New Arrests include Shirin Ebadi's Assistant

New Arrests include Shirin Ebadi's Assistant
by alborz

In the early hours of Wednesday, Januray 14, the homes of 11 Baha’is were raided by plain clothes officers of the security and information agency.   So far 5 can be confirmed to have been arrested and remain in custody.  Amongst them is Jinous Sobhani, who worked as an assistant to Shirin Ebadi until the closure of her offices in Tehran.

These raids have taken  place 8 months after the arrest of the 7 member group responsible for the welfare and well-being of the Baha’i Community of Iran, commonly referred to as the “Yaran Iran” .  They remain at the Evin prison with no due process.  Shirin Ebadi had accepted to represent them but since then she has faced much pressure, including the closure of her office in Tehran and the charge that her daughter is a Baha'i.  Ms. Ebadi is now making an effort to represent Ms. Sobhani.

Reports also indicate that during these raids, books, computers, photo albums and other personal effects were taken from their homes and offices.

The increased pressure on the Baha’i community, can only be a sign of shear desparation on the part of the government and its thugs.


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by abc (not verified) on

Souri khanoum,Thanks for info.I am looking forward to watch the program.


Dear Alborz

by Souri on

Thanks for the response, it left me speechless !

You have an amazing ability to go trough the heart of the subject and give  the good answer to convince us. I don't know what to say, but just express my infinite sadness and frustration about the Bahai's situation in Iran.

I still am very disappointed about the current approach of the Bahai toward these injustice, but honestly can not provide any other approach or giving a solution.

That night (Thursday night 10-12pm Est) I was watching Mrs. Ehsan's program on Aria satellite TV. The whole debate was on Bahais and their persecution in Iran and how or why they don't defend themselves as they should. Many Bahai friends had participated to the debate and the program was very interesting.

That was why I asked you same questions which have been raised on the TV program and to which I haven't found any subjective answer. I invite you to watch that program next Thursday and participate if you are interested. The questions are very interesting indeed.

Again, thanks a lot for your grand input

Darius Kadivar

Merci Azadeh !

by Darius Kadivar on

Signed !

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I just added my signature to the site. Thank you for the link.

The code pink petition was the one I already signed a few days backand the women's campaign for equality petition I signed some time ago too.

But thank you again for double checking.


Azadeh Azad


by Azadeh Azad on

The two other petition sites that I know of, are the following:

Please also sign the petition to support Iranian women’s campaign for equality:

Thank you.


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

By any chance do you happen to know how many online petitions there are for Dr. Ebadi? When I went to sign the one you linked here, there are only 30 names that precede me, including yours. I signed another one several days ago, but it seems very odd that there are so few names here. I truly thought there would be greater support.

Arash Monzavi-Kia

Shame on IRI

by Arash Monzavi-Kia on

How can IRI claim to carry torch for the Palestinians, when no Iranian minority is immune from brutal oppression? 

Arash M-K


Dearest Souri, I understand ...

by alborz on

... what you are saying. 

If I am not mistaken, your note poses 2 and perhaps 3 questions which are out of frustration.

The first point that you make is regarding  the response of those that are the subject of the persecutions.  In this regard, I am speechless and in awe myself. I have many times asked myself "Would I have the strength to remain firm in my faith in the face of adversity?"  Alas, no one will know that answer until faced with such a situation.

You say that "All the Bahai arrested have always been calm and quiet and even I heard that, when they go for being executed, they smile and they give pardon to their executioner, Why ?"  The only answer that I can find is perhaps that they deeply believe in these Words by Baha'u'llah:


For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials.


The true lover yearneth for tribulation even as doth the rebel for forgiveness and the sinful for mercy.


If adversity befall thee not in My path, how canst thou walk in the ways of them that are content with My pleasure? If trials afflict thee not in thy longing to meet Me, how wilt thou attain the light in thy love for My beauty?


My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.

Your second point is related to the response that Baha'is have had to these persecutions.  Again, I cannot help but rely on what you and I have discussed most recently.  The Baha'is outside of Iran have actively (not passively) raised these issues during the past 30 years.  They have successfully been able to convince international bodies to pass resolution after resolution on the human rights situation in Iran.  There is not a single resolution that does not make reference to the plight of religious minorities and Baha'is specifically.  They have NOT had to resort to street protests to get these resolutions to pass.  After all, are'nt street protests intended to achieve this purpose and garner public attention and support?  The Baha'is have achieved this through other means and that has been proven to be as effective, if not more.  In short, the results speak for themselves.

You also express frustration by asking, "Why they don't assemble to go to the Majeles or protesting in Iranian news...?".  You make these recommendations as you have not experienced being a person without civil rights or persona non grata.  Baha'is can be whisked away, imprisoned and executed without any due process.  Their property, livelihood, and even their dead have been literally turned over without recourse.  When attacked by the general public there is  no recourse and no protection for them.   Do you think that your recommendation is a prudent one, now? 

Baha'is in Iran have written to President Khatami and have received no response.  Baha'is have always asked for an opportunity to be able to respond to the charges and allegations against them.  For good reason they have been denied.  Is there any surpise in this for you? Such an opportunity would only reveal the baseless campaign against them and detract from the investment that the regime has made in the public campaign of misinformation about the Baha'is.

And an implied third point, is that Baha'is need to try another approach since you believe that the current approach has not worked.  This is not a conclusion that Baha'is share.  It is precisely the plight of the Baha'is in Iran and other Moslem countries, and their response to it that has allowed the Baha'i Faith to emerge out of obscurity and garner the attention, respect, and recognition of people worldwide.  In a world were every institution, including religious ones, is suspect of hypocrisy, corruption and a decaying fabric, the emergence of a World Faith which is subjected to tests and adversities provides for a tangible context in which belief is put into practice.  Again from the Words of Baha'u'llah:


Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.

As for the similarities to the Imam Hussein, this is an analogy that should I respond to, will no doubt derail this blog.

Your vocal concern and outrage is appreciated. Had it not been for the recognition of decent human beings like you, that live all across Iran, the Baha'is of Iran would face a far worst plight today.

In the hope for a more enlightened Iranian community. 



What are you, the Bahai , planning to do ?

by Souri on

Dear Alborz,

I had already heard this news on Iranian TV last night. This saddened me a lot. After the arrest of Yaran Iran, now this is a second wave of attack against the Bahai.

What I don't understand is, why the Bahai don't do anything else than talking ? Why they don't assemble to go to the Majeles or protesting in Iranian news papares or something more organized, than just talking and diffusing the news ? 

The Bahai's reilgion teach them always obedience of the government. What is this ? Why should you stay always silent and not defending yourself ? All the Bahai arrested have always been calm and quiet and even I heard that, when they go for being executed, they smile and they give pardon to their executioner, Why ?

I am outraged by this passive attitude. I can't understand. This is a useless sacrifice. This is even worse than Imam Hussein and the 72's Shahadat. Why should the Bahai religion tree, grows with the followers blood ? They must do something, they must do something radical to stop all this bloodshed and inhuman treat.

I can't believe you satisfy yourself (all the Bahai) just to do diffuse the news to the world and praying for your loss.............

I feel really sad about that.

Darius Kadivar

Does it Surprise You ?

by Darius Kadivar on




Iranian authorities arrest Nobel laureate’s secretary!

by abc (not verified) on

به امید ازادی بیان و اندیشه در ایران عزیز


Thank you

by IRANdokht on

I will send the news and the petition to my contacts.

Thank you both


Azadeh Azad


by Azadeh Azad on

There are different online petitions to protest the closure of Shirin Ebadi's Center for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran. One of them that few people have signed is the following.

Thank you.