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1852 (In the year) It was sometime when 'Abdu'l-Bahá was seven years old that he contracted tuberculosis and all indications were that there was no hope of recovery. He recounted while in Paris that He was rarely sick and that if He fell sick there was a purpose. Tehran Abdul-Baha, life of; tuberculosis
1920. 3 Apr The founders of Teheran branch of Societé Nonahalan ‘Children’s Savings Fund’ were Mirza Mohammed Tabib, Miss Lillian F. Kappes, Mirza Nuredin, Doctor Susan I. Moody, and Goodsea Ashraf Khanom. [Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran] Tehran, Iran Childrens Savings Fund; Nonahalan Society; Mirza Mohammed Tabib; Miss Lillian Kappes; Mirza Nuredin; Doctor Susan Moody; Goodsea Ashraf Khanom
1979. 21 Aug The arrest of the nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran by an unknown armed group "claiming authority". They were accused of "plotting against the security of the State".

Subsequently, on 11 September 1980, the Universal House of Justice sent a message to all National Assemblies informing them of an article published in the 29 August edition of Le Monde, by a non-Bahá'í contributor, Eric Rouleau condemning Iran for the complete disappearance of these nine Bahá'ís.

  • See the reference for both the message from the Universal House of Justice and the article titled "The Bahá'ís: An Accursed Community". [11 September 1980]
  • Tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran
    1979. 11 Nov Starting just months after the revolution, seven members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran were disappeared. Only years later was it learned that they had been tried in a sham trial by a revolutionary court on charges of espionage, had been sentenced to death, and had been executed by firing squad. [Tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; NSA
    1980 Dec Professor Manouchehr Hakim, who, at one time was the head of the Misaghieh Hospital, was shot and killed by “unknown elements” while he was in his office. The murderers were never identified, and three days later, a revolutionary court confiscated Professor Hakim’s assets. [Iran Wire] Tehran Persecution, Iran; Manouchehr Hakim; Misaghieh Hospital
    1981. 11 Jun All the title deeds, deeds of ownership and the plans [buildings] in various cities which were available and registered in the books of the Nawnahalan Company, were forfieted to the Iranian government. In addition, the title deed of Gypsum Mines in the Village of Mesgarabad, which belonged to the company, was also confiscated. [Archives of Bahá'í Persecution in Iran]

    Tehran, Iran Nawnahalan; Persecution, Iran
    1981. 21 Nov The passing of ‘Abdu’l-Missagh Missaghiyeh (b.1880 in Káshán) in Tehran. [BW18p779-781]

    He made a pilgrimage in 1912 and a second one in 1919. Upon his departure he was given a gold coin by 'Abdu'l-Bahá which he interpreted as a sign that he would have great wealth. In addition to the services he rendered as a member of Bahá’í institutions and through the teaching trips he made throughout lran offering encouragement to the friends, he made generous gifts of funds which made possible the acquisition of lands and buildings for the Faith in Asia, Europe and Africa. These gifts were made without ostentation, often without even his family being informed and in many cases in response to Shoghi Effendi's wishes. Although it is impossible to compile a complete record, his munificence can be glimpsed by mentioning that in Africa alone he had up to 1958 purchased no less than forty-four Temple sites, Teaching Institutes, Bahá’í Centres and other sites.

    Another notable contribution was the Missaghiyeh Hospital and Maternity Clinic in Tehran.

    Kashan,Iran; Tehran,Iran In Memoriam; Abdul-Missagh Missaghiyeh
    1982. (In the year) Soon after the Islamic Revolution’s victory in 1979, Baha'i cemeteries in various cities and villages were subjected to attacks by government forces, and were destroyed and seized by the government. The Bahá'í cemetery in Tehran, the Golestan Javid Cemetery, spanning an area of 83,000 square meters, was confiscated in 1982. Subsequently, the government demolished the burial site of over 15,000 Bahá'ís and sold the gravestones. The corpses were exhumed and transported away in trucks. Finally, the land was leveled by a bulldozer before the Khavaran Cultural Center was constructed thus the cultural center currently stands on the grounds of the former Baha'i cemetery. [IranWire 11 July 2023] Tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Golestan Javid Cemetery
    1982. 4 Jan Seven members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Tehran were executed. They had been arrested on the 13th and tried on the 26th of December. They were: Shidrokh Amirkia, (46), Ataollah Yavari, (35), Khosrow Mohandesi, (52), Shiva Assadollah Zadeh, (36), Kourosh Talaei, (33), Fathollah Ferdowsi, (63) and, Eskandar Aziz (61).

    On January 2, the seven Baha’i prisoners were taken to the prosecutor’s office for trial. The Sharia judge was Hojjatoleslam Fahim Kermani, and the charges against them were exactly the charges of the National Assembly members, such as spying for Israel. They did not accept any of the charges and the court did not provide any evidence. The trial was held in private and the defendants were denied the right to a lawyer. After several hours of trial, all seven were sentenced to death and the confiscation of their properties. Each of the defendants was summoned separately by the representative of the court and the verdicts were communicated to them. ‘If you abandon the Bahá'í faith, you will be set free,’ they were each told. The proposal was met with a negative response from all seven. An hour later, the court representative collectively offered the defendants a reduction in punishment if they condemned the actions of the Bahá'í National Assembly; again, all seven gave a negative response.”

    The men were shot at Evin Execution Square and the two women were shot in the basement of Evin Prison. The seven were buried in plain clothes, without any religious ceremonies, in Khavaran Cemetery. [Iran Press Watch 7 January 2022]

    Tehran, Iran Persecution, Iran
    1982. 20 Jan Ayatollah Mohammadi Gilani, who at the time was lead religious judge and head of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Courts, and Assadollah Lajevardi, Tehran’s Revolutionary Prosecutor, in a press conference regarding the execution of 15 Bahá'í citizens, members National Assembly Tehran’s Local Assembly, said: “These people, who have been executed, had been proven to be spying for Israel and its allies, in the Islamic Republic’s Sharia courts, and have been punished for their actions according to the Holy Quran.” No evidence was offered to substantiate the accusation that they were spies. Nor did any of the Bahá'ís convert to Islam, if they had, the court would have acquitted them of the charges and commuted the death sentence. Iran Press Watch 7 January 2020] Tehran, Iran Persecution, Iran
    1982. 7 Sep The Revolutionary Prosecutor General, Seyyed Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi, banned all Bahá'í community activities in Iran. "Others" In Their Own Land 5min36sec] Tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran
    2018. 6 Sep The passing of Lily Ayman (b. 17 May 1929 in Tehran) in Chicago. She was buried in the Oakwood cemetery near the resting place of Hand of the Cause Corrine True. She was a prominent Iranian educationalist who later became a Bahá'í in 1975 and left Iran with her family after the Revolution and finally settled in the USA where she become actively involved in various Bahá'í educational projects. See her “In Memoriam” published in Lights of Irfan, 20, 2019 p. 264-269.

    She was considered the “Mother of Persian Textbooks” [Iran Wire 10 April 2013]

  • Listen to the audio story The threat of being executed seven times and other stories on the Northwestern University website.
  • Tehran; Iran; Chicago; USA In Memoriam; Lily Ayman
    2022. 31 Jul The arrest of Mahvash Sabet (Shahriari) and Fariba Kamalabadi alongside five other Baha’i individuals, apprehended by security forces across different cities. Moreover, intelligence agents conducted searches at a minimum of 37 Baha’i residences. [Iran Press Watch] Tehran; Iran Persecution, iran
    2022. 13 Sep Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, was arrested in Tehran while visiting the Iranian capital with her family. She was detained by Iran's so-called "morality police" for allegedly improperly wearing her hijab, or hair-covering head scarf. Within hours of her detention, she was hospitalized in a coma and died on September 16.

    Amini's death sparked mass protests, beginning in her home town of Saghez, then spreading around the country as the "Women, Life, Freedom" protests and ultimately posed one of the biggest threats to Iran's clerical establishment since the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979. At least 500 people were reported killed in the government’s crackdown on demonstrators. [RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty 8 March 2024?]

    Tehran; Iran Mahsa Amini; Women, Life, Freedom
    2022. 16 Sep The death fo 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman, while being held by Iran's religious police for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic's dress code for women. . She was from the tow of Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, in northwestern Iran. Amini had come to Tehran to visit her brother and on 13 September 2022 was arrested by the Guidance Patrol in Tehran while in the company of her family. She was then transferred to the custody of Moral Security. Her brother, who was with her when she was arrested, was told she would be taken to the detention centre to undergo a "briefing class" and released an hour later. Her brother was later informed his sister had a heart attack and a brain seizure at the police station to which she had been taken. Two hours after her arrest, she was taken to Kasra Hospital.

    According to Amini's cousin, she was tortured and insulted in the van, as witnessed by her co-detainees. After she arrived at the police station, she began to lose vision and fainted. It took 30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, and an hour and a half for her to get to Kasra hospital.

    For two days, Amini was in a coma in Kasra Hospital in Tehran. On 16 September, a journalist broke the story of her coma, posting to Twitter a photo of Amini's father and grandmother crying and embracing in the hospital hallway. Amini died in the intensive care unit later that day. [Wikipedia]

    A movement, "Woman, Life, Freedom" sprang up in the wake of Amini's death seeking the end of Iran's imposition of a headscarf on all women and an end to the Muslim cleric-led government in Tehran.

    Tehran; Iran
    2022. 21 Nov The sentencing of Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi in Revolutionary Court’s Branch 26 in Tehran with Judge Iman Afshar presiding as judge, prosecutor and jury. They were both sentenced to another 10 years in prison. They had to be released in 2018.

    They had been arrested on the 31st of July at the start of yet another crackdown against the Iranian Bahá'ís. Thirteen Bahá'ís were arrested in the raid including Afif Naeimi. Sabet, Kamalabadi and Naeimi were members of a group of people known as the “Yaran,” or “Friends” of Iran, which until 2008 served as an informal leadership of the Iranian Bahá'í community. All seven of its members were arrested in 2007 and 2008 and jailed for a decade. [BWNS1631; BIC News 1AUF22; Iran Press Watch 14DEC22; Iran Press Watch July 31, 2023]

  • More than 320 Bahá'ís have been affected by individual acts of persecution since the 31 July arrest of Mahvash and Fariba. Dozens were arrested at various points in Shiraz, across Mazandaran province, and elsewhere throughout the country. [BIC New 18 Nov22]
  • Homes owned by Bahá'ís in the village of Roshankouh were demolished. [BIC News]
  • Government plans to tar the Bahá'ís through hate speech and propaganda were also exposed. [BIC News; BIC News]
  • At this time at least 90 Bahá'ís were in prison awaiting court proceedings or were subject to degrading ankle-band monitoring. [BWNS1631]
  • Tehran; Iran Mahvash Sabet; Fariba Kamalabadi; Afif Naeimi; Persecution, Iran
    2023. 30 Mar A deceased Bahá’í was buried on 30 March at Khavaran cemetery near Tehran by an agent of the Ministry of Intelligence without notifying the family of the deceased. The agent had demanded that the family pay an exorbitant fee for burial within plots already owned and previously managed by the Baha’í community. He threatened the family that failure to meet his demands would result in the burial taking place in a site adjacent to the Bahá’í cemetery previously used by the government to bury executed political prisoners. In a further development the same intelligence agent threatened to bury another Bahá’í under the same circumstance if the family of the deceased also refused to yield to his demands. [BIC News 3 April 2023]
  • See as well Iranwire 11 July 2023.
  • Tehran; Iran Persecution
    2023. 11 Apr After the trial, Fariba Kamalabadi, tried with Mahvash Sabet, was transferred to the women’s ward for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Sabet was kept at Ward 209 and transferred to the women’s ward after 40 days, during which time nobody knew what had happened to her.

    Independent Iranian news sources reported that Mahvash Sabet Shahriari was said to have had her knees injured while under interrogation by officials in Evin jail. Evin prison is often called the "world's worst prison". It has a reputation for its inhumane living conditions, where inmates are subjected to daily whippings, beatings and torture. Former inmates have previously spoken about the barbaric horrors they witnessed while in Evin- including electrocution, rape, torture and executions. [Daily Mail 11 April 2023]

    IranWire received an audio file from Faezeh Hashemi, a political activist and daughter of late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, herself jailed in Evin but briefly released on a leave of absence, spoke about her cellmates. “Mahvash recounts that during an interrogation the interrogator kicked the chair from under her and, since she was facing the wall, her knees hit the wall. Now, they have X-rayed her in prison and told her that the bones in her knees are broken. She is in such a condition, 70 years old, innocent and in prison only because she is a Baha’i,” Hashemi said in the recording. People close to Fariba and Mahvash believe that the delay in transferring Mahvash to the women’s ward was most likely because of her broken knees, since interrogators wanted to keep it a secret and kept her in solitary confinement until she could walk. [IranWire 31 July 2023]

    tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Mahvash Sabet
    2023. 11 Aug The Tehran Court of Appeal maintained the original rulings against Baha’i citizens, Mahvash Sabet (Shahriari) and Fariba Kamalabadi, confirming their 20-year prison terms. Initially, both women were sentenced to ten years, along with additional penalties by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of “forming and leading groups to act against national security.” Following these apprehensions, the Ministry of Intelligence released a video portraying these individuals as spies, alleging their involvement in infiltrating kindergartens to propagate their beliefs and advocating for the removal of hijab.

    A source close to Sabet’s family revealed that Sabet, aged 70, is battling multiple illnesses that have been aggravated by her prolonged imprisonment. Over the past few months, she has faced several hospitalizations. [Iran Press Watch 11 August 2-23]

    They, along with fellow former member of the "Yaran", Mr Afif Naimi, had been arrested on the 31st of July at the outset of the summer crackdown. [BIC News 18 November 2022]

    Tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Yaran
    2023. 13 Aug The arrest of Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, a 90-year-old Bahá'í in failing health who had already served 10 years in prison (2008-2018) for his membership in the Yaran. His arrest, along with his daughter, Maria Khanjani, were part of a new wave of repression targeting the Bahá'ís that has seen over 180 incidents of persecution against the community in recent weeks. Note

    Mr. Khanjani’s arrest comes days after two other Bahá'í women and former Yaran members, Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi, received confirmation of their 10-year prison terms which were upheld this week on appeal. A fourth member of the Yaran, Afif Naimi was also arrested a year ago and has recently received a seven-year jail term. His brother, Enoyatollah, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by Judge Morteza Barati of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court, 10 years for “organizing a group or association aimed at undermining national security” and to five years in prison for “propaganda against the regime”. If the verdict is upheld by the appeals court,Naimi must serve the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The court also sentenced him to a fine of 50 million tomans and deprived him of his civil rights for 15 years. [Iranwire 15 may 2023]

    Nine other Bahá'ís were also arrested on the same day as Mr Khanjani. They are the owners and employees of a number of pharmacy businesses, which were sealed and shut down by the authorities. They have been accused of disrupting pharmaceutical supplies. In the face of growing solidarity between the Bahá'ís and the general population the government is trying to drive a wedge by calling these legitimate Bahá'í-owned trading businesses “hoarders”. These new arrests have taken the number of Bahá'ís arrested or imprisoned in recent weeks to almost 60 incidents. During the same period, over 26 Bahá'ís also received sentences for jail terms that could begin at any time. Further, 18 Bahá'ís have faced interrogations. Fifty-nine Bahá'í-owned businesses were reported to have been sealed by the authorities and the homes of nine others were raided and searched. The brutal crackdown is reminiscent of August last year, where over 300 incidents of persecution against the Bahá'ís occurred in one month alone. [BIC News 16 August 2023; HRANA]

    Tehran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Yaran
    2023. November Mahvash Sabet, from her prison cell, sent an open letter to the people of Iran. [Letter] Tehran; Iran Yaran

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