Baha’i Youth Arrested in Shiraz



On Thursday, April 9, 2009, Iran Press News reported in Persian the following report which is offered below in translation by Iran Press Watch.  This report was filed by the Religious Committee of Human Rights Group in Germany.

Mr. Afshin Ahsanian, resident of Shiraz was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence on April 8, 2009, and arrested.  His father was also called to appear at the same Ministry and interrogated, but was released.

Mr. Afshin Ahsanian is one of the 50 Baha’i youth who on May 19, 2006, were arrested because of their participation in a humanitarian project to aid the deprived children and youth of the area.  This group of Baha’i youth was released after a week of incarceration and their imprisonment sentence was suspended on the condition that they would attend classes on Islam.  The entire group started attending these classes starting February 2008.

In addition to the above report, Iran Press Watch has learned that the initial call from the Intelligence Ministry was for Afshin’s father.  Since he is in an advanced age, it was decided that Afshin would accompany his father to Palak 100, the Detention Center of the Intelligence Ministry.  When the father and son arrived at the building, Afshin was asked to wait outside while his father was conducted inside the building.  After a while, Afshin inquired of his father’s condition and at that time, he was taken inside while his father was asked to leave the building.  Afshin was then imprisoned and when his family asked about the charges against him, they were only told “Because he’s a Baha’i.”

Three years ago, 54 Baha’i youth in Shiraz were arrested during a social-economic project to aid the deprived children of villages near Shiraz – and Afshin Ahsanian was one of these youth. The entire group was sentenced to one year suspended imprisonment, but three of them, namely, Raha Sabet, Haleh Ruhi and Sasan Taqavi, were incarcerated.  Since then, three more Baha’i youth of this group are imprisoned.

[Posted on April 9, 2009, at  Translation by Iran Press Watch.]


2 Responses

  1. Mark Obenauer

    April 11, 2009 11:08 pm

    I may be entirely mistaken, but does Iran still force women such as the young women including the young woman in Hamadan into forced marriages to make them Moslem? And if so, what law would the authorities plead to make such activity legal? I just find it interesting that young women have lately been targets.


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