Editor’s Note: Iran Press Watch regrets that due to the pressure of work it failed to report on an important development in Semnan, as reported through Mihan site on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. For the sake of the completeness of our historical records, that report is now shared in translation:
In mid February 2009, Murteza Hamidi [presumably a Muslim] was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence in Semnan.
Previously, on December 15, 2008, his home was raided at the same time as the homes of 20 Baha’i families were attacked by agents of the same Ministry in a widespread operation.
The charge against Mr. Hamidi is “possession of Baha’i books and materials”, and “relationship with Baha’is”. It should be noted that his grandfather is a Baha’i, as are many other members of his family; therefore it is perfectly natural and understandable for Hamidi to have Baha’i printed materials in his possession and to have interactions with Baha’is.
Repeated efforts by his family to secure his freedom have remained futile, and Mr. Hamidi continues to languish in prison without any recourse. The other point that adds to the anxiety of this situation is that Mr. Hamidi and his family have been extensively pressured by the Ministry of Intelligence to file complaints against some Baha’i residents of Semnan for promoting the Baha’i Faith to him and his children. Through this method, the authorities hope to create a legal pretext for further harassment and persecution of the Baha’is of Semnan.
Is this effort not another step in an organized and systematic campaign to eliminate the Baha’is of Semnan? This would then be an effort which could serve as a dangerous and inhumane model for the rest of the nation to entirely eliminate the Baha’is.
[Posted on http://emails.mihanblog.com/post/125. Translation by Iran Press Watch.]