On January 1, 2024, police agents and forest rangers carried out the confiscation of approximately 60 hectares of Baha’i-owned land in the Ahmadabad Village, adjacent to Sari in Mazandaran Province.
Acting on the orders of the Sari Prosecutor, the agents blocked access to the village and took possession of the lands. Ahmadabad Village is predominantly inhabited by Baha’is, and according to a resident who spoke to HRANA, the police have cordoned off the confiscated lands with barbed wire. Of these lands, 25 are already under wheat cultivation, a practice maintained by Baha’is for decades.
In an interview with IRNA, the Representative of the Mazandaran governor attempted to justify the seizure, citing unauthorized use and construction on the lands. However, HRANA’s sources dispute this claim, asserting that there has been no illegal construction, and the landowners have been cultivating these plots since 1947.
A villager shared with HRANA that a few years ago, a dam construction plan near the village was approved, and the landowners were supposed to receive alternative plots in exchange for the lands submerged by the dam construction. Following this recent confiscation, it appears they will receive no compensation.
This incident is part of a pattern of the government confiscating Baha’i lands and properties. In a similar occurrence in 2021 and 2022, the government seized cultivating lands belonging to Baha’is in Ivel, Roshan Kouh, Sari County.