Baha’i Couple Arrested in Villashahr, Isfahan

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Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA News Agency – A Baha’i couple living in Villashahr, Isfahan, have been taken into custody. Mojdeh Eghterafi and her husband, Hooshmand Talebi were arrested on Sunday, August 23rd, after responding to a summons to appear at one of the city’s security institutions. They were transferred to an unknown location. Following their arrest, agents raided the couple’s home and confiscated a number of the family’s personal items, including laptops, cell phones, books, and an acoustic piano. Officers also confiscated the family’s two cars and mini truck.

A source familiar with the detention of this Bahai couple told HRANA, “On Sunday, September 23rd, Hooshmand Talebi and his wife, Ms. Mojdeh Eghterafi, were summoned by a telephone call by intelligence agents to come in to retrieve some of their belongings that had been seized by intelligence agents in 2018. They got in their car and went there. Agents arrested Mozhdeh Eteqfiri there and confiscated their car. Five agents then, taking Mr. Talebi with them, went to the family’s home, searched it, and confiscated some of their personal belongings, including books, laptops, flash drives, mobile phones, their children’s musical instruments, including their daughter’s grand acoustic piano, put them on the mini truck and took them with them. Officers then told Mr. Talebi to sit behind his truck and drive behind them. Mr. Talebi was arrested upon return to this security institution, and his mini truck was also confiscated.”

At the time of this report, no information is available on the grounds for the arrests or what charges are involved. The whereabouts of this Baha’i couple is still unknown.

Vilashahr is a city in the central part of Najafabad district in Isfahan province.

Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of the right practice their religion. This systematic deprivation of their rights occurs despite Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entitle any individual to freedom of religion and belief and also freedom to express it individually or collectively and in public or in private.

According to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize the Baha’i faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated over past years.


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