Twelve days have passed since the arrest of Jamaloddin Khanjani, a 90-year-old Baha'i man in Tehran, still with no clear charges from the authorities against him.
Despite Khanjani's advanced age and frail health—two days ago, the Baha’i International Community announced that Khanjani is suffering from pancreatic cancer and heart disease—he remains confined within the walls of Evin Prison.
During this period, Khanjani's contact with his family has been limited to just two brief phone conversations.
Details about the charges against him remain unknown.
"The elderly and the sick are mercilessly imprisoned by the Iranian authorities. Mr. Jamaluddin Khanjani, 90 years old Baha'i has been arrested while suffering from pancreatic cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure," Simin Fahandej, Baha'i International Community Representative to the United Nations, said in a tweet on August 23.
"He is just one of many Baha'is who are sick and in prison without medical care. This is an inhumane and cruel practice," she added.
Khanjani was arrested on August 13 with his daughter Maria Khanjani, a statement by the Baha'i International Community (BIC) said, noting that he had already been imprisoned between 2008 and 2018 because of his membership of an informal leadership group for the Baha’is in Iran, known as the “Yaran” or “Friends”.
The group was formed with the knowledge of the authorities as a result of the government’s banning of formal Baha’i institutions in Iran.
The Yaran was disbanded in 2008, and all its seven members were imprisoned until 2018, when they were released after serving their 10-year sentences.
Khanjani’s latest arrest comes days after the 10-year prison terms of two other former Yaran members, Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi, were upheld on appeal.
On August 16, the Baha'i International Community denounced more than 180 incidents of persecution against Iranian Baha’is in recent weeks, which itself has followed months of intensified crackdowns.
The BIC also added that the 70-year-old Mahvash Sabet “suffers from significant health issues and has been transferred to the hospital from prison numerous times in the past year.”