High Arrest Risk for Shirazi Baha’is

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Source: www.en-hrana.org

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Baha’i Shiraz resident Niloofar Hakimi was arrested by Shiraz Intelligence agents October 6th and transferred to a local detention center, continuing a recent wave of arrests of Baha’i locals, according to an informed source.

HRANA reported on the arrest of five other Baha’i Shirazis on September 15th and 16th: Noora Pourmoradian, Elaheh Samizadeh, Ehsan Mahbub-Rahvafa, and married couple Navid Bazmandegan and Bahareh Ghaderi.

Bazmandegan was arrested 6 p.m. on September 15th while teaching a psychology class, a source told HRANA. Authorities reportedly confiscated the identification cards, flash drives, email addresses, mobile devices, and mobile device passwords of all those present. Bazmandegan was subsequently escorted to his home, where authorities conducted a search and seized his personal belongings. His wife Bahareh Ghaderi was also arrested and transferred to an undisclosed location. Samizadeh was arrested the same day in Shiraz, and Mahbub-Rahvafa was arrested September 16th in his home. After searching Mahbub-Rahvafa’s house, authorities transferred him to Shiraz Intelligence Office Detention Center No. 100.

Baha’is in Iran do not have freedom of religion. This systematic repression is in violation of Article 18 of the International Declaration of Human Rights as well as Article 18 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. These documents assert the rights of every individual to freedom of religion, religious conversion, and expression of their religious belief as individuals or groups, publicly or privately.

Unofficial reports indicate that there are over three hundred thousand Baha’is living in Iran. Meanwhile, the Iranian constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as permissible religions, effectively rendering the Baha’i faith illegal. This loophole allows the Iranian government to systematically violate the rights of Baha’is with impunity.

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One Response

  1. Brooks Garis

    October 9, 2018 10:46 am

    For 175 years repressive measures, including imprisonment, torture and death, have only brought shame on a succession of monarchial, clerical and civil authorities of Iran without, in the slightest, diminishing the courage and constancy of Iran’s Baha’i community. Obedient to the laws of their country, when asked to report to prison, they do not flee. They are not guilty of any crime, as the intrusive security agencies and the watchful courts know. Three hundred thousand members of the Persian Baha’i community wish only to lovingly serve their country and mankind. Their only crime is that when asked, under pain of death or imprisonment or dismissal from university or discharge from employment if they are members of the Baha’i community, even when urged by well-meaning authorities to protect themselves and their families from certain reprisal, they do not lie. This fact too, their truthfulness, is well-known to all.

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