part of police detectives in Bandar Abbas to identify the murderer or murderers”.
It should be noted that all businesses belonging to Baha’is in Semnan have been shut down and sealed. Semnan’s Baha’is have been barred from the right to work and earn a living, which is a minimum human right and a basic civic right of any human being. In addition, business licenses are not given to Baha’is under various excuses. The agony of our family is a common agony for far too many Baha’i families in Iran.
Therefore, your honor, I request a “serious and immediate” order to investigate the affairs of our family, as an example of the lives of Baha’i families living in Iran, and particularly an investigation into the murder of my brother, also the business permits and other unfair practices against Baha’is, which stem from pure religious prejudice. Should you need additional explanations of each of the above cases, please notify me so I can provide any requested information.