Intimidation of Baha’i Prisoners

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Editor’s Note:  The following was reported in Persian on Wednesday, 7 January 2009, by Iran Press News and Human Rights Activists of Iran:

Two Baha’is incarcerated in Sari were reprimanded and humiliated for failing to participate in a Shi’ah commemoration.

At the beginning of Muharram [Dec 2008] and the commencement of commemorative gatherings exclusive to the Shi’ahs, two Baha’i prisoners by the names of Fuad Naeimi and Fayzu’llah Roshan who are imprisoned in Sari were pressured by the prison authorities to participate in these gatherings.  When they refused to attend, the prison warden instructed their heads to be shaved and both were then transferred to Ward 8 of the prison, which is designated as the reprimand facility.  Among the limitations imposed in Ward 8 upon prisoners is a complete ban on the use of phone and visits and denial of temporary leave.

The prison authorities have already announced that these prisoners will be released from the Reprimand Ward on  condition that they promise that henceforth they would attend Muslim gatherings and commemorative meetings.

Fuad Naeimi and Fayzu’llah Roshan are two Baha’i prisoners who were arrested at the beginning of the year [circa April 2008] by  agents of the security department in the province of Mazandaran on charges of “membership in the group of khademin” (an ad hoc group of Baha’is in each town responsible for the coordination of Baha’i spiritual gatherings), “activities against national security, and membership in institute classes (collaborative learning)”;they were sentenced to imprisonment terms and subsequent internal exile.

It should be noted that Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, and is commemorated by Sh’iah Muslims as the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the third Imam and a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

[Source: http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/052302.htm and http://hrairan.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=255:354&catid=84:502&Itemid=219.  Translation by Iran Press Watch: The Baha’is.]

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