Translation by Iran Press Watch
According to HRANA News Agency, the Human Rights Activists news organization of Iran, in Sari the shops of 19 Baha’is citizens have been sealed for more than three years and three months.
HRANA News Agency – The shops of 19 Baha’i citizens in Sari have remain sealed for more than three years and three months. In 2016, on the orders of the Attorney General of Mazandaran, the Sari office of Public Buildings sealed 42 Baha’i-owned shops in the city. This was done in retaliation for the owners having temporarily closed their businesses in observance of Baha’i Holy Days, which is within in their legal rights.
In recent years, due being prevented from transacting business, some of the owners have been forced to sell their business units. Another owner has recently been summoned to the Office of Public Buildings.
The names of these 19 Baha’i citizens whose shops remain closed are as follows:
- Za’tollah Darabi (Carpentry shop)
- Adel Samimi (Auto Anti-Theft Alarm Installation shop).
- Kamaluddin Akbari (Woodturning shop))
- Amanullah Zahedi (Carpentry shop)
- Kourosh Ahmadi (car Alignment shop)
- Kourosh Moradi (Carpentry shop)
- Asghar Movafaghi (Carpentry shop)
- Hossein Ahmadi (Carpentry shop)
- Mehryar Ghanbari (Security System Installation & Sales shop)
- Ziaollah Khoshbin (Paint shop).
- Ashkan Khalili (coil-winding shop)
- Behzad Zabihi (Optometry)
- Jahanbakhsh Movafaghi (Woodturning shop).
- Mohammad Movafaghi (Carpentry shop)
- Ghavamuddin Sabetian (Carpentry shop)
- Zargham Zamani (Clothing Boutique).
- Nima Mahin Bakht (Security System Installation & Sales shop)
- Pejman Roshankuhi (Tools Sales)
- Shahram Nobakht (Tools Sales).
In June 2017, the Administrative Justice Court issued a ruling in favor of the 42 Baha’i citizens of Mazandaran whose places of business had been sealed off based on “Article 28 of the Trade Union Law” in support of their legal right to close the shops up to 15 days a year.
According to a source close to the family of one of the citizens, some of these businesses have been opened, but the owners remain under pressure and have been warned that their places of business be sealed off again if they close their shops to observe Baha’i faith holy days again. Per this source, some of these citizens have been forced to sell their shops, and another one of them, who did not want to be identified, has recently been summoned to the Office of Public Buildings.
Despite the ruling of the Administrative Justice Court, no action has been taken by the relevant institutions to unseal the businesses.
HRANA had reported earlier on January 24 and 26, 2020, of the continuation of seal on shops of 35 Baha’i citizens in the cities of Hamadan and Noshahr.
Baha’i citizens, based on their religious beliefs, close their places of business to perform religious ceremonies. But law enforcement and security agencies seal their places of business despite the specific legal rights and citizenship rights of individuals in practice of their religious beliefs and how they manage their businesses.
The Baha’i Citizens’ shops are sealed while under paragraph B of Article 28 of the Trade Union Law, the owners of the business units may close their shops for up to 15 days per year without the knowledge of the union.