Baha’i citizen Arsalan Yazdani is still being held in one of Evin Prison’s security detention centers 20 days after his arrest.
According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mr. Yazdani has said in a phone call with his family that he will probably remain in custody for another two to three weeks.
“Mr. Yazdani was not given the permission to speak to his young children until Saturday the 18th,” a source close to Yazdani’s family told HRANA. “In his previous contacts, he did not even know where he was being held.”
Yazdani was arrested by security forces in Tehran on September 1 and transferred to an unknown location.
According to unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have beeen systematically violated for years.
This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.