The trial of three Baha’i citizens by the names of Vesal Yusufi, Payam Yusufi and Anvar Moslemi was convened on August 17.
The condition of Mrs. Vesal Yusufi has been reported as most worrisome. She is unable to stand and suffers greatly from pains in her stomach and back. Because of her grave condition, after the repeated insistence of her family during the past several days, the authorities have consented for a physician to see her.
According to various reports, her 18 year old son, Payam Yusufi, has been physically tortured in order to exact from him various confessions and to compel him to sign documents. So far, the files of these prisoners have not been shared with their lawyers and they remain in prison without charges formally brought against them.
Reports from the field also indicate that other Baha’i citizens, such as Samira Samiee, have been summoned to the information office of the Ministry of Intelligence by telephone.
It should be noted that on July 28, nine (9) agents of the Ministry of Intelligence raided the home of Vesal Yusufi in the village of Mahforuzak, in the vicinity of Sari, and arrested her after presenting a warrant. This arrest accompanied a search of the residence and confiscation of personal property.
Similarly, on August 4, agents once again raided the same home in hope of arresting her son, Payam Yusufi, but since he was not home they were unable to carry out their task. Nevertheless, they compelled the family to ensure that he would present himself to the office of Ministry of Intelligence immediately.
In similar circumstances, Anvar Moslemi’s home was searched and he was arrested on August 4 in Sari. His personal property was confiscated.
Reports from the field indicate a worrisome condition for Baha’i residents of Sari. This pressure and discrimination continues to limit the civil and human rights of the Baha’is and other religious minorities, even though it is against article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [to which Iran is a signatory], which states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
[Posted on August 28, 2009, at: http://chrr.us/spip.php?article5224. Translation by Iran Press Watch.]