Translation by Iran Press Watch
According to information received by Iran International, on the evening of December 15th, agents from the Ministry of Information raided the post-wedding celebration of a Baha’i couple, Milad Aghdasi and Samieh Gholinejad, in Yazd. The agents also searched the home of the groom’s parents, Mahmoud Aghdasi and Soheila Islami, and confiscated personal belongings of the residents and their guests.
A source close to the family of these Baha’i citizens told Iran International, “After the wedding celebration of Milad Aghdasi and his wife, Samieh Gholinejad, Milad’s parents hosted a post-wedding celebration at their home and invited a number of close relatives. At 9 PM on Thursday, nearly an hour after the celebration began, twenty agents—both male and female—broke the entrance door and entered by force. They searched the home of Mahmoud Aghdasi and his wife, Soheila Islami, for approximately two hours, after presenting a search warrant.”
According to this informed source, after searching the house, the agents inspected the automobiles of the house residents and the guests at the post-wedding celebration, confiscating personal belongings, including religious books and mobile phones of the residents and guests, as well as the jewelry belonging to Soheila Islami.
The source continued, stating: “During the search of the house, a few guests, including children and the elderly, started feeling sick, and an ambulance was called to the location.”
Based on information obtained by Iran International, due to the fear caused by the agents’ raid, the house residents and guests contacted the police. However, the police were not permitted to enter, and no action was taken due to the presence of the agents.
A source close to the Aghdasi family pointed out that during the search, the agents threw furniture violently, causing damage to the house and its contents.
Among those present, Samieh Gholinejad had been detained in August/September of the previous year because of her Baha’i beliefs. In October/November of this year, Branch Nine of the Court of Appeal of Mazindaran Province sentenced her to a fifty-million-tuman pecuniary penalty in lieu of two years and one month of incarceration.
In recent months, security and judicial institutions have intensified pressure on Baha’i citizens. In a statement issued on December 4th related to this, the Baha’i International Community described “the new and more violent methods” the Islamic Republic is using to “suppress the Baha’is”.
Unofficial sources report that more than 300 thousand Baha’is live in Iran; however, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as religions. Baha’is are the largest non-Muslim minority in Iran, systematically persecuted since the 1979 revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic.