Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA Reporting – The businesses of at least eleven Baha’is in Urumiyeh have been closed by the government’s Office of Public Property. At the same time at least nine Baha’is in Khorramshahr have been summoned to the Office of Public Property of this city and threatened that if their businesses were closed on Baha’i religious holidays this could lead to the shuttering and sealing of their businesses.
According to HRANA, the Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran, beginning on July 19, by visiting the businesses of the Baha’i residents in the city, the Office of Public Property of Urumiyeh has begun a new round of closing and sealing Baha’i businesses in this city.
The government administrators used the excuse that the businesses were closed on a Baha’i religious holiday (in particular on July 9th) for the closure of these businesses.
From July 19 until the publication of this news report, the businesses of Omid Latifi, Erfan Samandari, Arman Norouzi, Elham Abdi, Ali Latifi, Nasser Panahi, Rita Latifi (leather clothing), Sasan Karimi and Bonian Maghsoudi (automotive parts) Qurban Najafzadeh (spare parts for washing machines) and Mr. Soleimani (first name unknown ‒ owner of a home goods business) have been sealed in Urumiyeh.
Also, according to reports from Khorramshahr in Khuzestan Province, at least nine Baha’i businessmen have been summoned or threatened with closure of their businesses by the Office of Public Property.
These summonses, which took place in the second half of July, were mainly carried out by personal visits or telephone calls.
Government officials in the Office of Public Property have deplored these Baha’is for “having closed their businesses on Baha’i community religious occasions.”
These citizens were told that if they were to repeating this action by shutting their businesses on Baha’i religious holidays, their shops would be sealed without prior notice.
According to the law, every business is allowed to close without any particular reason for up to fifteen days a year. However, this law is ignored when it comes to Baha’is, with the goal of imposing pressure on them.
Recently, following the protest of Baha’is in Mazandaran, whose businesses had also been sealed, the Administrative Court of Justice issued a ruling in favor of the Baha’is of Mazandaran regarding their legal rights with respect to the closure of their businesses, indicating that the closure of their businesses should be ignored for up to fifteen days a year.