Eight Baha’i Women Arrested in Iran

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Washington, 15 January (IranVNC)—Iran’s Law Enforcement Force [LEF] officials announced today that they had arrested eight Baha’i women on the Persian Gulf island of Kish. The women stand accused of proselytizing the Baha’i Faith, including distribution of Baha’i books, and using their “sexual charms to lure young Muslims”.

The Baha’i Faith is forbidden in Iran and in the past three decades many Baha’is have been imprisoned, while over 200 members of that faith have been executed.

According to Fars News Agency, Colonel Soleiman Malekzadeh, the special LEF commander for the Island of Kish in an interview with the police information center on Thursday, January 15, while reporting the arrest of these eight women, added that all eight are residents of Tehran and have been arrested in Kish shopping malls.

“All of those arrested are members of Baha’i families and during the initial investigation of a hotel in Kish where they were staying, a number of newly printed books on Baha’ism were discovered and confiscated,” Malekzadeh said.

Tabnak news website, which belongs to Mehdi Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s influential Expediency Discernment Council and former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC], who is close to Iran’s law enforcement and security circles, on Thursday, quoted police officials as saying that the eight Baha’i women on Kish Island were distributing Baha’i-Faith-proselytizing brochures and books, and accused them of “taking advantage of sexual attractions for deceiving Muslim youths”.

On Thursday it was also announced that Iran’s LEF had searched the homes of over ten Baha’i families in Tehran, and had arrested five Baha’is.

The offices of the Human Rights Activists in Iran also announced that Iran’s LEF has searched the home of Zhinus Sahabi, the secretary of the closed-down offices of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights and Mine Clearing Collaboration Campaign, who was arrested last week. Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel peace prize laureate, is in charge of both these foundations. The Center for Defense of Human Rights was closed on charges that it did not have an official license.

Human Rights Activists in Iran also reported the expulsion of nine Baha’i students from the University of Kerman.

[Source: IranVNC at http://iranvnc.com/floater_article1.aspx?lang=en&t=floater_censoredculture&id=7277]

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