The Baha’i Prisoner of Semnan: 2,000 Days and Counting

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  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    “I am thinking of Pouya Tebyanian, of a person who since the winter of 2013 has been in prison for Baha’i proselytization,” tweeted student activist Zia Nabavi, who was at one time Tebyanian’s cellmate. “My constant companion in Semnan Prison during our walks. How noble and how forgiving was this young man. How charitable he was and how hard he worked to improve the conditions of the prisoners! I miss his fairness when we talked about people and situations…”

    Pouya Tebyanian is one of the hundreds of unknown prisoners of conscience in Iran.

    On the morning of December 15, 2008, agents of the Intelligence Ministry in Semnan raided the homes of 21 Baha’is in a coordinated operation and confiscated their books, religious images, computers and mobile phones. On that day, only Sahba Rezvani, a Baha’i woman, was arrested. She was released after serving three years at Evin Prison.

    The other 20 Baha’is whose homes were searched were later summoned to the Revolutionary Court, tried, and received various sentences. Tebyanian was the only one among them who was arrested before his trial.

    Intelligence Ministry agents arrested Tebyanian on March 8, 2009 at his workplace. After two months of solitary confinement and interrogations at the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center, he was transferred to Semnan’s central prison. The Revolutionary Court of Semnan tried Tebyanian on charges of proselytizing and of membership to a Baha’i organization, and he was sentenced to two years and six months in prison. The Appeals Court reduced his sentence to two years.

    His defense attorney at the trial was human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, who was also the spokesman for the Defenders of Human Rights Center. Suspecting that he would be arrested, Tebyanian had talked to Soltani before his arrest, and Soltani had agreed to represent him if he were to be detained. After his arrest, Tebyanian mother informed Soltani, who repeatedly traveled to Semnan to attend to the case without receiving any compensation or fee.

    At the time of his arrest, Tebyanian was 23 years old and, like many other young Baha’is in Iran, was banned from higher education. But he loved his country and preferred to stay in Iran and not emigrate. When he was exempted from compulsory military service due to his very low weight, he began studying chemistry at the underground Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and, at the same time, he worked as an accountant at an optician’s shop.
    The Baha’i Prisoner of Semnan: 2,000 Days and Counting - Iran Press Watch

    This is just wrong.
     

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