Translation by Iran Press Watch
In its latest report on October 16th, the Human Rights Watch Organization has voiced concern about the intensified pressure and arrests of Baha’is in the last month.
According to this report, in the last two months more than twenty Baha’is have been arrested in the cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, Karaj and many others without any specific indictments.
In the meanwhile, eight Baha’is in the city of Baharestan in the province of Isfahan were detained for more than four weeks. In a coordinated operation, simultaneously Milad Davardan, Foojan Rashidi, Bahareh Zeini, Afshin Bolbolan, Farhang Sahba, Sepideh Rouhani (Ferdowsian), Saham Armin, and Anoosh Rayeneh were arrested by IRGC Forces at their homes on Sunday morning, September 23, 2018.
“These detainees were transferred to the IRGC prison in Isfahan after the arrests, and were interrogated and kept in solitary confinement for seventeen days. Subsequently, the women were taken to Dowlat Abad Prison, and the men were transferred to Dastgerd Prison,” an informed source told Iran Wire.
The visiting families noticed that some of these prisoners were harshly tortured during their interrogation. In the words of the same source, twenty-eight days after their arrests, prisoners are still prevented from receiving their medications by prison authorities. Farhang Sahba, because of his advanced age, and Bahareh Zeini, who is suffering from migraines, need urgent medication.
Regarding the circumstances of the arrests, the source added: “Around 6:30 am on Sunday, September 23, the security forces, with a subpoena to detain and inspect the properties, simultaneously visited the homes of Afshin Bolbolan, Farhang Sahba, Anoosh Rayeneh, Sepideh Rouhani (Ferdowsian), Bahareh Zeini, and Mr. Rashidi (Foojan’s father). The agents found out that Foojan had married Milad Davardan a month earlier, and did not live at Mr. Rashidi’s home any longer. Thereupon, they went to Foojan and Milad’s residence. In addition, they raided five other Baha’i homes and confiscated laptops, computers, cell phones and books in the residences and arrested Mr. and Mrs. Rashidi, and also arrested Foojan and Milad after inspecting their home. They confiscated family pictures and detained the residents. Among the detainees, Anoosh Rayeneh was handcuffed. Hours later, another Baha’i, Saham Armin, was also arrested at his home; at that point, the number of Baharestan and Isfahan Baha’i detainees reached eight.”
So far, no official source has clearly indicted them with any charges for which they were arrested. The only verbal explanation was “propaganda against the regime”. Followups and attempts by the families to see the prosecutor and the judge in these cases proved fruitless. The name of the judge was reported to be “Bayani” by some families and “Moghazzi” by others; the latter name has a similarity to the name of Judge Hossein Moghazzi, the Head of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Isfahan, who passed away four years ago.