Friday, 13 March 2009

At least 33 Baha’is in prison

Counting the seven people who constitute the group in Tehran known as the Friends in Iran, at least 33 Iranian Baha’is are in prison because of their religion. The number varies, sometimes daily. At least four new arrests have been reported since 2 March, in Yazd, Shiraz, and Semnan. There have been other recent arrests in Sari and Tehran.

On 11 March, five of the people arrested recently in Tehran were released on bail, including Mr. Aziz Samandari, Ms. Jinous Sobhani, Mr. Didar Raoufi, Mr. Payam Aghsani, and Mr. Nima Haghar. Ms. Sobhani worked as a secretary for Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi until Mrs. Ebadi’s offices were closed down by authorities in late December.

The cases of about 200 Baha’is are still active with the authorities. This includes individuals in prison, people who have been released on collateral, those awaiting an appeal, those awaiting notification to begin serving prison sentences, a few who are serving periods of internal exile, and so on. Thousands more have been questioned, threatened, or deprived of pensions, livelihood or education.

From Baha'i World News Service

No comments: