Baha’i Mother and Daughter Released in Zahedan While Yazd Baha’i Fariba Ashtari Arrested

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Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA ‒ Fariba Ashtari, a Baha’i resident in Yazd, was detained by security forces on Monday, December 2, and taken to an unknown location. Officers also searched Ms. Ashteri’s home during her detention and seized some of her personal belongings. Also, Kimia Pour Sadeghian and Nasim Shoghi, mother and daughter Baha’i residents of Zahedan who were arrested by security forces on Tuesday, November 19, were released on bail pending the end of the proceedings.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists in Iran, on Monday, December 2, Fariba Ashtari, a Baha’i resident of Yazd, was arrested at her home by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

During their visit to Ms. Ashtari’s home and her arrest, five of the Ministry of Intelligence agents are said to have also searched her home and seized some personal belongings, including cell phones, computers and books related to the Baha’i Faith.

It should be noted that this Baha’i citizen is suffering from heart disease, and has recently undergone two surgeries.

Fariba Ashtari in 2014 was sentenced to two years of imprisonment and a one year suspended prison sentence on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “membership in the Baha’i community organization.”

Ms. Ashtari’s husband, Naser Bagheri, is currently serving a nine-month sentence in Yazd Prison. Faez Bagheri, Fariba Ashtari’s son, has also been sentenced to 3 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Yazd.

Also, Kimia Pour Sadeghian and Nasim Shoghi, Baha’i mother and daughter residents of Zahedan, were released on bail on Wednesday, December 4, until the end of court proceedings.

The two Baha’i citizens were arrested by security forces on Tuesday, November 19, and taken to an unknown location. Officers also searched the mother and daughter’s home at the time of their arrest, and seized some of their personal belongings, such as laptops and some handwritten notes.

Baha’i citizens in Iran are systematically denied freedom of religious belief,even though under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of religion and religious conversion with conviction and the freedom to express it individually or collectively, and in public or in private.

According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is, but the Iranian Constitution recognizes only the religions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism; it does not recognize Baha’ism ‒ therefore, over many years, Baha’is rights have been systematically violated.


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