Latest Status of 3 Imprisoned Youth

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On Sunday, 21 September 2008, Human Rights Activists in Iran filed the following report (http://www.hrairan.com/Archive_87/1066.html):

Raha Sabet, Heleh Rouhi and Sasan Taqva were accused of forming illegal groups and promoting interests contrary to the Islamic regime by providing socio-economic and humanitarian help in poor neighborhoods of Shiraz. Along with 52 other Baha’i youth, they were seized in April 2006 [sic. – should be November 2007] and through an extremely bizarre and questionable legal proceeding, sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment. On 31 August, they were allowed to leave prison for a brief family visit.

The first alarming point about this situation is that these individuals, namely, Sasan Taqva, Raha Sabet and Haleh Rouhi, have been incarcerated for the past 10 months in a holding jail of the Ministry of Intelligence, known as Pelak 100, which is used solely for interrogations and temporary confinements. The peculiar act of keeping the Baha’i prisoners there has meant that these three Baha’i prisoners have remained without contact with anyone and are deprived of provisions usually made available to other prisoners, such as use of a telephone and participation in self-educational activities, and engagement in artistic events of the prison. It should be noted that the use of bedding, pen, paper and books that their families have brought for them is the only allowance granted to them.

Moreover from the beginning of their official sentence in the coming October, Islamic training classes will be conducted in the prison which will discuss teachings and the principles that the Baha’i Faith holds sacred, which will insult and denigrate these teachings, and these Baha’i prisoners will be compelled to sit silently throughout those sessions.

In addition, we must be reminded that an appropriate legal inquiry and access to legal defense services was denied to these three individuals, and that despite the overwhelming evidence supporting their innocence their legal appeals were aborted and they remain without recourse to the judiciary system of Iran.

In consideration of extrajudicial interference and hindrance by the Intelligence and Judiciary Ministries in these cases, many questions and doubts are raised by human rights activists about this case, including:

  • For how long will these conditions and uncertainties remain for these prisoners?
  • Will a just review and legal appeal be provided to redress the sentences handed out to these individuals?
  • Will basic necessities, which are the absolute right of every prisoner, be provided to these Baha’i prisoners?
  • Will these Baha’i prisoners be transferred to Adel-Abad prison in Shiraz to serve the rest of their sentence?

Report filed on 21 September 2008, no. 87-1042.

Amnesty International

On 25 January 2008, Amnesty International Iran made the following call, which remains unanswered to this date:

Haleh Rouhi Jahromi, Raha Sabet Sarvestani and Sasan Taqva, all Baha’is, have been detained by the Ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz since 19 November 2007. It is not clear why they are held. They may be prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their religious beliefs, or their peaceful activities teaching underprivileged children.

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