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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
    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

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