Behrouz Tavakkoli (June 1, 1951) was one of the seven members of the group known as the Friends in Iran. Mr. Tavakkoli was arrested on the 14th of May, 2008 at his home in Tehran. He remains in prison with his colleagues awaiting trial.
Behrouz Tavakkoli is a former social worker who lost his government job in the early 1980s because of his Bahá’í belief. Prior to his current imprisonment, he has also experienced intermittent detainment and harassment and, three years ago, he was jailed for four months without charge, spending most of the time in solitary confinement.
Born 1 June 1951 in Mashhad, Mr.Tavakkoli studied psychology in university and then completed two years of service in the army, where he was a lieutenant. He later took additional training and then specialized in the care of the physically and mentally handicapped, working in a government position until his firing in 1981 or 1982.
Mr. Tavakkoli married Ms. Tahereh Fakhri Tuski at the age of 23. They have two sons, Naeim and Nabil. Naeim, 31, currently lives in Canada with his wife where he works as a civil engineer. Nabil, 24, is currently studying architecture at the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education
Mr. Tavakkoli was elected to the local Bahá’í governing council in Mashhad in the late 1960s or early 1970s while a student at the university there, and he later served on another local Bahá’í council in Sari before such institutions were banned in the early 1980s. He also served on various youth committees, and, later, during the early 1980s he was appointed to the Auxiliary Board. He was appointed to the Friends group in the late 1980s.
To support himself and his family after he was fired from his government position, Mr. Tavakkoli established a small millwork carpentry shop in the city of Gonbad. There he also established a series of classes in Bahá’í studies for adults and young people.
He has been periodically detained by the authorities. Among the worst of these incidents was three years ago when he was held incommunicado for 10 days by intelligence agents, along with fellow Friends’ member Fariba Kamalabadi. He was then held for four months and during that confinement developed serious kidney and orthotic problems.
- "Lives of service: Profiles of seven imprisoned Baha’is". Bahá’í World News Service. 12 February 2009. http://news.bahai.org/story/695. Retrieved 13 March 2010.