There are at least 28 Baha’is in jail in different parts of Iran who are imprisoned because of their religion. At any given moment, there may actually be more than this number, but sometimes Baha’is are detained overnight and released, or they may be allowed out on bail after depositing with the court a sum in cash or surrendering business licenses or titles to property.
Among those in prison are all seven members of the Baha’i coordinating committee, and three young adults in Shiraz whose case was the subject of an internal investigation — the results of which completely vindicated the prisoners.
Harassment of Baha’is is pervasive and includes many incidents of all of the following:
- Arrests and detention, with imprisonment lasting for days, months, or years. In cases where the Baha’i is released, substantial bail is often required.
- Direct intimidation and questioning by authorities, sometimes with the use of high-intensity lights and physical mistreatment.
- Searches of homes and business, usually with Baha’i books and other items confiscated.
- School expulsions and harassment of schoolchildren.
- Prohibition on Baha’is attending universities.
- Court proceedings where Baha’is are accused of promoting propaganda against the government “for the benefit of the Bahaist sect.”
- Monitoring of the bank accounts, movement, and activities of Baha’is, including official questioning of Baha’is requiring them to give information about their lives, actions, neighbors, etc.
- Denial or confiscation of business licenses.
- Denial of work opportunities in general.
- Denial of rightful inheritances to Baha’is.
- Physical assaults, and efforts to drive Baha’is out of towns and villages.
- Desecration and destruction of Baha’i cemeteries, and harassment over burial rights.
- Dissemination, including in official news media, of misinformation about Baha’is, and incitement of hatred against Baha’is.
- Evictions from places of business, including Baha’i doctors from their offices and clinics.
- Intimidation of Muslims who associate with Baha’is.
- Attempts by authorities to get Baha’is to spy on other Baha’is.
- Threatening phone calls and letters to Baha’is.
- Denial of pension benefits.
- Denial of access to publishing or copying facilities for Baha’i literature.
- Confiscation of property.
Leave a Reply