Iranian authorities arrested two members of Iran’s long persecuted Baha’i religious minority on Sunday amid an intensified crackdown on the faith group, IranWire can report.
Thirteen Kerman Intelligence Department agents raided the houses of Roha Imani and Firuzeh Sultan Mohammadi and, after searching the houses, arrested both of them and transferred them to an unknown location, sources told IranWire.
Agents also stormed the house of one of Imani’s relatives and confiscated their religious books.
Dozens of Baha’i citizens have been detained over the past few weeks in Iran. Among those arrested are Sapehr Ziyai, Payam Vali, Argwan Zabihi, Arash Zamani and Aida Rasti in Tehran, Sanaz Tafzoli in Mashhad, Saman Khadim and Leili Karmi in Shiraz.
The Iranian authorities’ crackdown on members of the Baha’i minority appears to have accelerated since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police in September, triggering anti-government protests across Iran.
Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, Baha’is in Iran have faced systematic discrimination and harassment, including deportation, barriers to education, property confiscations, imprisonment, torture, and executions.
Even the dead haven’t been spared: All Baha’i cemeteries in Iranian cities and villages have been confiscated and destroyed. New buildings were built on the burial grounds in order to leave no traces of the remains.
There are some 300,000 Baha’is in Iran and an estimated five million believers worldwide.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes several minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha’i faith.