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Search for location "Semnan"

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from the Chronology

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2012. 29 Oct The Bahá'í International Community published a special report on The Baha'is of Semnan: A Case Study in Religious Hatred. (Video) This video report highlighted the effect on one community of the Iranian government's methodical and organized campaign to incite hatred against the Bahá'ís and eliminate them as a viable social entity.
  • The Bahá'ís of Semnan had been the focus in recent years of intensifying persecution, facing an array of economic, physical, and psychological attacks. While these types of attacks on Bahá'ís were not confined to Semnan, the situation there was noteworthy for its particular intensity and the mobilization and coordination of official and semi-official elements -- including the police, the courts, local officials, and the clergy. [BWNS]
  • The report was also made availalble in hard copy. (PDF).
  • Semnan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahai International Community; BIC statements
    2015 22 Apr Pressures on Jamaleddin Khanjani's family had increased since his arrest in 2008. Their country home in Semnan was demolished by Security Forces. The family had been given 48 hours to evacuate the house and even though they had succeeded in obtaining a ruling from the Supreme Court to stop the demolition, the home was destroyed. Authorities objected to a house that had been built with a City permit 18 years previously claiming that the owner of this property is unknown and the deed was not acceptable. The farmland, where the house was situated, had belonged to the family for more than 200 years.
  • Their farm had more than 40 thousand fruit trees, however, in recent years the authorities had blocked the road during harvest time to prevent more than 200-300 Tons of apples and peaches from reaching the market. A few years prior they had demolished a water storage facility that the family had legally constructed (the government permit and other documents were all available). More than 100 million Liters of water had been stored for agricultural purposes. The family had a thirty-year permit for a pasture for their cattle however they were forced to sell some and purchase forage for the remainder.
  • About two weeks prior the CEO of the family's farming company had been sentence to a one-year imprisonment. He had been in prison a few times before and was now back in prison again.
  • Although the Khanjani family included both Bahá'ís and Muslims, systematic confrontations and harassment of the family continued during his incarceration. The authorities erected a security station at the entrance to the property where they inspected the cars of family members and did bodily searches. Everyone had to be inspected to be able to go to his/her home. Even the 85-year old mother of Mr Kanjani had to obtain an access card to go to her residence.
  • Semnan's Revolutionary Guard and Ministry of Information declared the farm to be a military area. They built a duty post next the site of the demolished family home. Authorities prohibited the transfer the animals to a warmer climate in a truck. As a result a number of the sheep died.
  • With respect to the condition of Jamaleddin Khanjani in prison; he was over 80 years old and on one occasion, had to be transferred to the hospital once for a heart surgery. He was immediately returned to prison although having a medical furlough would have been the usual procedure.
  • Mr. Khanjani's family members had been the objects of persecution as well. Foad, his grandson had been in prison for four years and his granddaughter, Leva, had just completed her sentence. His nephew, Navid, who had filed a complaint with the judicial system for having been deprived of education, was faced with fictitious charges and had been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. He has had a number of medical issues for which he has not received adequate treatment.
  • The workplace of Mr. Khanjani's son, who worked in the optical field, had been raided a few months prior. All his belongings and property were confiscated based on unfounded accusations of illicit transactions. He had spent some time in prison and had been recently been released.
  • Mr. Khanjani's brother had a factory in Semnan and had imported equipment for making prescription lenses from Germany. He had suspended work in his factory for the anniversary of passing of Bahá'u'lláh and the authorities closed his business based on different excuses. The Ministry of Information asked him why the factory had been closed and he said it was his religious holiday. They shuttered the factory permanently, confiscated all the equipment and auctioned it all without any compensation.
  • Although a large number of their family members were Muslim they lived together, the Muslims participating in the Bahá'í commemorations and the Bahá'ís participating in theirs. [Iran Press Watch 11853]
  • See the report from the Bahá'í International Community on the persecution of the Bahá'ís of Semnan.
  • Semnan; Iran Jamaloddin Khanjani; Persecution; Bahai International Community; BIC statements
    2017. 7 Jan The body of Ahmad Fanaiyan was found with numerous burns all over his body in Semnan, Semnan Province. He was a respected and elderly man. [Persian-Bahá'í1147 Semnan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Ahmad Fanaiyan
    2021. 25 Aug The Bahá'í International Community submitted formal letters of concern to United Nations Special Rapporteurs regarding the confiscation of properties belonging to six Bahá'ís in the province of Semnan. In the formal letters they called upon the UN and other international actors to intervene with Iran's government to ensure that Baha'is are not dispossessed of their properties by the State.
  • A court notice on the Iranian judiciary website informing the property owners of the imminent seizures appeared earlier this month. The notice came after a series of raids were carried out on Bahá'í-owned properties across Iran by security forces in November 2020. A large number of property deeds belonging to individual Bahá'ís were taken during these raids—including deeds for the Semnan properties now listed for confiscation. Last year Bahá'í-owned lands in the village of Ivel, in Mazandaran Province, were also taken by the authorities.
  • The "charge" claimed by the court as the reason for the confiscations is that the properties belong to Bahá'í institutions. However, these institutions were banned in 1979 by the Islamic Republic, and formally dissolved in 1983. Moreover all their properties were confiscated after the Islamic Revolution; consequently, no properties currently belong to Bahá'í institutions in Iran.
  • Semnan has previously been used as a "laboratory" by the authorities to execute systematic campaigns of persecution against the Bahá'ís in Iran. Attacks on Bahá'ís in Semnan have been notable for their particular intensity, for the mobilization and coordination of official and unofficial elements including police, courts, local authorities and the clergy, and for persecution ranging from hate speech to economic strangulation, arrests and physical attacks. The BIC now observes this as a pattern consistent with a state-led campaign of economic persecution unfolding across Iran. [BIC New site]
  • Semnan; Ivel; Iran Persecution, Iran
    2021. 16 Dec The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has called on the Iranian government to end its discrimination of minorities in Iran, including of the Bahá'í community. The vote confirms a Third Committee resolution passed in November. The resolution was endorsed by the General Assembly's 76th session and introduced by Canada and 47 co-sponsors from all regions, passed by 78 votes in favour, with 31 against and 69 abstentions. [BIC News; BWNS1568; Iran Press Watch/a>]
  • The Resolution.
  • One of the latest incidents occurred in Kata where thirteen irrigated farmland plots belonging to Bahá'ís in the village in Iran's southwest was targeted by authorities seeking to further expropriate the assets of Baha'is in the country. The organization "Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order" – a parastatal agency controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which holds and sells assets seized from proscribed groups and individuals and has done so since the 1979 Islamic Revolution – advertised the 13 land parcels on an auction website in mid-October. Each property has been listed for sale at a price estimated to be only 15% of its fair market value. [BIC News]
  • Farm lands in Semnan, Roshankouh, and Ivel have also been confiscated recently. [BWNS1568]
  • New York; United States; Kata; Semnan; Roshankouh; Ivel; Iran Persecution, Iran; United Nations; Bahai International Community; BWNS

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