Iranian authorities have arrested a member of Iran’s long persecuted Baha’i religious minority amid an intensified crackdown on the faith, IranWire reports.
Sanaz Tafazuli was driving in her car in the eastern city of Mashhad on November 22 when she was apprehended by intelligence officers who confiscated her electronic devices and religious books.
Tafazuli was taken to an undisclosed location.
The Iranian authorities’ crackdown on members of the Baha’i minority appears to have accelerated after the September death of a 22-year-old woman in the custody of morality police triggered anti-government protests across Iran.
Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, Baha’is in Iran have faced systematic discrimination and harassment, including deportation, restrictions to education, property confiscations, imprisonment, torture, and executions.
The authorities have not spared the dead: All Baha’i cemeteries in Iranian cities and villages have been confiscated and destroyed. New buildings were built on the burial grounds in order to leave no traces of the remains.
Baha’is number some 300,000 in Iran and have an estimated 5 million followers worldwide.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes a number of minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha’i faith.