Seventeen Baha’is Arrested in Iran and Two Elderly Women Harassed by Agents

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Security agents in Iran conducted a wave of raids on the homes of Baha’is in the cities of Hamadan and Mehrshahr, arresting at least 17 individuals and seizing personal belongings, including electronic devices, religious texts, photographs, and cash.

Eyewitnesses described the raids as “armed” and “violent,” with security forces entering homes without warrants and ransacking them. 

Also on Tuesday, security agents conducted raids on the homes of three Baha’i families in Hamadan. They were subsequently summoned for questioning.

According to information from reliable sources, security agents arrived at the residence of an 80-year-old woman named Poran Khandel and her son. Additionally, they went to the house of Akhtar Naeemi, an 85-year-old woman. 

During these house searches, the individuals were issued summons for questioning.

Khandel and Naeemi have faced continuous pressure from government security forces, despite their advanced age and health issues. In 1981, the Islamic Republic executed the husbands of these two women, Hossein Khandel and Firooz Naeemi, due to their Baha’i beliefs.

Security agents also searched the house of Mehran Khandel and his wife, Jinoos Shadabi, who are the son and daughter-in-law of Poran Khandel, in Hamadan. Personal belongings were confiscated during this search.

In Hamadan, at least eight Baha’is were arrested. The arrested individuals are Atefeh Zahedi, Masoud Azarnoush, Zarin Ahadzadeh, Naeem Aghdasi, Neda Mohebi, Jinous Shadabi, Jaleh Rezaei, Farideh Ayoubi and Nora Ayoubi, according to Radio Farda. 

Sources reported that security forces seized personal belongings from these individuals.

At least nine Baha’is were also arrested in Mehrshahr, near Tehran on Tuesday night. 

The arrested individuals are Shervin Shabrukh, Babak Zainli, Sohba Taif, Nika Ismailpour, Iman Ehsani, Iren Rahmani, Fawad Taifi, as well as Reza and Fahimeh Yazdi. 

There is no information available regarding the reasons for their arrests or their current whereabouts.

The Iranian government has intensified its crackdown on members of the Baha’i faith, which is not recognized by the Islamic Republic and faces systematic persecution, imprisoning dozens of them on spurious charges over the past few months.


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