A Report on Violations of Religious Rights in 2015

 Monday, January 4, 2016 1:33:55 PM

Freedom of opinion is one of the basic rights of every individual and despite explicit declaration of this right in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;. this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."; but violations of citizens' rights because of their beliefs is continually seen in Iran.

The following report is a story about violations of religious rights from November 22, 2015 until the date of publishing the report.

On Friday December 25, 2015, a group of Christian converts gathered to celebrate "Christmas", when they were arrested after a sudden influx of plainclothes officers, and were transferred to an unknown location. According to media reports, in this house church in Shiraz, Mohsen Javadi, Elahe Izadi, Mohammad Golshani Kia, Reza Mohammadi, Mahmoud Salehi, Mousa Saripour, Alireza Ali Ghanbari, Mohammadreza Soltanian, "brother Khalil" and another (identity unknown), were arrested.
In addition on Wednesday evening December 23, 2015, four plainclothes officers arrested a Christian convert, "Meysam Hojati" in his father's house in Isfahan. Mohabbat News reports these plain-clothes officers have introduced themselves as intelligent agents of Isfahan.

Confirmation of death sentence:
The Death sentence of "Barzan Nasrallahzadeh" a Sunni prisoner who had been arrested on charges of "waging war against God", was confirmed by the Supreme Court and it's been said that the case was sent to the execution enforcement department. According to HRA, Barzan Nasrallahzadeh was arrested on May 29, 2010 while he was under eighteen years old and a junior high school student. He was charged with "moharebeh" in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, and was sentenced to death, despite the rejection of the sentence by the Supreme Court, the sentence was again confirmed. The verdict was announced to the prisoner about three months ago and it is said to have recently been sent to the execution enforcement department.

Maulvi Obaidullah Baloch, imam of Yekketoot village near Behshar city of Mazandaran was arrested on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 after being summoned by the Special Clerical Court of Sari. The Baloch Activists Campaign reported this cleric, in contact with his family, said the reason of his detention was "insulting the supreme leader and support of Isis" according to officials. But he insisted that these charges have been mentioned with no "justification" or proof. In the last month, this is the sixth Baluchi Sunni cleric in north of the country who has been arrested. At least 12 Sunni Clergymen have been arrested since the beginning of this year in Iran.

Sanandaj Intelligence Office has arrested a number of relatives of a Baha'i family in this town and forced them to sue Zabihullah Raoofi and his family with charges such as making Baha'i propaganda and misleading the people. Mohammad Salahuddin Rashydyany, one of the Baha'is who was arrested along with Zabihullah Raoofi said to the media: he and three others were threatened by interrogators to be tried on charges of apostasy unless they sign a complaint against Mr. Raoofi. Parvaneh Rahmani, Zabihullah Raoofi's wife, was detained by plainclothes News Staff of the intelligence agency on her return from the court of justice of Kurdistan, on Sunday, December 20, 2015.

Seyed Amin Abbasi Shahebrahimi, member of the civil society activist group Yarsan Consultative Assembly, was summons by the security and intelligence police of Kermanshah, on December 20, 2015. In the summons the only reason for presence was given "by order of the court". He was interrogated for four hours and then was released. Mr. Abbasi said to HRA reporter that the reason of the charges was his writings about the rights of Yarsan minority in cyberspace.

Translated: Kaveh Taheri