Five Baha’i citizens, who had been arrested in Shiraz and Yazd over the past few weeks, have been released. Five others recently detained still remain in the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence.
On Tuesday, September 26, four Baha’i citizens were arrested in Shiraz. Sahar Mohibpour and Roksana Vojdani were released on bail on October 18 and Bahareh Qaderi on October 19.
Setareh Ta’ami remains in custody after 24 days.
In addition, out of the six Baha’i citizens arrested on October 1 and October 5, in Yazd, two of them, Vida Ehrari and Mojgan Basiri, were released on October 19.
Shokoofeh Basiri, Jamal Qadirzadeh, Iman Rashidi, and Ahmad Jafari Naeemi remain in custody.
The reasons for the arrests and the current whereabouts of the five Baha’i citizens who remain in custody are unknown.
Baha’is have been persecuted in Iran for decades for their faith and are often accused of being spies or opposed to the Iranian government.
The Iranian government has intensified its crackdown on members of the Baha’i faith, imprisoning dozens of them on spurious charges over the past few months.
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.
The Baha’i community claims to have more than seven million followers worldwide, including some 300,000 in Iran.