Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – As reported by HRANA, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists group in Iran, on Monday April 30, 2018, the family home of Ms. Anisa Motahar, a Baha’i citizen in Isfahan, was raided by security agents. In their search of the home, security agents confiscated personal effects of the residents, including books, pictures, religious CDs. Even an electronic tablet that did not belong to Ms. Motahar was taken. Agents conducting the search eventually produced a summons issued by the court for Ms. Motahar to appear on May 8. Having obtained her signature, agents left without leaving the residents any documents, not even copies of the inventory of confiscated items or the court summons. Ms. Motahar was not given the location of the court to which she was summoned, and was only told that she would be notified by telephone regarding the location. It should be noted that according to Article 112 of judicial code, “Summons are issued in duplicate, one copy to be received by the accused, and the other copy to be signed and given to the serving agent.”
A source with information on the case confirmed the news and told the HRANA reporter that the search warrant had issued on April 3, 2018. However, agents entered the residence forcefully, without permission, and issuing on Monday April 30. Another resident happened to be leaving the premises at the residential complex at the time of the raid.
This source added, “The agents entered the family home of Ms. Motahar while she was in the bath, and the sudden intrusion by the agents was a violation of peace and security for her and her father – the only two people at home at the time. There were six male agents, and no female agent was present.”
The source further added, “Ms. Motahar objected repeatedly to the confiscation of the books, pictures and CDs related to the Baha’i Faith – even some non-religious items – even the tablet, and other items belonging to her parents. The objections were, however, unheeded and only met with disregard and insults by the agents.”
The source familiar with Ms. Motahar’s situation further explained, “After the confiscation of all books and writings bearing any sign of her belief in the Baha’i Faith, as well as a laptop and headphones, her personal identification documents and her mother’s electronic tablet, the items were inventoried, and her signature was obtained for the summons to the court on May 8, 2018, the location of which was to be later communicated to her father by telephone. The agents eventually left without leaving her a copy of any documents, not even the list of the confiscated items or the court summons.”
Ms. Motahar, a Baha’i citizen, has been living in Tehran for almost three years now, and had just travelled to Isfahan to visit her parents, relatives and friends.
It is noteworthy that previously in 2010, in the midst of the arrests of Baha’is in Isfahan, after the search of her home, Ms. Anisa Motahar was arrested and transferred to Isfahan’s central jail. She spent 73 days in jail, and following court proceedings, was later acquitted by the appellate court.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of freedoms related to religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation is in direct contradiction to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), all persons have the right to religious freedom, the right to change their religion or belief, and the freedom to express their belief individually or collectively in public or private. Iran is a signatory on both these documents.
Based on unofficial sources, there are over 300,000 Baha’is in Iran. However, Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith as a religion. This has been used by the Regime to justify systematic denial of rights of the Baha’is over the past years.