Between 9-15 June 2019, the houses of nine Baha’i families, Arshad Afshar, Aziz Afshar, Peyman Imani, Mahboubeh Hosseini, Bahram Safaei, Mehran Yazdani, Mesbah Karambakhsh, Sirous Golzar, and Naieem Haghiri were searched by security forces with warrant in Shahin Shahr. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, satellite devices, books, photos, pictorial carpets, identification documents, and working tools were confiscated. These citizens, along three other Baha’i citizens, were summoned by the judicial authorities.
The search had been going on, on different days, from 9 am to 2 pm by a group of seven security agents. They searched 11 Baha’i citizens’ houses and confiscated about 100 million Toman [approximate 7,000 USD] worth of belongings from these citizens. The agents didn’t provide any response to these families’ queries.
These 11 Baha’i citizens were summoned to the Intelligence Office. In addition, Naeem Haghiri was fired from his job under pressure of the intelligence office while Mitra Tashakori, Baha’i resident of Shahin Shahr, was summoned and threatened. Within the last two weeks, several previously licensed Baha’i businesses were shut down.
Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.
More than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. Iran’s constitution, however, recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.