Arrest of 10 Baha’i Women in Isfahan Sparks Concern

On October 23, 2023, security forces in Isfahan arrested ten Baha’i women, raising concerns about their well-being. The detained individuals are identified as Neda Badakhsh, Arezoo Sobhanian, Yeganeh Roohbakhsh, Mojgan Shah Rezaie, Parastoo Hakim, Yeganeh Agahi, Bahareh Lotfi, Shana Shoghifar, Negin Khademi, and Neda Emadi.

According to a Baha’i citizen who shared information with HRANA, Ministry of Intelligence agents conducted searches of the women’s residences and confiscated some of their belongings.

At present, the reasons for their arrest and the specific allegations against them remain undisclosed, raising questions and concerns about their situation.

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.