[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:] The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)

[Date:] 17 Bahman 1397 [6 February 2019]


Court and Summons - The Daily Life of the City Councils

Tehran – IRNA-Plus – Sepanta Niknam in Yazd, Mehdi Hajati in Shiraz, Mehdi Moghaddari in Isfahan, Khalil [Khalili] Ardakani in Karaj, Reza Mehrdad in Neyshabur and Mahmoud Mirlohi in Tehran, are fifth-term members of the local councils of Iran who have received summonses in the past year. For some of them, a prison sentence has even been issued.

In the past year, every once in a while, the news of an arrest or a complaint about a city council member has appeared in the media, except for those arrested on financial or moral charges, and others detained for either commenting in cyberspace, or complaining to a third party, or engaging in political activity and barred from attending council meetings....

Controversial Tweet For a Member of Shiraz City Council

It was not long after Sepanta Niknam returned to the city council [of Yazd] that it was reported that, this time, Mehdi Hajati, a member of the Shiraz City Council, had been arrested. Hajati had written on Twitter, “I knocked on every door for the last ten days to [obtain the] release [of] my two detained Baha’i friends, and have not succeeded. Our generation is obliged, as long as it stands up to foreign enemies, not to neglect efforts to reform the judicial procedures and other matters that endanger [our] social justice.”

Two days after this tweet, Hajati was arrested for “supporting the Baha’is.” This member of Shiraz City Council was released after 10 days, on bail set at two billion rials, and was prevented from attending council meetings. The problem of needing to attend council meetings was solved like [it was for] Sepanta Niknam, but the meetings of Shiraz City Council were held for four months without his presence. As Bahram Parsai, a representative of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Shiraz, has announced, [Mehdi Hajati] started participating in the meetings of the Shiraz City Council yesterday, and the speaker of the [Islamic Consultative] Assembly, Ali Larijani, has played an effective role in this return....