The following is an unconfirmed report and requires further verification by the Baha’i institutions before it is accepted as factual. For that purpose, readers are advised to consult Baha’i World News Service (http://news.bahai.org/), the official source of news and information for the Baha’i community.
However, for the benefit of the readers of this site, the following is the text of a short (slightly edited) email received from Farid Tebianian on 22 October 2008:
My youngest aunt, Sonya, and her husband, Zia, were arrested by the Iranian authorities. They used to live in Behshahr, located in the northern Iran, near Sari. They had been missing for some ten days, and when their daughter called them about ten days ago, they didn’t answer, nor did their close family friend have any news of them. Eventually, it was determined that Sonya and Zia were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence.
Upon inquiring on charges against them, the Ministry stated that their arrest was due to “teaching the Baha’i Faith”. This is the same charge that has been brought against other Baha’is that were previously incarcerated, such as, Foad Na’imi, Soheila Khoshbin, Mr. Rooshan, all of whom are among the khademin of Sari. [N.b. Khademin are a group of Baha’is appointed in each locality to administer to the needs of the Baha’i community in that area.] Zia and Sonya previously served as the khademin of Behshahr.
Sonya and Zia have not been allowed a visit by their family and like other Baha’i prisoners, they remain without legal representation.