Baha’i Sepideh Rashidi Detained in Ahvaz by IRGC Intelligence

IRGC intelligence officials have detained Baha’i citizen Sepideh Rashidi (Derakhshan) in Ahvaz, subsequently transferring her to an undisclosed location. This action has significantly heightened her family’s concerns due to the absence of information about her current condition.

A source close to Rashidi’s family confirmed to HRANA that her arrest occurred on Monday, May 27, 2024. During the arrest, IRGC Intelligence agents conducted an extensive search of her family’s home and seized some of her personal belongings.

As of now, the reasons for Rashidi’s arrest, her exact whereabouts, and any formal charges remain undisclosed.

Baha’is are subjected to violations of their religious rights, comprising 82% of reports on infringements against religious minorities, according to HRA’s 2023 annual report.

The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion by Iranian authorities, leading to systematic and longstanding violations of the rights of Baha’is in the country. This includes the denial of their fundamental right to practice their religion, which constitutes a clear breach of both 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.