Despite the passage of 10 days the following Baha’i citizens living in Shiraz are still being held in solitary confinement: Saeed Ettehad, Qassem Masoumi, Siamak Honarvar, Soroush Abadi, Sedigheh Aghdasi, Alieh Foroutan, and Behrooz Farzandi Ardakani.
These citizens were arrested on April 6th, 2021 after a search of their homes and confiscation of a number of personal belongings by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence agents, and were transferred to one of the detention centers under the supervision of this security agency.
Although the families of some of these citizens were able to meet with them for a few minutes recently, they have not received any response from the security and judicial authorities regarding the charges, the reasons for their detention, or the current situation of these citizens. Saeed Ettehad, Qassem Masoumi, Siamak Honarvar, Soroush Abadi, Sedigheh Aghdasi, Alieh Foroutan, and Behrouz Farzandi Ardakani are currently being held in solitary confinement in Shiraz Police Detention Center No. 201, under IRGC detention and interrogation.
These seven Baha’is, residents of Shiraz, were detained by security forces on April 6th. The homes of these citizens were also searched at the time of their arrest, and a number of their personal belongings, including cell phones, computers, as well as all books, works, and images related to the Baha’i Faith were confiscated. Simultaneously with the arrest of these Baha’i citizens, the homes of a number of other Baha’is, including Hayedeh Froutan, Keramat Nik Ain, and William Mumtazian, were invaded by security forces, and a number of their personal belongings confiscated.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of the freedom to practice their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs even though Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entitle any individual to freedom of religion and belief as well as the freedom to express it individually or collectively, in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism; it does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated in recent years.