Baha’is Sentenced to 2-year Imprisonment

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The following is reported by various agencies in Iran (sources given at the end):

Subsequent to their 18 November 2008 trial by the revolutionary court of Yasuj, three active members of the Baha’i community of that town, namely, Zulaykha Musavi, Ruhiyyih Yazdani and ‘Ali-Askar Ravanbakhsh were sentenced to 2-year imprisonment.

In the spring of the present year, Mrs. Zulaykha Musavi and Mrs. Ruhiyyih Yazdani commenced educational classes for a few children in which, with their parents’ consent, morality and such topics as respect for parents, truthfulness, justice and other ethical themes were taught to the youngsters.

In August, the Internal Security Department prevented further sessions of these classes and summoned the two Baha’i ladies and Mr. ‘Ali-Askar Ravanbakhsh to their office for interrogation. Subsequently, the agents of the said Department went to the home of these Baha’is and confiscated some of their books, religious images and other personal property.

Once again, on 27 October 2008, all three active Baha’is were summoned to the Internal Security office of the Ministry of Intelligence in the town of Yasuj, and were formally arrested. For at least three days, their families had no news of them, and were deeply worried over what may have befallen. They searched for their whereabouts in despair.

With their transfer to the central prison of Yasuj, their families learned of their fate, but were not allowed to meet with their loved ones.

In the end, the court sentenced each of these individuals to two years of incarceration on the charge of “activities against the nation’s security by hold anti-Islamic classes.”

These Baha’is are presently barred from meeting with their families. It should be noted that Mrs. Yazdani has three small children, and the fact that they are not allowed to meet with their mother has caused severe emotional and other difficulties for these children.

[On Wednesday, 3 December 2008, Human Rights Activists of Iran and Iran Press News filed this report at http://www.hrairan.org/Archive_87/1247.html and http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/050470.htm respectively, which appears above in translation. The same report in Persian also appears on Gooya site at: http://news.gooya.com/politics/archives/2008/12/080179.php. Translated by Ahang Rabbani.]

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