Surge in Persecution of Baha’i Women in Iran

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Dozens of Baha’i women in Iran have been summoned to court facing baseless criminal charges amid an escalation in the persecution of the Baha’i community.

Since early March, over 75% of the Baha’is summoned to court or prison—65 out of 85—have been women, announced the Baha’i International Community (BIC) on Tuesday.

Currently, two-thirds of all Baha’i prisoners in Iran are women. Many were detained without due process, with some detainees’ whereabouts still unknown.

The ongoing wave of persecution is part of a broader pattern of targeting women in Iran in the wake of the 2022 uprising.

Simin Fahandej, a representative of BIC to the United Nations in Geneva, emphasized the unity of women’s struggles in Iran, stating, ” The Iranian government puts you in jail, expels you from university, terminates your job, and persecutes you for standing up for your aspiration to live a full life as equal human beings.”

Unofficial estimates suggest that Iran is home to over 300,000 Baha’i citizens. However, the Iranian Constitution only officially recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as legitimate religions.

As the largest religious minority in Iran, the Baha’is have been subject to systematic harassment and persecution since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.


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