Worrisome prison conditions for Yaran


Further to our earlier report, Kavian S. Milani on the Newnegah site offered the following on Tuesday, June 23, 2009, based on reports he has received from Iran and promised to offer further details in a few days. Milani also asked that these details be shared with human rights activists, responsible agencies, those interested in improving the situation of civil and human rights in Iran and all other sites and blogs. The following report was shared with Milani:

In a meeting we had with the former Yaran in prison, we learned that their situation in prison is most worrisome […]

At the same time it appears that the legal case of the former Yaran has been transferred from the Ministry of Intelligence and is now in the hand of the Judiciary. Most likely, their trial will take place in about the end of Tir [circa July 21]. Therefore, their file has been given to the defense attorneys to study and prepare for the trial.

It should be noted that during their entire period of incarceration, these prisoner of conscience have not seen the evidence file against them, nor have they been given an opportunity to meet with their lawyers.

[Source: http://www.negah35.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1100&Itemid=24. Translation by Iran Press Watch.]


8 Responses

  1. Brett Zamir

    June 24, 2009 12:11 am

    Might I suggest always clarifying what “Yaran” and such terms are for the sake of reaching a wider audience? Even as a Baha’i, I hadn’t been familiar with that term earlier…Thank you…

  2. Anahid

    June 24, 2009 11:12 am

    Yaran (lit. Friends) – The ad hoc administrative body formed with the knowledge of the government of Iran, composed of Baha’is who oversaw the needs and affairs of the Baha’i community of Iran from the 1980s to March 2008, when they formally disbanded as a result of an order from the Iranian government.


  3. Barmak Kusha

    June 24, 2009 1:19 pm

    A small correction: “The Friends in Iran” were active from the 1980s to March 2009*, and not 2008.

  4. E.S.

    June 24, 2009 4:41 pm

    Thanks Barmak & Anahid! At first i did not know what Yaran meant either. But i truly understand the special Persian title for the Baha’i Spiritual Assemblies in Iran since the 1980s. As always my prayers go out to the current members. Its so sad to hear of the awful conditions in the prisons. May they remain strong, & steadfast.

    Also i wanted to pass along this video that i did not know exsisted! It is a 1980s broadcast of the news show 20/20 which is about the persecution of Baha’is:


  5. sb

    June 24, 2009 7:31 pm

    I hope we remember that the Yaran were not Spiritual Assemblies. Assemblies do not report to governments, as the Yaran were required to do. Their scope was as Anahid mentioned “ad hoc’ which implies “for the particular end or case at hand” with no further consideration of a wider application. The Yaran limited themselves to basic community functions, such as burial, in obedience to Iranian law. After their sudden arrest, The Yaran disbanded themselves with approval from the UJH.

    A book needs to be written that will fully describe the selfless services of the Yaran and the Khadim (literally “Servants,” who also disbanded) in the face of the state-sanctioned discrimination against them.

    These compliant, imprisoned Baha’is who have strivent o obey their government while wishing no harm to anyone, have not yet seen the charges made against them or had access to counsel. Meanwhile, IPW reports that their food ration has been decreased and their families are not allowed to bring them any comfort. Truly, it breaks the heart.

  6. tooba

    June 24, 2009 7:39 pm

    I had heard that they all had considerably lost weight. Imagining them being hungry almost all the time is heart breaking.

  7. Brett Zamir

    June 25, 2009 12:46 am

    Thank you for the explanation and reference, but my meaning was to allow each of your posts to be self-sufficient, so that media and others who come here via Twitter, etc., do not get deterred by insider terminology. If you think it takes too many lines to explain, maybe a link would help.

  8. Paul Phillips

    July 12, 2009 3:54 pm

    Prayer is a powerful medium at times like these, so I hope (and pray) that every Feast across the world this weekend prays for the Yaran, the Friends of Iran, who have been imprisoned for their faith. Remember, as Baha’is we seek world peace and unity, respect and equality for women, the importance of knowledge and education for all, the love of mankind, respect for all religions that reside under one God – all things that the true believers of the state of Iran follow. Their imprisonment is by Man, not God. The perpetrators of this act have no divine right to do so, in fact breaking the covenants of the Great Prophet (who taught respect for other faiths, just as Baha’u’llah did for the Baha’is) and take away others’ Human Rights. Pray for justice, pray for divine intervention, pray for the love of the world to open the eyes of the oppressors to their actions, and free the captives.


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