Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA – The homes of Katayoun Shahriari, Peyman Rouhi and Iman Rashidi, Baha’i citizens living in Yazd, were searched by security forces on Tuesday, October 6th. Upon entering one of the citizens’ homes, officers broke the lock and refused to show a search warrant. After searching the house, they confiscated and took a number of the residents’ personal belongings with them.
According to HRANA, the news arm of Human Rights Activists in Iran, on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, the homes of Katayoun Shahriari, Peyman Rouhi, Iman Rashidi, and his wife Shabnam Mottahed, Baha’is living in Yazd, were searched by security forces.
When entering one of the homes, the officers broke the lock and refused to show a search warrant. They also searched a neighbor’s house, and confiscated another neighbor’s CCTV camera without showing a warrant. After searching the homes, officers confiscated a number of personal property from all members of these families, including cell phones, laptops, personal computers, bank cards, photographs, and books related to the Baha’i Faith.
The seizure of mobile phones and laptops occurred even though, because of the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, the children of these families need access to electronic devices, computers and laptops for school.
Among these citizens, Iman Rashidi was previously arrested and convicted. He, along with his wife, Shabnam Mottahed, were tried in a mass court in April 2014, and were sentenced to 3 years and 1 year in prison respectively. Mr. Rashidi was released in February 2018 at the end of his sentence.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are prevented from practicing their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs even though Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entitle any individual to freedom of religion and belief, as well as freedom to express it individually or collectively, in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism; it does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for many years.