Payam Vali and Sepehr Ziaei, Baha’i Citizens, Arrested

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Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA News Agency – Two Baha’i citizens were arrested by the security forces on Saturday, September 24, 2022, and taken to an unknown location. Sepehr Ziaei was arrested at his home in Tehran. Payam Vali was arrested in Karaj at his business. Both Mr. Vali and his son, Adib Vali, were beaten by the officers.

A well-known source told Harana: “Yesterday, eight forces of the Ministry of Intelligence went to Payam Vali’s workplace in Karaj and tried to detain this Baha’i citizen by beating him. Then the security forces searched his house, and in the meantime Adib, Mr. Vali’s son, was also beaten by the security forces. The officers confiscated a number of Adib Vali’s personal devices, including his mobile phone and laptop and took them with them.
At the same time, 15 security forces went to the house of Sepehr Ziaei, a Baha’i citizen living in Tehran, and arrested him.  While searching the house, the officers confiscated some of the personal belongings of the family members, including mobile devices, laptops and computers, bank and personal documents and some cash and took them with them.

At the time of this report the location of where these men are being held, and reason for their arrest is unknown.

Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of liberties of practicing their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs while Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 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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