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Search for tag "Persecution, Court cases"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1844. 11 Aug The Báb sends Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí to Najaf and Karbalá to proclaim His Cause among the Shaykhís. In Najaf Mullá `Alí delivers a letter from the Báb to Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan Najafí, the leading Shí`í divine and the keeper of the shrines in Iraq. [BBRSM15; DB87-91; SBBH20–1, HotD46]
  • The Shaykh's rejection of the claim leads to violent debate. Mullá `Alí is taken to Baghdád and imprisoned there. After a public trial, a joint tribunal of Sunní and Shí`í `ulamá, he is sent to Istanbul. He is the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. It is significant that Mullá Hasan Gawhar, a leading figure of the Shaykhí school, participated in the condemnation as it marks the first major challenge to Babism from a Shaykhí leader. [B27, 37–8, 58; BBR83–90; BBRSM17; BKG31; DB90–2; MMBA, BBR2p17, GPB10]
Istanbul; Turkey; Iraq; Baghdad; Najaf; Karbala Bab, Life of; Mulla Ali Bastami; Ulama; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Shaykhism; Firsts, Other; Trials; Court cases; Persecution, Court cases; Letters of the Living
1845. 13 Jan The trial of Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí in Baghdád. A fatwá is issued in Baghdád against both Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí and the Báb, condemning the Báb, who is unnamed in the fatwá, to death as an unbeliever. [B64; BBRSM15, 215; SBBH21, 22] Baghdad; Iraq Trials; Mulla Ali Bastami; Qayyumul-Asma (book); Fatwa; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1845. 27 Feb The Báb leaves Jiddah. [MS2]
  • He disembarks at Muscat and remains there for two months, awaiting news of the outcome of Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí's trial. [MS2]
  • He sends a letter to the Imám of Muscat. [MS2]
  • SBBH23 says the Báb left Jiddah on 4 March.
Jeddah; Saudi Arabia; Muscat; Oman Bab, Life of; Bab, Pilgrimage of; Mulla Ali Bastami; Trials; Bab, Writings of; Imam of Muscat; Court cases; Persecution, Court cases
1889. 8 Sep Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání is martyred in `Ishqábád. [BBRXXIX, 296–7; GPB202]
  • Czar Alexander III sends a military commission from St Petersburg to conduct the trial of those accused of the murder. [AB109; GPB202]
  • Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl serves as chief Bahá'í spokesman at the trial. [AB109]
  • Two are found guilty and sentenced to death, six others are ordered to be transported to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
  • Bahá'u'lláh attaches importance to the action as being the first time Shí'ís received judicial punishment for an attack on Bahá'ís. [BBRSM91]
  • The Bahá'í community intercedes on behalf of the culprits and has the death sentences commuted to transportation to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
  • For Western accounts of the episode see BBR296–300.
Ishqabad; Turkmenistan Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani; Czar Alexander III; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Turkmenistan; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
1924 Nov The Supreme Court of Iraq decided against the Bahá'ís in the dispute over the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. [UD37-8] Iraq Court cases; House of Bahaullah (Baghdad); Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1937 May All Bahá’í activities and institutions are banned in Germany by order of the Gestapo owing to the Faith’s ‘international and pacifist teachings’. [BBRSM185]
  • PP305 says this was June.
  • Bahá’í books, archives and records are confiscated and a number of Bahá’ís are later tried and imprisoned. [BBRSM185]
Germany Persecution, Germany; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Bans; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; World War II
1944 8 Aug Three Bahá’ís are murdered in Sháhrúd, Iran, after three weeks of anti-Bahá’í agitation. Many Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted. [BW18:389] Shahrud; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases
1950 Sep - Oct Four Bahá’ís in Iran are arrested on trumped-up charges. The trial lasts until 1954, when the accused are given prison sentences. [BW18:390] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1959 Mar A number of Bahá’ís, members of the local spiritual assembly, are arrested in Ankara, Turkey. [MC306]
  • The incident receives wide coverage in the press and the Bahá’ís are eventually released from prison. [MC306]
  • A court case is subsequently brought against the Bahá’ís by the public prosecutor, who claims that the Faith is a ‘Tarighat’, a sect forbidden by the law of the land, and lengthy litigation follows. [MC306–7]
Ankara; Turkey Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; LSA; Court cases
1961 17 Jan Following the arrest of Bahá’ís in Turkey in March 1959 and the subsequent court case, the Turkish court receives the findings of three outstanding religious scholars that the Bahá’í Faith is an independent religion. [MC308]
  • For details of the history of the case see MC306–8..
Turkey Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1961 15 Jul The Turkish court declares the Bahá’í Faith to be a ‘Tarighat’, a sect forbidden by the law of the land.
  • The Bahá’ís are ‘forgiven’, released and the case against them dropped. [MC308]
  • The National Spiritual Assembly decides to appeal the decision to a higher court and national spiritual assemblies are asked to make representations to the Turkish ambassadors in their respective countries. [MC308]
Turkey Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; NSA
1962 31 Oct The 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco are arraigned before the Regional Court of Nador. [BW13:289; MC18]
  • They are charged with rebellion and disorder, attacks on public security, constituting an association of criminals and attacks on religious faith. [BW13:289; BW14:97; MC18]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1962 10 Dec The trial of the 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco on charges of sedition opens. [BW13:289; BW14:97]
  • The prosecution makes no attempt to prove the charges against the accused. [BW13:289; BW14:97]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1962 14 Dec The Regional Court of Nador gives its verdict in the case of the 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco on charges of sedition: four are acquitted on the grounds that they claim to be Muslims; one is acquitted apparently through family connections; one is released on 15 years’ probation owing to his diabetes; five are committed to life imprisonment; and three are condemned to death. [BBRSM174; MC18–19]
  • The sentences are appealed to the Supreme Court. [BW13:289; BW14:97; MC19]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1963 2 Apr King Hassan II of Morocco makes a public statement promising that if the Supreme Court upholds the decision condemning three Bahá’í prisoners to death, he will grant them a royal pardon. [MC416] Morocco King Hassan II; Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1963 23 Nov At the request of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’ís around the world pray at the Feast of Qawl for favourable action to be taken in the case of the Bahá’ís under threat of death and imprisoned in Morocco. [BW14:98]
  • Shortly after the Feast the Moroccan Supreme Court heard the appeals, reversed the decision of the trial court and ordered the release of the prisoners. [BW14:98]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; Custodians; UHJ
1963 13 Dec The Bahá’í prisoners in Morocco are released on order of the Supreme Court. [BW14:98; MC19]
  • For a picture of the release of the Moroccan Bahá’í prisoners see BW14:97.
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1968 26 Jan A Moroccan Bahá’í is arrested, tried and convicted on the charges of having abused the sacredness of Islám and using deceptive methods to convert people to another religion; he is sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. [BW15:172] Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1968 9 Oct The widowed mother of seven children is sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in Morocco for refusing to deny her faith. [BW15:172]
  • Despite the efforts of national spiritual assemblies to secure justice for her through their embassies and cables to the King of Morocco, she is made to serve the entire sentence. [BW15:172]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1968 24 Oct The Moroccan Bahá’í sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in January 1968 appeals and his sentence is extended to four years. [BW15:172]
  • Despite the efforts of national spiritual assemblies to secure justice for him through their embassies and cables to the King of Morocco, he is made to serve the entire sentence. [BW15:172]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1968 7 Nov Sixteen Persian Bahá’ís in Algeria are expelled from the country and their properties confiscated; native Algerian Bahá’ís are put under restrictions and five are exiled to the Sahara and the eastern mountain regions. [BW15:172]
  • Following appeals, the confiscated properties are returned and the order of banishment for the local believers is gradually relaxed. [BW15:172]
Algeria Persecution, Algeria; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1971 13 Oct Following the banning of Bahá’í activities in Egypt in 1960, Egyptian Bahá’ís submit a petition to the Supreme Constitutional Court asking for redress and for justice to be upheld. [BW15:173]
  • The opinion of one Mandatory of the government is that the 1960 decree is unconstitutional. [BW15:173]
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Court cases
1974 4 Mar Following the arrest of more than 50 Bahá’ís in Iraq, their trial opens and the Bahá’ís are exonerated. [BW16:138]
  • The Revolutionary Council is dissatisfied with this result and the case is ordered to be reopened in a military court, with the death sentence requested for all the detainees. [BW16:138]
Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1974 23 Apr At the trial of nearly 50 Bahá’ís in Baghdád, the Iraqi military court sentences 13 men and one girl to life imprisonment, one man and two girls to 15 years’ imprisonment, and two men and seven women to ten years’ imprisonment; 13 Bahá’ís are fined and released. [BW16:138] Baghdad; Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1974 20 May The Iraqi military court trying nearly 50 Bahá’ís hands down in absentia sentences of life imprisonment on ten Bahá’ís, two of whom are deceased and a number of whom are of other nationalities or Iraqis not resident in Iraq. [BW16:138]
  • In the weeks following, 24 Bahá’ís have their property confiscated, one Bahá’í is sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and another to 20 years. [BW16:138]
Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1975 In Indonesia several Bahá’ís are arrested, given light sentences and released for violating the 1962 and 1972 bans on Bahá’í activity. [BW19:41]
  • A few months later four Bahá’ís are sentenced to five years’ imprisonment; they remain in prison for the full five years. [BW19:41]
Indonesia Persecution, Indonesia; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Bans; Persecution
1975 Jan A Bahá’í is arrested in Iraq and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. [BW16:138] Iraq Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1975 Jul In Iraq, a partial amnesty reducing the terms of the Bahá’ís imprisoned by 15 per cent is granted. [BW16:138] Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1975 Sep c. In Iraq, a young Bahá’í is detained, interrogated, beaten and asked to recant his faith when he specifies his religion on a form. [BW16:138]
  • When he refuses to recant his faith he is tried by a revolutionary court and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. [BW16.138]
Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
1984 Four Bahá’ís, one of whom had already spent five years in prison, are imprisoned in Indonesia, convicted of membership in a banned religious organization, with teaching the Bahá’í Faith and with insulting Islám. [BW19:42]
  • The prison terms range from one to five years. [BW19:42]
Indonesia Persecution, Indonesia; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Persecution
1985 7 May The court hearings open on the cases of the Bahá’ís arrested in Egypt in February on charges of disregarding the 1960 ban on Bahá’í activity. [BW,9:285]
  • The cases are adjourned until 7 October to allow time for the defence lawyer to study the files numbering about a thousand pages. [BW19:285]
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Bans; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1985 7 Oct The court cases against the Bahá’ís arrested in Egypt for contravening the 1960 ban on Bahá’í activities, due to be heard today, are adjourned until 3 February 1986 owing to adverse and unfair reports appearing in today’s newspapers. [BW19:286] Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
1986 21 Jan The Islamic Research Academy at the Azhar University in Cairo publishes in a number of newspapers a lengthy opinion about the Bahá’í Faith in advance of the court cases of Bahá’ís due to be heard in February. [BW19:286]
  • For a refutation of this statement by the Bahá’í International Community, see BW19:288–96 and "Far Stretching River".
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Bahai International Community; Criticism and apologetics
1999 19 Apr The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Isfahan sentenced Sina Hakiman (10 yrs), Farzad Khajeh Sharifabadi (7 yrs), Havivullhh Ferdosian Najafabadi (7 yrs) and Ziaullah Mirzapanah (3yrs) for crimes against national security. All four were among the thirty-six who were arrested in late September and in early October, 1998 in a concerted government crackdown against Bahá’í education in fourteen cities in Iran.
  • It is reported that over 500 homes were raided in an attempt to crack down on the Bahá’í Open University. Files, equipment and other property used by the University were seized. From report by Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee.
Isfahan; Iran Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human Rights; Education; persecution, Find ref
2000 17 Feb Iran’s Supreme Court rejected death sentences imposed upon Sirus Zabihi-Moghadam, Hadayet Kashefi-Majafabadi and Manucher Khulsi.
  • They had been arrested in 1997 in Khorasan province accused of unspecified anti-security acts. (Chapter one, Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code.)
  • A flood of protest followed from Western leaders. [HRW]
Khurasan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2004 7 Feb The release of Mr. Bihnam Mithaqi and Mr. Kayvan Khalajabadi who had been imprisoned on April 29, 1989, for "association with Baha'i institutions."
  • They were both originally sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, but upon appeal, their sentences were commuted to three years' imprisonment plus 50 lashes. Both prisoners appealed this decision, and on April 30, 1991, the Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced them to death. On February 18, 1996, the Supreme Court of Iran rejected numerous appeals and confirmed the death sentences. In February 2001, after further judicial reviews, the chief of the judicial branch reduced their sentences to 15 years in prison and set February 2004 for their release. [Referenced web site has ceased operation. Human Rights Watch (some dates differ from this source)]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases
2005 15 Dec The death of Mr. Dhabihu'llah Mahrami, 59, who had been held in a government prison in Yazd under harsh physical conditions at the time of his death.

First arrested in 1995, Mr. Mahrami served in the civil service but at the time of his arrest was making a living installing venetian blinds, having been summarily fired from his job like thousands of other Baha'is in the years following the 1979 Iranian revolution. Although Iranian officials have asserted that Mr. Mahrami was guilty of spying for Israel, court records clearly indicate that he was tried and sentenced solely on charge of being an "apostate," a crime which is punishable by death under traditional Islamic law. While Mr. Mahrami had been a lifelong Baha'i, the apostasy charge apparently came about because a civil service colleague, in an effort to prevent Mr. Mahrami from losing his job, submitted to a newspaper an article stating that he had converted to Islam. When it later became clear to Iranian authorities that Mr. Mahrami remained a member of the Baha'i community, they arrested him and charged him with apostasy for allegedly converting from Islam to the Baha'i Faith. On 2 January 1996, he was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court, a conviction that was later upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court.

The death sentence against Mr. Mahrami stirred an international outcry. The European Parliament, for example, passed a resolution on human rights abuses in Iran, making reference to Mr. Mahrami's case. The governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States also registered objections. [BWNS415]

Yazd; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS
2006 4 Apr In late 2004 or early 2005 the government of Egypt introduces a computerized identity card system that locks out all religious classifications except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Baha'is are unable to get ID cards and other documents essential to day-to-day life. Thus begins an epic struggle for Bahá'í appellants to win the right to have their religious affiliation properly identified on goverment documents.

The issuance of birth certificates is at the heart of the first case, which concerns 14-year-old twins Imad and Nancy Rauf Hindi. Their father, Rauf Hindi, obtained birth certificates that recognized their Baha'i affiliation when they were born but new policies require computer generated certificates and the computer system locks out any religious affiliation but the three officially recognized religions. Without birth certificates, the children are unable to enroll in school in Egypt.

A lower administrative court rules that the couple should be identified as Baha'is on official documents, a decision that, if upheld, will essentially overturn the government's policy of forcing citizen to choose from only the three officially recognized religions -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism -- on state documents. The lower court's ruling provokes an outcry among the fundamentalist elements in Egyptian society, particularly Al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood who object to any kind of recognition of the Baha'i Faith as a religious belief. The case gains international attention in the news media and from human rights groups and sparks a wholesale debate in newspapers and blogs throughout the Arab world over the right to freedom of religion and belief. [BWNS454, Minority Right website]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 15 May The government appeals the lower court's ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court and the hearing focuses on procedural issues concerning the case. The emotions stirred by the case are evident at the initial hearing. Lawyers and other individuals seated in the courthouse interrupt and heckle defense counsel each time they try to address the court. They yell insults at them, calling them 'infidels' and threatening them with physical violence during the hearing. Because the Court is unable to impose order in the courtroom, the Court briefly adjourns the hearing before resuming the proceedings in camera. When the hearing is adjourned courthouse security officers refuse to protect lawyers who are surrounded by members of the crowd, verbally threatening, pushing, shoving and not allowing them to walk away from the area.

After the government's appeal of the lower court's ruling a court hearing is set for 19 June, however, the Court commissioner's advisory report is not submitted in time for the hearing and the hearing is further postponed until the 16th of September. [BWNS454, BWNS456]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 16 Sep The Supreme Administrative Court again postpones its hearing on the government appeal of a lower court's ruling upholding the right of a Baha'i couple to have their religion properly identified on government documents. In a brief hearing the Court continues the case until 20 November in order to await the completion of an advisory report from the State Commissioner's Authority on the case. [BWNS480] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 20 Nov Lawyers representing a Baha'i couple seeking to have their religious affiliation properly identified on state documents present arguments at a full hearing before the Supreme Administrative Court. The hearing is short and the court adjourns until 16 December when a judgment in the case is expected. [BWNS492] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 16 Dec Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court rules against the right of Baha'is to be properly identified on government documents. There are now two cases related to this issue; the first involves a lawsuit by the father of twin children, who is seeking to obtain proper birth certificates for them and the second concerns a college student who needs a national identity card to re-enroll in university.

The decision upholds current government policy, a policy which forces the Baha'is either to lie about their religious beliefs or give up their state identification cards. The policy effectively deprives Egyptian Baha'is and others of access to most rights of citizenship, including education, financial services, and even medical care. [BWNS492]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 21 Dec A message is sent from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt regarding the recent Supreme Administrative Court decision with respect to their right to hold identification cards. [BWNS499]
  • For a the full text of the message from the Universal House of Justice 21DEC2006 in English.
Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2007 12 Nov Human Rights Watch and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights release a report that states that Egypt should end discriminatory practices that prevent Baha'is and others from listing their true religion on government documents. The 98-page report, titled Prohibited Identities: State Interference with Religious Freedom, focuses on problems that have emerged from Egypt's practice of requiring citizens to state their religious identity on government documents but then restricting the choice to Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. "These policies and practices violate the right of many Egyptians to religious freedom," states the report. [BWNS587]
  • See HRW.org for the full text of the report.
Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2007 25 Dec The two cases, the first by the father of twin children who is seeking to obtain proper birth certificates for them and the second by a college student who needs a national identity card to re-enroll in university, were set for "final judgment" by the Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo but the hearings were unexpectedly postponed until 22 January 2008. The court indicated it is still deliberating on the cases. On 22 January it was announced that the cases had been continued until 29 January. [BWNS597] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2008 29 Jan In a victory for religious freedom, a lower administrative court ruled in favour of two lawsuits that sought to resolve the government's contradictory policy on religious affiliation and identification papers. The Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo upheld arguments made in two cases concerning Baha'is who have sought to restore their full citizenship rights by asking that they be allowed to leave the religious affiliation field blank on official documents. a lower court again ruled in their favor. Two Muslim lawyers filed an appeal. [BWNS600] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 16 Mar The Supreme Administrative Court removes any grounds for preventing Baha'is from receiving proper official identity documents by dismissing an appeal by two Muslim lawyers thus clearing the way for an end to years of deprivation for Egyptian Baha'is and opening the door to a new level of respect for religious privacy in Egypt. The appeal sought to prevent the implementation of a lower court ruling last year that said Baha'is can leave blank the religious classification field on official documents, including all-important identity cards and birth certificates. [BWNS703] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 17 Apr With respect to the Supreme Administrative Court decision of 16 March 2009, the decree, dated 19 March, 2009 is signed by General Habib al-Adly, Egypt’s Interior Minister, and published on 14 April in the official gazette. According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), which represented Baha’is in many of the recent court cases concerning religious affiliation on government documents, the decree amends the Implementing Statutes of Egypt’s Civil Status Law of 1994. It specifically instructs officials to place a dash (--) before the line reserved for religion in the official documents of citizens who can show that they, or their ancestors, were followers of a religious belief other than the three recognized by the state. [BWNS707] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 11 May After a year in jail without formal charges the Bahá'í leaders faced an additional accusation, 'the spreading of corruption on earth,' which goes by the term 'Mofsede fel-Arz' in Persian and carries the threat of death under the penal code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Prior to this new charge they had been accused of 'espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.' [BIC Report]
The anticipated sham trial of the seven Baha’is leaders provoked a strong condemnation throughout the world press. In almost every language and in every country of the world, journalists, diplomats, prominent citizens and many others denounced the intentions of the Iranian government to try these innocent citizens on baseless charges of: “espionage for Israel”, “insulting religious sanctities” and “”propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” [World Press on the Trial of the Seven Baha’i Leaders]
Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; Press Coverage, Yaran; Z****
2009 10 Jul Iranian officials told the families of the seven Baha'i leaders being held in Evin prison in Tehran that their trial has been delayed. No new trial date was given. [BWNS723] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Evin prison; BWNS
2009 8 Aug Two young Egyptian Bahá'ís, Imad and Nancy Rauf Hindi, received the new identity cards. They had been at the center of a court case over religious identification on government documents. Their new computerized ID cards show a dash instead of their religion. They are the first such cards to be issued following a ruling by the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court of 16 March, 2009 that cleared the way for the government to issue documents without reference to religious identity. For nearly five years, since the government began introducing a computerized identity card system that locked out all religious classifications except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, Bahá'ís have been unable to get ID cards and other documents essential to day-to-day life in Egypt. [BWNS707, BWNS726, BWNS499, BWNS495, BWNS492, BWNS480]

The Bahá’í secured the right to an identification card, however, legislation still refused to recognize the validity of the Bahá’í faith and maintained their secondary status within Egypt. Marriage and Bahá’í personal law were still not acknowledged by the state: married Bahá’í who refused to be issued documentation that lists them incorrectly as ‘single’ still reportedly faced difficulties in setting up a bank account and other basic freedoms. This official ‘invisibility’ had also had a profound impact on their ability to participate in civil and political life. Bahá’ís were also the target of hostility towards the end of Mubarak’s regime and in the wake of his resignation, including the torching of several Bahá’í homes where the perpetrators remain unpunished. {Minority Rights website]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 17 Aug The trial of seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Iran is further postponed until 18 October. [BWNS727] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
2009 18 Oct Attorneys and families of the seven arrived at court in Tehran for the trial to be told that it would not take place. No new date was set. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2010 12 Jan – 14 Jun The trial of Iran's seven Bahá'í leaders, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm began in Tehran. The seven were charged with "espionage", "propaganda activities against the Islamic order", "the establishment of an illegal administration", "cooperation with Israel", "sending secret documents outside the country", "acting against the security of the country", and "corruption on earth". [BWNS748, BWNS778]

  • The profiles of the accused: Profiles.
  • The trial was closed to the public. A film crew and known interrogators were permitted entry. [Video "The Story of the Baha'i Seven" 13 May 2016 BIC]
Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2010 7 Feb Seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders appeared in court for a second session of their trial. The session was once again closed and family members were not permitted in the courtroom. The hearing lasted just over one hour but did not go beyond procedural issues. No date was given for any future sessions. [BWNS756] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2010 12 Apr The seven imprisoned Iranian Baha'i leaders arrived at the court for their third appearance and their families were not allowed to enter, signalling a closed hearing. Inside the courtroom, however, the prisoners saw numerous officials and interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence – along with a film crew which had already set up cameras. Concerned over the presence of non-judicial personnel in a supposedly closed hearing, the Baha'is – with the agreement of their attorneys – declined to be party to the proceedings. The judge adjourned the session and did not announce a date for continuing the trial. [BWNS767] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2010 12 Jun The seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned for more than two years in Iran made their fourth court appearance. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
2010 24 Jul The imprisonment of seven Baha'i leaders in Iran was extended for a further two months after the lawyers made a request for bail. At this point they had been held for more than two years under a series of successive orders for their 'temporary' detention, which by law, must not exceed two months. The trial of the seven consisted of six brief court appearances and began on 12 January after they had been imprisoned without charge for 20 months. During this period they were allowed barely one hour's access to their legal counsel. The trial concluded on 14 June. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
2010 8 Aug The sentence of 20 years in prison was announced for members of the "Yaran-i-Iran" or "Friends of Iran" in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Moqayesseh (or Moghiseh)*. The charges were several: "espionage", "collaborating with enemy states", "insulting the sacred", "propaganda against the state" and "forming an illegal group". The prominent civil and human rights lawyer who defended them was Mr Abdolfattah Soltani. He would later serve a 13-year sentence in the Evin Prison for engaging in his profession. Another member of their legal defense team was the attorney Hadi Esmailzadeh who died in 2016 while serving a 4-year prison term for defending human rights cases. After the sentencing the seven Bahá'í leaders were sent to Raja’i prison in the city of Karaj (Gohardasht) , about 50 kilometers west of Tehran. [BWNS789]
  • Raja’i prison in Mashhad has frequently been criticized by human rights advocates for its unsanitary environment, lack of medical services, crowded prison cells and unfair treatment of inmates by guards. [Wikipedia; Iran Press Watch 6315].
  • Soon after their arrival four of the Yaran were transferred to room 17 in Section 6 of this notorious prison. Section 6 is infamous in human rights circles. It has often been the scene of bloody fighting among prisoners and it is considered extremely dangerous. It is where certain political prisoners are sent to vanish. At first the Mafia-like gangs incarcerated in the same facility began to refer to the Yaran as “infidels”. The authorities have also tried to pressure other prisoners to insult and belittle the newly-arrived Bahá'ís, but it appears that most other prisoners have so far refused to comply with this suggestion. In fact, it is reported that most other prisoners are showing considerable respect to the Baha’is and try to be hospitable. [Iran Press Watch 667]

    * For a profile of Judge Mohammad Moghiseh see Iran Press Watch 17764 .

Tihran; Mashhad; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Evin Prison; Gohardasht prison; Abdolfattah Soltani; Hadi Esmailzadeh; Moghiseh; Human rights; Prisons; BWNS; Z****
2010 15 Sep In the face of the chorus of condemnation for the 20-year sentence for the seven Bahá'í leaders from governments and human rights organizations around the world, the Appeals court reduced the sentences from 20 to 10 years by removing charges such as “Espionage and Collaboration with Israel”. This information was verbally released to Ms. Sabet’s lawyer. [BWNS793, BIC Report]
See Violations of Legal Procedures details on how the treatment of the Yaran (and other Bahá'ís) has violated their legal and constitutional rights.
  • See Voices of Support for a sampling of expressions of support from international figures and institutions as well as BWNS810.
  • Amnesty International called for immediate support by asking for messages to be sent to the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. [Amnesty International appeal]
Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; BWNS
2011 30 Mar Six months after Iran's Appeal Court reduced their sentences from 20 to 10 years, the seven Baha'i leaders were told that the Appeals Court sentence was recognized as being in contrast with the Law and that their original 20-year sentences have been reinstated. [BWNS814] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; BWNS
2015 18 Jan The first trial hearing of Hamed bin Haydara was held. Legal and human rights NGOs witnessed tampering and interference on the part of the prosecution. The prosecutor, Rajeh Zayed, threatened to detain and execute Bahá'ís. More were arrested. [Defending Bahá'í Rights facebook page] Sanaa; Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Hamed bin Haydara
2016 25 Apr Mr. Hamed Bin Haydara, who has been imprisoned without trial since December 2013, was again brought to court for a hearing but the trial was again postponed, this time to 1 August 2017. Reports indicate that he has been sent to solitary confinement in the National Security Prison on the orders of Mr. Rajeh Zayed, the prosecutor who has caused the delays which have kept him in jail for more than three years and who has been mainly responsible for the arrest and persecution of Baha’is in Yemen. Mr. Rajeh Zayed also recently said he plans to delay Mr. Hamed Bin Haydara’s court hearings and treatment until he “dies in jail.” He is suffering from serious health conditions that require proper medical attention. He stands accused of ‘compromising the independence of the Republic of Yemen’, including spreading the Bahá’í faith in the Republic of Yemen as well as "apostasy" (He has been a Bahá'í from birth.) and “insulting Islam” . [BIC 30 Apr 2017] [BWNS1285] Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2017 12 May The Baha'i International Community launched a global campaign calling for the immediate release of the seven Iranian Baha'i leaders, unjustly imprisoned for nine years as of the 14th of May. The theme of the campaign, “Not Another Year,” was intended to raise awareness about the seven women and men unjustly arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for their religious beliefs. This sentence was reduced to 10 years in 2015 after the overdue application of a new Iranian Penal Code. [BWNS1167]
  • The official video of the Bahá'í International Community to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of seven Iranian Bahá'í leaders - Not Another Year.
Iran Yaran; Court cases; Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; BWNS
2017 Jul The men who admitted to stabbing and killing Farhang Amiri, a 63-year-old father of four children, in September 2016 in Yazd on the street outside his home in public view were sentenced by a court in Yazd. The two brothers immediately admitted to have been motivated by religious hatred. The older brother was sentenced to just 11 years in prison and two years away from home. The court justified the sentence by stating that according to the Islamic penal code, the accused and the victim are not equal for the general purpose of retributive justice. This astonishing provision clearly and deliberately deprives non-Muslims of the legal right to seek justice on equal-footing with the country's Muslim majority.

The younger man was sentenced to half of his brother’s sentence for aiding in the murder. [BWNS1182]

Yazd; Iran Farhang Amiri; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
2017 19 Sep Mahvash Sabet, one of the seven members of the former leadership group of the Baha'is in Iran known as the Yaran, was relesed after 10 years of confinement in Iran's notorious Evin and Raja'i Shahr prisons. She had been arrested in March 2008 and was now 64 years old. Mrs. Sabet distinguished herself by the loving care and kindness she extended to her fellow prisoners. As has occurred with prisoners of conscience, writers, thought-leaders, and poets who have been wrongly imprisoned throughout history, the power of Mrs. Sabet's ideas and beliefs was only amplified by her persecution. The plight of its author attracted attention to this deeply moving collection of poetry, inspiring PEN International to feature Mrs. Sabet in a campaign to defend persecuted writers. Her poems also inspired a musical composition by award-winning composer Lasse Thoresen, performed at an international music festival in Oslo earlier this year. [BWNS1198]
  • See Prison Poems.
  • See CNN article Writing to survive: Baha'i woman's poetry was her best friend in Iranian jail.
  • Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; Evin prison; Rajai Shahr prison; Prisons; Poetry; Music; Lasse Thoresen; BWNS
    2017. 4 Nov Three young Iranians who complained to state officials after being denied university entrance for being followers of the Bahá'í Faith have each been sentenced to five years in prison. Rouhieh Safajoo (21), Sarmad Shadabi (22), and Tara Houshmand (21) were convicted of the charges of “membership in the anti-state Baha’i cult” and “publishing falsehoods.” [IFMAT 14NOV17] Tihran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution
    2017 5 Dec The release of Behrooz Tavakkoli, 66, from prison after serving a 10-year term. He was the third member of the Yaran to be released. [Iran Press Watch18533; Iran Press Watch18536; BWNS1225]
    • See Iran Press Watch February 1, 2009 for an interview with his son, Naeim.
    • See Iran Press Watch February 5th, 2009 for an article that appeared in McLean's Magazine two days earlier.
    • See Iran Press Watch 1387 for the text of a talk given by his son Naeim about his father's imprisonment on February 18, 2009 in Ottawa.
    Tihran; Iran Behrooz Tavakkoli; Naeim Tavakkoli; Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; BWNS: Z****
    2018 2 Jan The Specialized Criminal Court of the Houthi militia in Yemen have sentenced 52 year-old detainee Hammed bin Haidara to death on the backdrop of his Bahá'í beliefs, allegedly for collaborating with Israel and forging official documents. He had been tortured and ill-treated in custody since being incarcerated in December of 2013. The judgment issued by the Houthi-controlled Criminal Court in Sana'a also confiscated the funds of Hammed bin Haidara and shut all Bahá'í centres in the country. The persecution of Bahá'ís in the area controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia reflected the pattern of persecution in Iran.
    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) estimated that the number of Bahá'ís in Yemen was about 2,000 people in several Yemeni provinces. [Al Arabiya English 3 January, 2018, BIC 5 January, 2018, Amnesty International 28 April, 2017, Defending Bahá'í Rights facebook page]
    • "The Yemini Initiative for Defending Bahá'í Rights", a activist group launched in April of 2017, has gained tens of thousands of followers. Prominent media groups in the Arab world have publicized the case. In addition to Mr bin Haidara there were six other Bahá'ís in prison in Sana'a. [BWNS1232]
    Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
    2018 16 Feb The release of Saeid Rezaie, one of the seven members of the Yaran, the former leadership group of the Baha’is in Iran after completing his 10-year sentence. He was the fourth person from among the Yaran to be released. [BWNS1238] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; BWNS
    2018 2 Feb Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, a former member of the Yaran, was transferred from Evin Prison to a hospital as per directions of the prison doctor after experiencing heart issues. He underwent surgery and, after spending a few days in the ICU, was transferred back to prison. Mr. Khanjani suffered from old age and multiple ailments. He had been in prison since May 18, 2008. Throughout his 10-year term he has not been allowed a single day of leave. Security and Judicial authorities did not even allow him to attend his wife’s funeral. His sentence was completed on March 22. [Iran Press Watch 18815] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases
    2018 16 Mar Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, at 85 the oldest member of the Yaran to be imprisoned, was released after serving his 10-year sentence. [BWNS1244] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS
    2018 19 Mar The release of Mr. Vahid Tizfahm from the Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj after having completed his 10-year sentence. He was the sixth of the seven Bahá'í leaders to be released from prison.
    At this time the 10 year term of the remaining prisoner, Mr Afif Naeimi, had two months yet to serve. Due to a serious illness he was released to the custody of his family while receiving medical treatment under the proviso that he would return to prison when deemed medically fit. [BWNS1245, Iran Press Watch, 29 March, 2018, Iran Press Watch 30 March, 2018]
    • For his personal history see Iran Watch 11557.
    • According to BIC, there were 97 Baha'is in prison as of 1 March. [Middle East Eye Tuesday 20 March 2018 12:39 UTC]
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS; Vahid Tizfahm; Z****
    2018 15 Sep Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi authorities held a court hearing that targeted some 20 Baha’is, most in absentia, with a string of baseless charges which include espionage and apostasy. The charges were primarily made against individuals who held administrative roles in the Baha’i community but extend to other Yemeni Baha’is including a teenage girl. In a subsequent hearing on September 29, the judge the prosecutor to publish the names of the accused in a newspaper and ordered their properties frozen. The judge in the case was Abdu Ismail Hassan Rajeh, the same judge who presided over Mr. Haydara's in January of 2018. Sanaa; Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS

    from the main catalogue

    1. Alí Bastámí, Mullá, by Denis MacEoin, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 1 (1985). Very brief article, short enough to qualify as "fair use." [about]
    2. Ali Bastami, Mulla, by Moojan Momen (1995). [about]
    3. Alí Bastámí, Mullá, by Moojan Momen, in The Bahá'í Encyclopedia (2009). On the second disciple to recognize the Báb, and the first Bábí martyr. [about]
     
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