Five weeks after the arrest of Faraz Haghighatjo, a member of Iran’s persecuted Baha’i religious minority, his relatives still don’t know what he is being accused of.
The prosecutor in charge of Haghighatjo’s case has recently extended his detention, a source close to the family told IranWire, fueling concern that his interrogators have pressured him to confess to crimes he did not commit.
Iranian authorities routinely extract confessions from prisoners or their family members by force, which are then broadcast for propaganda purposes and used in court to convict people in unfair trials.
“Leg Tremor, neuromuscular Weakness and digestive Problems”
Iranian security forces detained Haghighatjo in the southern city of Shiraz on December 11, amid an intensified crackdown on the Baha’i faith.
IranWire’s source said that his relatives were given no information about their loved one for more than a month.
“Finally, they learned after 35 days that Faraz was detained in one of the detention centers” of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Shiraz, the source said.
“The family found out from his short phone calls that Faraz is not in good physical and mental condition and has problems such as leg tremor, neuromuscular weakness and digestive problems.”
Haghighatjo’s detention comes as the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on members of the Baha’i minority appears to have accelerated since July 2022. The clampdown has continued after the eruption of nationwide demonstrations in September.
Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, Baha’is in Iran have faced systematic discrimination and harassment, including deportation, restrictions to education, property confiscations, imprisonment, torture, and executions.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes a number of minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha’i faith.
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