[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Adapted from website:] Centre for Human Rights in Iran
[Date:] 13 Shahrivar 1393 [4 September 2014]
Mother of Two Baha’i Prisoners: My Children, For Their Release, Must Repent [And Pledge That They] Will Never Teach
Afagh Khosravizand, a Baha’i citizen whose son and daughter-in-law are in prison for teaching at a Baha’i university, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that their release was conditional on repentance and a commitment that they would no longer teach at the Baha’i university.
Afagh Khosravizand, a Baha’i citizen whose son and daughter-in-law are in prison for teaching at a Baha’i university, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that they need leave or conditional release because they have two young children, while officials have told them that their conditional release is subject to repentance and a pledge that they will no longer teach at a Baha’i university.
The mother of these Baha’i prisoners told the Campaign, “I wrote letters to legal authorities many times, but I did not receive any response. Kamran and Faran have a five-year-old son and Keyvan has a 14-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, Keyvan lost his wife to cancer before his arrest. These kids currently live with me, but I cannot provide enough care for a girl who is going through puberty and for a young child.”
Afagh Khosravizand told the Campaign that more than ten months had passed since Kamran Rahimian (her son) and Faran Hesami (her daughter-in-law) applied for parole. According to the law, if a prisoner has served one-third of his sentence and has not behaved inappropriately during his imprisonment, he will be released on parole. “Ten months ago, Kamran and Faran applied for parole, but every time we followed it up, they told us that it was under investigation. These investigations will probably last until their release. But officials have said that if they repent and promise not to teach anymore, they will be released. They [Kamran and Faran] said, “When you do not allow Baha’is to study at national universities, we have to teach Baha’is ourselves. We do not want them to be illiterate.”
Mrs. Khosravizand said that they had not even been granted leave. She said, “My children have not even been on leave once since their arrest. Every time I follow up, they say the prosecutor’s office has agreed but the Intelligence Office does not agree. We cannot access any of the officials of the Ministry of Intelligence to at least understand why they do not agree.”
Faran Hesami, Kamran Rahimian and Keyvan Rahimian, three professors at the Bahai online university, were arrested on 22 Shahrivar 1391 [13 September 2012]. Faran Hesami was released from prison after 77 days in solitary confinement on 100 million tomans’ bail, but Kamran and Keyvan Rahimian remained in prison. The three Baha’i citizens were eventually tried in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati, on charges of “assembly and collusion to disturb national security by teaching at the Baha’i online university”. Kamran Rahimian and Faran Hesami were sentenced to four years in prison and Keyvan Rahimian was sentenced to five years in prison.
Mrs. Faran Hesami, who was released on bail on 25 Tir 1391 [15 July 2012], went to the Evin public prosecutor’s office for follow-up, where she was arrested and transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison to serve her sentence.
This Baha’i citizen told the Campaign, “Every Tuesday, this five-year-old boy goes to Rajaei-Shahr Prison with us to visit his father, and on Wednesdays he goes to Evin Prison to visit his mother. Jiena, the 14-year-old [daughter] of Keyvan, also goes to Rajaei-Shahr Prison in Karaj every week to visit her father.”
In response to the question as to whether the couple’s lawyer had applied for their parole or leave, Mrs. Khosravizand said, “They do not have a lawyer at all. Initially, we had chosen a lawyer, but when the judge handling the case heard the name of the chosen lawyer, he said ‘If you bring him in, I will give them twice the sentence that I want to give.’ We did not hire a lawyer and the court appointed a lawyer for them. They themselves have applied for parole from within the prison.”