Arrests of Three Baha’is



Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA, the news agency for Human Rights Activists in Iran, in three separate accounts reports of the arrest of three Baha’is across Iran. Farid Moghadam Ziraki of Birjand, Sohaila Haghighat of Shiraz, and Parisa Sobhanian Najafabadi of the village of Mehrabad Rud-i-Hen in Damavand were arrested by security forces on August 3 and August 10, 2019.

Farid Moghadam Ziraki, who had previously been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Birjand and interrogated in 2017 and 2018, is accused by that office of being active in support of “the intensification of sanctions” and “membership in the misguided sect”, a term used for followers of the Baha’i Faith.  Upon his arrest on August 3, 2019, Farid Moghadam Ziraki was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center, and has only been able to make contact with his family once since then.

On August 10, 2019, Sohaila Haghighat of Shiraz was arrested and taken to an unknown location, following a raid of her home by seven masked members of Intelligence officers, who searched her home and confiscated some of her personal belongings, including computers, identification documents, bank IDs as well as her birth certificate and passport.

At the time of her arrest Ms. Haghighat was hosting a class, and all class participants were also interrogated and their personal information recorded.

Parisa Sobhanian Najafabadi, a resident of the village of Mehrabad Rud-i-Hen in  Damavand in Tehran province, was arrested on August 10, 2019, following an early morning raid of her home by officers of the Ministry of Intelligence.  The arrest followed a search of her home and the confiscation of her books and personal belongings.

As of the time of this reporting, no information is available about the reason for her arrest or her location.

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, two other Baha’is, Ruhollah Zibaie and Abolfazl Ansari, were arrested in Karaj.  Media outlets close to the government claimed the reason for Ruhollah Zibaie’s arrest was his activity in support of “the intensification of sanctions”.

Baha’is in Iran are denied freedom of religion, a systematic exclusion, in contravention of article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to both of which Iran is a signatory, which state that everyone has a right to freedom of religion and to religious conversion based on personal belief, as well as the freedom to express it, individually or collectively, in public or in private.

According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is; however, the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, Baha’i rights in Iran have been systematically violated over a number of years.


3 Responses

  1. Brooks Garis

    August 26, 2019 11:54 pm

    We are surprised that, after 40 years, this regime still pretends Baha’is, who willingly go to prison rather than renounce their faith, would violate their faith’s tenants. It is universally known that Baha’is obey their government; flee from any hint of disruption; work for the benefit of their countrymen and for human unity. Is this not proved in Iran for 175 years, the country of their faith’s birth?

    We measure the high standard of truth by the sacrifice one willingly makes for the love of honesty. So, Baha’is, who hurt no one, but who die rather than say some simple words renouncing their faith, refuses those words even to gain an education or keep a job or save their possessions or save their very lives, these honest-to-death people would never waste their lives on such taudry things as they are being charged with.

    • John Rager

      August 27, 2019 3:37 pm

      The sheer ridiculousness of these arrests and accusations demonstrates that these Ayatollahs have no clue about who their real enemy is – reason and social progress.

  2. Dianne Mahboubi

    August 27, 2019 12:30 am

    Belief is not something to be controlled by none believers who trying to control peoples intellect and minds to enforce their own beliefs on others,Its a very ungodly thing to do and these mindless people will pay for it in the next life when facing justice, What I don’t understand is Why they do this? Do they have pleasure in harming others or is it that they genuinely think they are right? If as Muslims do believe that God created us all as His children then surely they must know they are harming his prophets by denying human rights to minority people.. God sees what they are doing and will in the end they will regret their doings while on this earth. no one should be allowed to dictate who can believe in his own faith as its a personal choice.
    God Bless those suffering souls and we pray to forgive those wrongdoers for their terrible mistakes


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