Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News – At least nine Baha’is residents of Golestan Province have been detained by authorities to begin their prison sentences. An informed source, while confirming the news, told the HRANA reporter: “These citizens, who were sentenced to imprisonment with other Baha’is in 2015, were arrested today either by agents visiting their residence or while presenting themselves at the prison.” The source was referring to twenty-four Baha’i residents of Gorgan, Gonbad-e Kavous, and Minoodasht, who had been sentenced in 2015 to a total of 193 years in prison by Golestan province Revolutionary Court in the preliminary phase. Individual sentences were reduced on appeal.
On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Maryam Dehghan Yazdeli, Mojdeh Zohori (Fahandezh), Farah Tebyanian (Sana’i) and Houshmand Dehghan Yazdeli , were arrested in their homes by agents, and taken to prison to begin their sentences. On the same day three others, Sheida Ghoddusi, Pouneh Sana’i (Taymori) and Nazi Tahghighi presented themselves to authorities after being summoned by the Office of Intelligence to begin execution of their sentences. After theses arrests, Parisa Shahidi (Kashani) and Mitra Nourani turned themselves into prison. Other reports state that similar visits to the homes of several Baha’is in the province have taken place, likely to increase the number of that day’s detainees.
Details of seven of the detainees’ verdicts follow:
- Maryam Dehghan Yazdeli: One year and six months imprisonment
- Mojdeh Zohori (Fahandezh): One year and nine months imprisonment
- Sheida Ghoddusi: Initial sentence 11 years imprisonment; sentencing information from appeal is unknown at this time.
- Pouneh Sana’i (Taymori): One year and nine months imprisonment
- Nazi Tahghighi: One year and six months imprisonment
- Parisa Shahidi (Kashani): One year and nine months imprisonment
- Mitra Nouri: One year and six months imprisonment
It is worth mentioning that Farhad Fahandezh (husband of Mojdeh Zohori), Farahmand Sana’i (husband of Farah Tebyanian, brother of Pouneh Sana’i), Kamal Kashani (husband of Parisa Shahidi) are three Baha’is serving their sentences in Rajai Shahr Prison. Parsia Shahidi and Kamal Kashani have a 14-year-old son, Farid, who has now both his parents in prison.
Recently ten human rights organizations submitted a joint statement to the European Union, demanding immediate action to prevent further harassment of Baha’i citizens, and abolition of their prison sentences issued by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This letter referred specifically to the recent challenges of the Baha’i residents of Golestan province.