Mohammad Zolfaghari

Eight Baha’is Arrested in Isfahan by Iran’s Security Forces

Iranian security forces on Sunday, September 23, arrested eight followers of the Baha’i faith in Isfahan, central Iran.

There is still no news of the charges brought against the detainees whose whereabouts after arrest remains unknown.

The detainees are included, Afshin Bolbolan, Anoush Rayneh, Milad Davaran, Farhang Sahba, Bahareh Zeini, Sepideh Rouhani, and Fozhan Rashidi.

In September, reports from Iran indicated that six members of the Baha’i community were arrested by the Intelligence Ministry agents in the city of Shiraz, south-central Iran.

Baha’is in Iran face state harassment and discrimination and their faith is not officially recognized.

In past years, many Baha’is have been banned from higher education and their businesses have been shut down.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. However, Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

About the Author
Mohammad Zolfaghari is a Baha'i News reporter and human rights defender who worked exclusively on Human Rights Violations especially religious minorities in Iran and as a documentary maker with Amnesty International. Lives in Norway.
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