Bahá'í Library Online
. . . .
.

Search for tag "Yaran"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1983 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continued throughout the year. [BW18:92; BW19:177–226]
  • Twenty–nine Bahá’ís were executed or otherwise killed. [BW19:232–3]
  • All Bahá'í elected and appointed institutions were banned by the government in this year; most of the members of the previous three national governing councils having successively been executed. In the absence of a national governing council (known as a “National Spiritual Assembly”), the ad hoc leadership group, called the “Friends in Iran,” (Yaran) was formed with the full knowledge of the government. The various governments in power in Iran since 1983 had always been aware of this group. In fact, over the years government officials have routinely had dealings with the members of the Yaran, albeit often informally. [BWNS694]
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6 and BW19:44–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:352–6, 424–5.
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; United Nations; Bahai International Community; Human rights; Yaran; BWNS
    1983 3 Sep In response to the Iranian authorities banning all Bahá'í administrative and community activities and the making of membership in a Bahá'í assembly a criminal offence, as their last act the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran sent an open letter to the Prosecutor General of the Islamic Revolution refuting the false charges made against the Bahá’ís and informing him of their willingness to obey the government and disband the Bahá'í administration. [BW19:43]
  • In a gesture of good will and in accordance with their law of obedience to the government the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran and all local assemblies were dissolved. In its place, they formed groups of three in cities and villages called Khadimeen (“Servants”), and on the national level named the Yaran-e Iran to address the immediate needs of the community such as births, marriages, divorces, burial ceremonies and other services. [BW19:62]

    Since the 1920s when the Bahá'í administration was introduced in Iran they had made considerable progress.

    1950     Local Spiritual Assemblies: 280        Localities: 712
    1968     Local Spiritual Assemblies: 560        Localities: 1,541
    1979     Local Spiritual Assemblies: 679        Localities: 1,699 
    [BAHAISM v. The Bahai Community in Iran by V. Rafati]
  • Iran NSA Iran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution; Yaran; Khadimeen; Statistics
    1987 23 Sep Three members of the Yaran-e Iran, Mr. Jamaluddin Khanjani, Mr. Hasan Mahboobi and Mr. Changeez Fanaeyan, along with two other Bahá'í citizens, were arrested. After spending 59 days in jail, they were released on November 11th. One of the two Baha’is arrested with the Yaran, Mr. Bahman Samandari, was jailed and later executed in March of 1991. Authorities announced that his incarceration and execution was in connection to the 1987 case. Mr. Hasan Mahboobi was killed in a hit-and-run accident as he was heading to a meeting of the Yaran in August 1992. After the release of the Yaran-e Iran until their next arrest in May 2008, the Iranian government was in close contact with them and had complete and detailed knowledge of all Baha’i activities. On that basis Baha’is were able to refute the charges of “illegal activities” or “illegal organization” against the security of the nation. [Iran Press Watch 10561] Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution
    2007 (In the year) This increase in the activities of the Yaran-e Iran mandated the addition of more members; as a result, the number of members reached seven. Behrooz Tavakoli, Afif Naimi, Jamaluddin Khanjani, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamal Abadi, Vahid Tizfahm and Mahvash Sabet were the last leaders of the Baha’i community of Iran. After their arrest, the responsibility of leading the community was put on the shoulders of all Baha’is as individuals. [Iran Press Watch 10561] Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
    2008 5 Mar Mahvash Sabet – a schoolteacher and mother of two and a member of the national-level administrative group for Iran, the Yaran – was arrested having been summoned to Mashhad to discuss some matters regarding a Bahá'í burial. She subsequently spent 175 days in solitary confinement. On the 26th of May she was moved to Evin prison in Tehran. [BWNS Special Report]
    This arrest marked a new wave of persecution of the Bahá'í Faith in Iran.
    Mashhad; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution; Evin prison; BWNS; Mahvash Sabet
    2008 14 May The six men and women, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. and Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, all members of the national-level group that helped see to the minimum needs of Bahá’ís in Iran were arrested in their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Kamalabadi, Mr. Khanjani, and Mr. Tavakkoli have been previously arrested and then released after periods ranging from five days to four months. [BWNS632, Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution; BWNS
    2008 The arrest of the Baha’i leadership took place in the context of a severely and rapidly escalating systemic campaign of attacks against the Bahá'í community that included the creation and circulation of lists of Bahá'ís with instructions that the activities of the members of the community be secretly monitored; dawn raids on Bahá'í homes and the confiscation of personal property; a dramatic increase over the previous two months in the number of Bahá'í s arrested; daily incitement to hatred of the Bahá'í s in all forms of government-sponsored mass media; the holding of anti-Bahá'í symposia and seminars organized by clerics and followed by orchestrated attacks on Bahá'í homes and properties in the cities and towns where such events are held; destruction of Bahá'í cemeteries throughout the country and demolition of Bahá'í holy places and shrines; acts of arson against Bahá'í homes and properties; debarring of Bahá'ís from access to higher education and, increasingly, vilification of Bahá'í children in their classrooms by their teachers; the designation of numerous occupations and businesses from which Bahá'ís are debarred; refusal to extend bank loans to Bahá'ís; sealing Bahá'í shops; refusing to issue or renew business licenses to Bahá'ís; harassment of landlords of Bahá'í business premises to get them to evict their tenants; and threats against Muslims who associate with Bahá'ís. [Iran Press Watch 1109] Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights
    2006 Jun In a show of solidarity for the imprisoned Yaran an open letter was sent from a number of members of the judiciary, human rights organizations and other notables in India. [Iran Press Watch 1624] Iran; India Yaran; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Human rights
    2008 3 Jun Mrs. Mahvash Sabet and Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi were permitted to make short phone calls to their families. Later it was confirmed that Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm also have made brief phone calls to their families. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
    2008 Sep After enduring 3.5 months of solitary confinement, the imprisoned members of the Yaran were transferred to a regular prison cell, still at the notorious Evin Prison, where they could interact with other prisoners. A month later, they were separated from other prisoners; the five men have been kept in one cell and the two women in another, isolated from others. Their status was still noted as “temporary detention”. [Iran Press Watch 1505] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Evin prison
    2009 11 Feb An Iranian ISNA news agency report quoting Tehran’s deputy public prosecutor Hassan Haddad reported that a case will be sent to the revolutionary courts in the coming week accusing the seven Bahá'ís of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic republic.”

    For the first time after two decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran officially accused the leaders of the Bahá'í community of Iran of espionage, thus reverting its position to that of the 1980s. [Iran Press Watch 1407]

    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 15 Feb The US House of Representatives introduced a resolution condemning the government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Bahá'í minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights. [Iran Press Watch 1203] Washington,DC; Iran; Yaran, Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 16 Feb Iran’s Prosecutor General Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi made the claim that the members of the "banned Baha'i sect" have irrefutable links with Israel and that the seven will be tried on charges of “espionage for Israel, desecrating religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” His statement was in reaction to the resolution by the U.S. State Department condemning recent events. [Iran Press Watch 1215] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 17 Feb The European Union expressed their concerns that, after being held for so long without due process, the Yaran would not receive a fair trial. The EU therefore requested the Islamic Republic of Iran to allow independent observation of the judicial proceedings and to reconsider the charges brought against these individuals. Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the trial with seven Baha'i leaders in Iran Brussels European Union; Yaran; persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 24 Feb The Canadian Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Human Rights has adopted a strongly worded motion demanding the immediate release of the seven Baha’i leaders held now for more than nine months without formal charges and no access to lawyers. Appearing before the committee on Thursday were the Bahá'í Community of Canada’s Director of External Affairs, Susanne Tamas, and McGill Law Professor, Payam Akhavan. [Iran Press Watch 1597] Ottawa; Canada Susanne Tamas; Payam Akhavan; persecution, Iran; Yaran
    2009 25 Feb The seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders were given permission to meet with their families. [Iran Press Watch 1468] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 27 Feb Responding to the public outcry from western nations against Iran for the plight of seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders, Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, Iran’s Prosecutor-General, stated, “These individuals have accepted the charges [brought against them.” This was later proved to be untrue. Meanwhile, the seven detained Baha’is continued to be deprived of due process and the opportunity to meet with their attorney. [Iran Press Watch 1547] Tihran; Iran Yaran, persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 4 Mar The Bahá'í International Community at the United Nations sent an open letter to Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, the Prosecutor-General of Iran, regarding recent measures taken against the Yaran (at the national level) and the Khademin (at the local level). Since the disbanding of the Bahá'í administrative order in Iran, these groups had been functioning in close collaboration with the authorities.
    • The letter reiterated, in broad strokes, the history of the relationship between the authorities and the Bahá'í community since the revolution and addressed the accusations leveled against them as well as the deliberate misrepresentations of the community. The letter closed with numerous examples of the support for the community from the Iranian population.
    Iran Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi; Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 30 Mar The first meeting of the imprisoned Yaran took place and was in person. It is customary in Iran to allow prisoners to meet with their families during the two-week Naw-Ruz festivities. A second visit with their families was also granted on April 6 but this time the families were allowed to meet with their loved-ones from behind glass windows. [Iran Press Watch 2126] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2009 27 Apr A fourth charge was leveled against the Yaran: “Aiding, teaching and propagating the Baha’i religion in Iran.” This is tantamount to “mufsed fel-arz” [corrupt on earth] which has historically carried harsh consequences, including the death penalty. [Iran Press Watch 2709] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    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 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 10 May New information was obtained regarding the conditions in which the seven Bahá'í prisoners were being held-two small rancid-smelling cells. They had not been given beds or bedding. There was no natural light in their cells so when the light was turned off during the day they are held in darkness. [Video "The Story of the Baha'i Seven" 13 May 2016 BIC] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
    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
    2010 Sep Following the reduction of his sentence, Vahid Tizfahm was transferred to Rajai-Shahr prison, where he remained until his release. Rajai-Shahr is located in the Alborz Province, and was at the time a maximum-security prison, a place for the “dangerous” individuals. According to Iran’s Department of Prisons, Security and Corrections’ Regulations, and based on the principle of Segregation of Crimes, Tizfahm’s transfer to Rajai-Shahr was not legal. [Iran Press Watch 29 March, 2018] Rajai-Shahr; Iran Yaran; Vahid Tizfahm; Rajai-Shahr prison; Prisons; Persecution, Iran; Z****
    2011 12 Feb Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi were transferred to the notorious Section 200 of Gohardasht Prison. The circumstances of the move raised concerns that it may have been orchestrated as a means of creating an insecure environment that threatens their lives.
    Since their arrival at Gohardasht, the Baha'i women – despite their own extremely challenging situation – had nonetheless been a constant source of comfort and hope to other inmates. The prison authorities apparently became alarmed that the two women began to receive signs of respect from a growing number of prisoners. As a justification for the increased harsh treatment, the authorities accused the two of teaching the Baha'i Faith. While Gohardasht is infamous for its harsh and unsanitary conditions, the Baha'i prisoners were at first kept segregated from some of the more violent elements at the complex. They also had relatively frequent access to outdoor exercise areas. [BWNS807; BWNS821]
    Mashhad; Iran Fariba Kamalabadi; Mahvash Sabet; Gohardasht Prison; BWNS; Yaran
    2011 10 Mar The passing of Mrs. Ashraf Khanjani, wife of imprisoned Jamaloddin Khanjani at the age of 81 In Tehran. The couple had been married for more than 50 years. Mr. Khanjani, 77, who was serving a ten-year jail term at Iran's notorious Gohardasht prison, was not granted leave to attend his wife's funeral which was held the next day in Tehran. It attracted between 8,000 and 10,000 mourners from all walks of life. Ministry of Intelligence officers were also reportedly present, filming the proceedings.
    Prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution, Mr. Khanjani was a successful factory owner. His brick-making factory – the first automated such facility in Iran – employed several hundred people before he was forced to shut it down and abandon it, because of the persecution he faced as a Bahá'í. The factory was later confiscated by the government. Mr. Khanjani was able to establish a mechanized farm but the authorities made it difficult for him to operate. Their restrictions extended to his children and relatives and included refusing loans, closing their facilities, limiting business dealings, and banning travel outside Iran.
    Mr. Khanjani had been arrested and imprisoned at least three times before his latest incarceration in May 2008. [BWNS811; Iran Press Watch 7454]
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Ashraf Khanjani; Jamaloddin Khanjani; In Memoriam; BWNS; Z****
    2011 24 Mar The UN Human Rights Council voted to create a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran. [Iran Press Watch 7657] Iran Yaran; Persection, Iran; UN; UNHCR; Special Rapporteur; Z****
    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
    2011 3 May Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet were transported to Qarchak prison, some 45 kilometres from Tehran where the conditions were even worse than those at Rajaei Shahr Prison. [BWNS821] Qarchak; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Qarchak prison; Rajaei Shahr Prison; Prisons; BWNS Conflict with below
    2011 20 May Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet were returned to Evin Prison in Tehran. They had spent a brief spell in appalling conditions at Qarchak prison, (from 3 May) some 45 kilometers from Tehran. [BIC Evin; BWNS826]
    • The five men were still being held under close scrutiny in a wing of Gohardasht prison, reserved for political prisoners. [BIC Report]
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Evin Prison; Gohardasht Prison; Qarchak prison; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Prisons; BWNS
    2011 24 Sep The arrest of Abdolfattah Soltani, a senior member of the legal team representing a number of Bahá'ís in Iran await trial for providing higher education to youth barred from university. [BWNS849] Iran Abdolfattah Soltani; Lawyers; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution; Human Rights; Education; BWNS; Yaran; Persecution, Education
    2012 11 May The Universal House of Justice sent a message to the Bahá'ís of Iran near the four-year anniversary of the illegal arrest and imprisonment of the former members of the Yárán and the more recent injustice meted out against the co-workers of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). [BWNS823, Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 11 May, 2012, In Farsi] Iran Yaran; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; UHJ; BWNS; persecution; Persecution, Education
    2013 14 May The Bahá'í International Community launched the Five Years Too Many campaign to protest the 20-year prison sentences given to the Bahá'í leaders in Iran, the longest sentence given to prisoners of conscience under the current regime. The harshness of the sentences reflected the Government’s resolve to completely oppress the Iranian Bahá'í community, which faced a systematic, “cradle-to-grave” persecution that was among the most serious examples of state-sponsored religious persecution in the world today. [Five Years Too Many, BWNS954] Tihran; Iran; Worldwide Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community; BWNS
    2013 Dec The imprisoned members of the Yaran sent a letter addressed to Iranian President, Dr. Hassan Rouhani in response to the invitation that President Rouhani extended to the citizens of Iran to comment on the draft Charter of Citizens’ Rights on the president’s website.
    • A copy of the letter in English can be found online at BWNS977.
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Hassan Rouhani; Z****
    2014 13 Mar From Rejai Shahr Prison Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli wrote a letter to his first grandchild who had just been born three days prior in Canada. The letter can be found at Iran Press Watch 9766. Rejai Shahr Prison Behrouz Tavakkoli; Yaran; Z****
    2014 7 May The imprisoned Yaran addressed a letter to Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of Human Rights Division of the Judiciary Branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding his claim that “No one is in prison for being a Bahá'í and if Bahá'í s do not commit illegal acts their citizenship rights will be protected”. They reiterated some of the acts of oppression and discrimination, security force encounters and human rights violations imposed on the Bahá'í citizens and have asked the officials to change their view toward citizens and minorities.
    The full text of the letter can be viewed at Iran Press Watch 9946
    Iran Yaran, persecution, Iran; Mohammad Javad Larijani; Z****
    2014 9 May Vahid Tizfahm, a former member of the imprisoned Yaran, wrote to his son, Samim, in which he recounts the imprisonment and martyrdom of his own father when he was yet a child. For the full text of the letter see Iran Press Watch10181. Gohardasht; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Vahid Tizfahm; Z****
    2014 Nov Fariba Kamalabadi, after having her fourth request to join her daughter Taraneh for her wedding denied, wrote her a letter from Evin Prison. [Iran Press Watch]
    • See Iran Press Watch 11274 for Taraneh's story of how she grew up without her mother.
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Evin Prison; Prisons; Human rights; Taraneh Kamalabadi; Fariba Kamalabadi; Z****
    2015 14 May A global campaign called "Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years in Prison for the Seven Baha'i Leaders" to call attention to the long and unjust imprisonment of seven Iranian Baha'i leaders was launched on the seventh anniversary of their arrest. Each day of the week-long campaign, starting 14 May 2015, was dedicated to one member of the seven: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. [7 Days] Tihran; Iran; New York; United States; Worldwide Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community
    2016 29 Apr In observance of the eighth anniversary of the arrest and incarceration of seven Iranian Baha’i leaders, the Baha’i International Community was launched a global campaign calling for their immediate release. Taking the theme “Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven,” the campaign emphasized the fact that, under Iran’s own national penal code, the seven were now overdue for conditional release. [Enough!]
    • A special campaign page was established with information about their current legal situation and other resources. [Enough! Release the Bahá'í Seven].
    • The campaign included an account on FaceBook.
    • and a Twitter handle. The hashtag for the campaign was: #ReleaseBahai7Now.
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
    2016 12 May In commemoration of the incarceration of the Yaran in Iran in 2008 the International Bahá'í Community (BIC) released a video entitled Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven Now. Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community
    2016 13 May Fariba Kamalabadi, while on a five-day furlough from Evin Prison, met with former Tehran MP Faezeh Hashemi. It was the first temporary leave she had been granted during her eight years of imprisonment.

    Faezeh Hashemi was the activist daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and she previously shared a prison cell with Kamalabadi in Evin Prison. Hashemi was strongly condemned by politicians and religious leaders. A high-ranking member of the Iranian Judiciary vowed that action will be taken against her. Despite the widespread criticism she received from powerful quarters in Iran, Faezeh Hashemi publicly defended her decision to meet with Kamalabadi. [Iran Press Watch, from NY Times, BWNS1108]

    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Evin prison; BWNS
    2016 24 Nov From her cell in Evin prison, In a open letter to her six-month old granddaughter, Bajar. Fariba Kamalabadi one of the members of the imprisoned Yaran of Iran, wrote about the suffering of the Bahá'í citizens and of her dreams for humanity. [Iran Press Watch 16140] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Evin Prison; Prisons; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; 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 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 near the end of Oct Fariba Kamalabadi, a member of the former leadership group of the Baha’is called the "Yaran", concluded her ten-year prison sentence. She was the second individual from among the former Yaran to be released. She, along with five others, were arrested on the 14th of May, 2008. Mrs. Kamalabadi had graduated from high school with honours but was barred from attending university because of her Faith. In her mid-30s, she embarked on an eight-year period of informal study and ultimately received an advanced degree in developmental psychology from the Bahá’í Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), an alternative institution established by the Bahá’í community of Iran to provide higher education for its young people. She worked as a developmental psychologist before her arrest and imprisonment. She was also married with three children. Along with the deprivations of imprisonment itself (she had spent 2 1/2 years of the 10-year sentence in solitary confinement), Mrs. Kamalabadi was also deprived of irreplaceable family moments, including the birth of her first grandchild and the weddings of her daughters. She was 55 years old upon her release. [BWNS1217]
    • See Huffington Post for an article entitled "Iran’s Baha’i Problem" by Payam Akhavan about the visit of Ms. Faezeh Hashemi, the well-known daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who made a visit to her home while she was on leave from prison.
    • Ms Hashemi, herself a former MP, was heavily criticized after she met with Ms Kamalabadi. See the article in The Guardian for details.
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, BIHE; Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Persecution, Education; Court cases; BWNS
    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 Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; 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
    2018 23 Apr Afif Naeimi, the seventh and last imprisoned member of the Yaran, returned to Rajaee Shahr Prison (also known as Gohardasht Prison) near Tehran at the end of his medical leave despite suffering from life-threatening ailments. On May 1 the judiciary’s medical experts had ruled that the 57-year-old is too ill to be incarcerated. Naeimi, who has completed his 10-year prison sentence, should have been released by that time but the judiciary extended his term by more than nine months—the period he was out of prison on furlough receiving medical treatment. He has hypertrophy, a condition where the heart muscle thickens and he is afflicted with Syncope disease, which causes temporary losses of consciousness. [Iran Press Watch 18975; Iran Press Watch 18975] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Rajaei Shahr Prison; Prisons; Persecution, Iran
    2018 20 Dec The last imprisoned member of the former leadership body of the Bahá'í community in Iran was released from prison after serving a 10-year prison sentence. He was arrested on 14 May 2008 and charged with, among other false claims, espionage, propaganda against Iran, and the establishment of an illegal administration. Mr. Naeimi and the other six former members of the Yaran faced those charges more than a year after their arrest in a sham trial without any semblance of legal process. Authorities sentenced Mr. Naeimi and the other former members of the Yaran to 10 years in prison. While detained, Mr. Naeimi experienced severe health problems, often receiving inadequate treatment. Authorities made a cruel determination that the brief time Mr. Naeimi, a father of two from Tehran, spent in a hospital recovering would not be counted as part of his sentence. [BWNS1302] Tehran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights

    from the main catalogue

    1. Kirk, Durbin Introduce Resolution Condemning Iran's Continued Persecution of Bahá'í Minority, by Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin (2013). In recognition of the five-year anniversary of imprisonment of Bahá'í leaders in Iran, senators meet with their family members and friends and introduce a joint resolution calling attention to this persecution. [about]
    2. Trial of The Yaran ("Friends in Iran"): Six Essays, by Christopher Buck, in Iran Press Watch (2009). Six essays by Buck from a legal perspective about the extended imprisonment of seven Baha'i leaders in Tehran. [about]
     
    See all tags, sorted numerically or alphabetically.
    Home Site Map Forum Links Copyright About Contact
    .
    . .