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Another Baha’i Youth Arrested in Hamadan

April 11, 2009
Iran Press Watch
has learned through reliable sources in Iran that one of the Baha’is of Hamadan by the name of Sorour Sorourian was arrested at her home in Hamadan. This incident took place at noon on Saturday, April 11, 2009. Miss Sorourian is 25 years old and is among the active Baha’is of that region.
No further details are available at this time.
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Baha’i Youth Arrested in Shiraz

April 11, 2009

On Thursday, April 9, 2009, Iran Press News reported in Persian the following report which is offered below in translation by Iran Press Watch. This report was filed by the Religious Committee of Human Rights Group in Germany.
Mr. Afshin Ehsanian, resident of Shiraz was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence on April 8, 2009, and arrested. His father was also called to appear at the same Ministry and interrogated, but was released.
Mr. Afshin Ehsanian is one of the 50 Baha’i youth who on May 19, 2006, were arrested because of their participation in a humanitarian project to aid the deprived children and youth of the area. This group of Baha’i youth was released after a week of incarceration and their imprisonment sentence was suspended on the condition that they would attend classes on Islam. The entire group started attending these classes starting February 2008.
In addition to the above report, Iran Press Watch has learned that the initial call from the Intelligence Ministry was for Afshin’s father. Since he is in an advanced age, it was decided that Afshin would accompany his father to Palak 100, the Detention Center of the Intelligence Ministry. When the father and son arrived at the building, Afshin was asked to wait outside while his father was conducted inside the building. After a while, Afshin inquired of his father’s condition and at that time, he was taken inside while his father was asked to leave the building. Afshin was then imprisoned and when his family asked about the charges against him, they were only told “Because he’s a Baha’i.”
Three years ago, 54 Baha’i youth in Shiraz were arrested during a social-economic project to aid the deprived children of villages near Shiraz - and Afshin Ehsanian was one of these youth. The entire group was sentenced to one year suspended imprisonment, but three of them, namely, Raha Sabet, Haleh Ruhi and Sasan Taqavi, were incarcerated. Since then, three more Baha’i youth of this group are imprisoned.
[Posted on April 9, 2009, at http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/057223.htm. Translation by Iran Press Watch.]
Release of Several Baha’i Youth

April 12, 2009
Iran Press Watch
was pleased to learn that several Baha’i youth were released from custody by the authorities in Hamadan.
First, we first excerpt from a letter (slightly edited) from one of the Baha’is discussing the circumstances under which Sorour Sorourian was arrested yesterday:
Yesterday, April 11, 2009, at 11:30 a.m., the 25-year-old Sorour Sorourian was called to the representative office of the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran in Hamadan to answer some questions. She was at work at that time and went to the office with her mother upon at 13:30 p.m. Afterwards, Sorour was detained and there is no news about her. Then officers went home with her mother to search her room. They confiscated some Baha’i materials and books, computer case and some personal belongings and left at 15:30 p.m.
The officers refrained from giving any detail on the charge of detaining Miss Sorourian and the place where she was kept. After the family strenuously objected to this detention, the authorities produced court orders for her arrest issued on April 8, 2009.
Because of the family relation with Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, one of the imprisoned members of the Friends in Iran, and Miss Sorourian’s late father’s four-time imprisonments on charge of being a Baha’i, the family is deeply worried about Sorour’s situation. Furthermore, the way she was called to the intelligence representative office without indicating a charge against her adds to everyone’s concern about her present condition.
We sincerely request you to take prompt action on raising the issue by contacting Human Rights organizations, local authorities, media or any other way you might consider fruitful. Imprisonment of this Baha’i youth, as well as other detained Baha’is in Iran, is absolutely without foundation. In your appeals, kindly insist that she should have the right to legal representation, for her family to have permission to contact and see her in order to ensure her good health, and her immediate release.
The following is a communication received from the same source on Sunday April 12, 2009:
With heart brimmed with gratitude, I share with you the glad tiding of freedom of Sorour Sorourian, along with three other youth in Hamadan this afternoon. The spiritual flood released through your ardent, unremitting prayers, the balm-like effect of your kind sentiments, widespread outcry you raised in various sites, and heartwarming actions you shared over this short span of time undeniably demonstrates the very spirit of unity animating the Baha’i community all around the world, and contributed greatly to withdrawal of the hand of injustice.
The joyful news is that out of the four Baha’i youth detained in Hamadan within last week, three are being released. The detainees were under interrogation for seven hours yesterday.
This achievement shows that authorities are sensitive to the negative effect of media. However my dear friends, not only one of the prisoners, 25 year old youth Miss Sahba Khademi, is still under custody, but also the other three have just been temporarily released through placing surety of some property. It appears that by doing so the government in just changing the outer form of detainment to calm the international outcry and objection without really freeing the detainees from the charges they are accused of. Thus they can be called back at any time and imprisoned again. Therefore, your fervent prayers and resolute action is kindly requested so that the clouds of injustice and misunderstanding would be torn asunder and the light of unity and amity would illumine the world.
Afshin was then imprisoned and when his family asked about the charges against him, they were only told “Because he’s a Baha’i.”

Ick. Too much of the arab world is identical to communism. I think they just use those people as examples of what they can do if they want to in your basic religious political fear agenda.

It is good they are free again, or at least free as they know it.