Pattern of arrest and release continues in Iran

27 June 2006

— Baha'is arrested and imprisoned in recent weeks without charge in Shiraz and Hamadan, Iran, have been released, most on the basis of some collateral, the Baha'i International Community has learned. Trial dates for nearly 130 Baha'is across Iran have yet to be announced.

"We are concerned that this pattern of arrest and release is being used increasingly as another form of harassment of the Baha'is," said Bani Dugal, the Baha'i International Community's principal representative to the United Nations. "Holding on to the assets of people who have not been charged with any crime and whose trial date is unknown are part of the larger strategy of intimidation to deny the community's rights and opportunities."

In Hamadan, meanwhile, three other Baha'is were arrested on 18 June, jailed for three days and released. They were arrested after government officials searched their homes and confiscated computers, books and Baha'i documents.

Earlier, the last three of the group of 54 Baha'is, mostly young people arrested on 19 May in Shiraz, were released on 14 June. The group was the largest number of Baha'is arrested at one time since the 1980's.

Although the judge originally demanded a bond equivalent to $54,000, the three in Shiraz were released without bail on the promise that they would return for a later court appearance. No formal charges have been made against them. However, in most cases, some form of bail, such as deeds of property, were demanded before release.

Currently, two Baha'is, arrested in Tehran and Sanandaj, still remain in prison.

For more information on the situation of the Baha'is in Iran , please go here: http://www.bahai.org/persecution/iran

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