[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:] HRANA – Human Rights Activists News Agency

[Date:] 24 Aban 1397 [15 November 2018]

 

The Business premises of Six Baha’i Citizens in Khorramshahr Were Sealed/ Images

HRANA News Agency – Following the sealing of other business premises of Baha’i citizens, today the business premises of six Baha’i citizens living in Khorramshahr in Khuzestan province were sealed by order of judicial authorities, for closing their business premises on a religious Holy Day. According to the law, citizens can close their business premises up to 15 days a year for no particular reason. However, this law does not apply to Baha’i citizens, and on any religious occasion where, according to [Baha’i] religious beliefs, their business should be closed, the Offices of law enforcement and Public Places Supervision will seal their business premises.

According to the HRANA News Agency, the news organ of the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, by the end of Thursday, 24 Aban 1397 [15 November 2018], the business premises of at least six Baha’i citizens living in Khorramshahr had been sealed by order of judicial authorities.

HRANA has established the names of these 6 Baha’i citizens as Behrouz Habibi, Hosein-Ali Habibi, Behnam Habibi, Bahador Ahmadi (all four have optical businesses), Kambiz Azadi (sewing machine business) and Kourosh Jaberi (engine calibrating business).

Also, on 21 Aban [12 November], the business places of five Baha’i citizens living in Ahvaz named Vargha Derakhshan, Sohrab Derakhshan, Behrouz Zohdi, Jahanbakhsh Afsharzadeh (all three have interior design businesses) and Feizollah Ghanavatian (television repair business) were sealed by order of judicial authorities.

HRANA had previously reported on two Baha’i citizens in Abadan, Aram Azadi and Arman Azadi, whose business premises were sealed in connection with the recent religious occasions of the Baha’is, on 14 Aban [5 November], by order of the judicial authorities.

Baha’i citizens, based on their religious beliefs, close their businesses to perform religious rites. The law enforcement and security agencies seal their business premises, despite the specific legal rights and citizenship of individuals, based on their own religious beliefs, and the way they manage their own business premises.

Sealing of the businesses of Baha’i citizens is carried out despite, according to paragraph B of Article 28 of the Law of the Trade Union, the owners of the businesses have a right to close their operations up to 15 days a year without informing the union.

“On 12 Azar [3 December] of the current year, while the sealing of Baha’i places of business in Iran continues, Shahindokht Molaverdi, the special assistant to the President for Citizenship Rights Affairs, told the media, “Inquiries have been made from the Vice President for Legal Affairs of the President regarding the closure of commercial premises and the banning of Baha’i activity, and we are pursuing this issue through legal means to find a solution.”