Baha’is Arrested in Qa’emshahr

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Translated by Ahang Rabbani

On Monday, 17 November, Masoud Ataian, a member of the Baha’i community, was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in Qa’emshahr, in the province of Mazandaran.

It is important to note that these officers of the Intelligence Ministry barged into Mr. Ataian’s house unexpectedly and without proper legal documentation, and after tearing up sacred religious pictures which were in the house, they confiscated his religious books and personal computer, and removed him to the prison of the Intelligence Ministry. Since his arrest, this Baha’i has not been permitted to have any contact with his family.

On Saturday, 22 November, Mrs. Soheila Motallebi, another member of the Baha’i community of Qa’emshahr, was also arrested by the members of the same Ministry. No charges have been filed against her, and she continues to remain in the prison of the Intelligence Ministry.

In addition, ‘Ali Ahmadi, one of the leading Baha’is of Qa’emshahr, who was incarcerated some time ago, continues to languish in prison.

It is noteworthy that, according to reports received by our office, these occurrences took place at the instigation and instruction of a certain individual known as “Movahhed”, who is the chief of the Ministry of Intelligence in the province of Mazandaran. His actions have created a most disturbing and worrisome condition for the Baha’is of this province.

[Previous arrests of two Baha’is in Qa’emshahr were reported in Iran Press Watch some time ago. On Wednesday, 26 November 2008, Human Rights Activists of Iran published the above report at http://www.hrairan.org/Archive_87/1225.html and it now appears here in translation.]

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