Earlier this week a very thorough exploration, by Reza HaghighatNejad, of the current situation of the Bahá’ís in Iran was posted on IranWire. It suggests that there are positive influences at work under the surface. Below is a short extract: for the full post see link.
“It’s very simple,” tweeted journalist Mahsa Amrabadi on May 16. “When you live for so many months with somebody, you are not just going to miss her, you are going to miss her terribly — especially if that person is Fariba Kamalabadi.”
On May 10, prison authorities granted Baha’i leader Fariba Kamalabadi temporary freedom. She had spent eight years behind bars, and missed some of the key moments in her family’s life, including her daughter’s graduation and wedding, and the birth of her first grandchild. She was told she had five days to catch up with family, and then she would be returned to prison, where she would serve out the remaining two years of her sentence.
But Mahsa Amrabadi and others, including Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, the human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, Sotoudeh’s husband, the graphic artist Reza Khandan, and journalists Zhila Bani Yaghoub and Bahman Ahmadi Amouee jumped at the chance to visit her at her home.
Mahsa Amrabadi and her partner Masoud Bastani were among the first journalists to be thrown in jail after the 2009 disputed presidential election. They each received a seven-year prison sentence, and are now free. Both have been banned from journalism, but are active and outspoken on Twitter.
Three hours after Amrabadi’s tweet, Masoud Bastani tweeted, describing one of his experiences while in prison: “The warden came for inspection. He insulted a Baha’i cellmate’s faith. When he looked at me, I said ‘My fellow citizen. I feel ashamed by your behavior.’”
All of Fariba Kamalabadi’s visitors had one thing in common: at one time or another, they had shared a cell with a Baha’i prisoner. “I did not know any Baha’is before going to prison,” said Faezeh Hashemi. “I had no connections to the Baha’i community. By putting me in prison, the Islamic Republic opened a new window in my life. I came to know them.”