On July 12, 2023, in a concerning development, security forces in Kerman apprehended and detained five Baha’i citizens.
The detainees, identified as Foad Shaker, Shahram Fallah, Yekta Fallah, Behnam Pour-Ahmadi, and Paridokht Shojaei, were subsequently transferred to an undisclosed location. During the arrest, agents conducted a search of the house and their vehicles and seized some of their personal belongings.
The exact reasons behind the arrests and the specific location of their detention remain unknown, deepening concerns about potential human rights violations. One reliable source, who spoke to HRANA revealed that these individuals were apprehended at the residence of Shahram Fallah, where they were guests.
According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian Constitution recognizes only Islam as the official religion, in addition to Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Bahai faith is not considered legitimate by the authorities, and the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.
The deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.