Baha'is face new wave of arrests in Iran

19 November 2015

BIC NEW YORK — The Baha'i community in Iran is facing yet another wave of arrests and shop closures.

In a coordinated attack on the community by Iranian authorities on Sunday 15 November, twenty Baha'is were arrested in three cities after their homes were raided and searched.

The arrests occurred in the cities of Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad. The confirmed names are as follows:

6 in Tehran

Mr. Sahba Farnoush

Ms. Negar Bagheri

Ms. Nava Monjazeb

Mr. Yavar Haghighat

Mr. Navid Aghdasi

Ms. Helia Moshtagh

9 in Isfahan

Mr.Keyvan Nik-Aien

Ms. Parvin Nik-Aien

Ms. Yeganeh Agahi

Mr. Matin Janamian

Mr. Arshia Rowhani

Ms. Zarrin Agha Babaie

Mr. Adib Janamian

Mr. Sahab Rowhani

Mr. Vahid Karami

5 in Mashhad

Ms. Sanaz Eshaghi

Ms. Nika Pakzadan

Ms. Farzaneh Daneshgari

Ms. Nagmeh Zabihian

Ms. Nakisa Hajipour

Additionally, 28 shops were closed down by the authorities in Mazandaran and Kerman. Significantly, these closures took place a day after the Baha’i community marked two of the most significant Baha’i Holy Days—the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha’u’llah, which fall on consecutive days—by refraining from work. For shop owners, this entails closing their stores—an act which then leads to a punitive response from the authorities, who have frequently prevented the Baha’is from reopening their shops. Indeed, some shops that were closed after the Twin Holy Days in 2014 have yet to be permitted to reopen.

Further details are pending.

(Editor's note: On 24 November 2015, five more names were added to the list of Baha'is arrested on 15 November: 4 in Isfahan and 1 in Mashhad. Further, in paragraph 4, the number of shop closures was changed to more accurately reflect updated information.)