Armed agents raided the homes of 20 Baha’is in the city of Hamadan, arresting 10, and detained another 9 Baha’is in Karaj, taking a total of 19 into custody. The homes of two elderly Baha’i women in Hamadan—one of them suffering from several illnesses—were also searched. Akhtar Naiemi is 85 years old and Pouran Khandel is 80: their husbands were among more than 200 Baha’is executed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Baha’i International Community is tracking this developing situation with grave concern. Iran’s government must release all detained Baha’is. Arresting innocent people, especially the ailing and elderly, is inhumane and illegal under international law.
The Iranian government continues to arrest Baha’is in Iran and continue to persecute this religious minority. Iranian authorities are being urged to release all detained Baha’is immediately and to respect the human rights of all Iranian citizens.
The Baha’i faith is a peaceful religion that promotes tolerance and understanding. Baha’is have been persecuted in Iran for over 100 years. They have been denied jobs, education, and housing. They have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed.
The Iranian government’s treatment of the Baha’is is a stain on its reputation. The international community continues to speak out against this persecution and demands that the Iranian government respect the human rights of all its citizens.
- The Iranian government’s actions violate international obligations. Iran is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion and belief.
- The persecution of the Baha’is is a form of religious discrimination. It is unacceptable that any government should discriminate against its citizens based on their religion.
- The Iranian government’s actions are counterproductive. They only serve to further alienate the Baha’i community and to make it more difficult to achieve reconciliation and unity in Iran.