Iranian Baha’i singer and composer Behnam Rohani-Fard was released from Tehran’s Evin Prison on 3 October 2017 on 100 million tomans bail (approx. $30,156 USD) after spending one month in solitary confinement, reported the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
The singer was arrested on 4 September 2017 upon his return to Tehran from a concert tour in Europe and has been charged with “propaganda against the state”, “disturbing public opinion” and “membership in the illegal Baha’i organization”.
A source told CHRI that during his detention, Rohani-Fard was interrogated at least 20 times for periods of three to four hours. The Intelligence Ministry interrogators accused the singer of holding concerts that were aimed at celebrating the life of Baha’u’llah, the Baha’i spiritual leader.
In 2010, Rohani-Fard spent nine months in prison for composing and singing songs about the Baha’i faith and its leaders.
The Baha’i faith is not recognised by Iran’s constitution, and as such this religious minority is often targeted in the country.