Report on Imprisoned Baha'is in Yazd

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According to recently received news, four Baha’is are currently in prison in Yazd.

According to HRANA [Human Rights Activists News Agency], based on reports from the Baha’i Committee of Human Rights Activists in Iran, Mr. Behnam Ruhani-Fard is one of the four aforementioned prisoners; he was arrested by the Intelligence Office of Yazd 10 days ago [he was previously arrested on March 30, 2009 ― see ipw/post/3846]. Although his family was at first assured of his imminent release, he has not been released yet, and still remains in the prison at the Intelligence Office under interrogation.

Another Baha’i prisoner is Mr. Mehran Bandi [previously arrested in 2008 ― see ipw/post/37 and ipw/post/40] who was tried in Yazd by the Islamic Revolutionary Court on the 7th of Sharivar, 1387 [ August 29, 2009], on charges of propaganda against the regime, conspiracy against the internal and external security of the country, and possession of satellite equipment. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and to three and half years of internal exile to Babak, in the province of Kerman. At the same time, his business premises, warehouse, all business equipments and bank accounts have been seized. In addition, his civil rights have been removed for five years. [Mr. Bandi was the owner of Mithaq-i-Kamand, a computer company.] He had been held for 3 months before his trial, including 40 days in solitary confinement. Mr Bandi suffers from respiratory and heart problems; in spite of the fact that the doctors did not consider him fit for the conditions of imprisonment, the authorities only allowed him two short leaves. According to the latest reports, his health condition became critical last week, at which time he was transferred to a hospital.

Another Baha’i currently in prison in Yazd is Mr. Rostam Bahi-farr, who was arrested on the 6th of Isfand, 1387 [February 24, 2009] by Intelligence officers and who, after 3 months of solitary confinement, was tried in Revolutionary Court on charges of propaganda against the regime, establishing a group to undermine national security, espionage and reporting news. He was sentenced to three and half years in prison, of which two and a half years will be suspended for five years. According to this sentence, he is scheduled to be released on the 6th of Isfand, 1388 [February 25, 2010]. He has been able to meet his family every week in person and in cabins [using telephone headsets] alternately.

Mr. Soheil Ruhani-Fard is the fourth Baha’i prisoner in Yazd; he was arrested on the 26th of Mehr, 1388 [October 18, 2009], 10 days after the arrest of his brother Mr. Behnam Ruhani [see above]. He was summoned to the Intelligence Office of Yazd and subsequently arrested. His current conditions, his whereabouts, and the charges against him are all unknown. He is fourty-four years old.

[Source: Human Rights Activists News Agency – http://hra-news.info/news/7672.aspx]

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