UN Human Rights Experts: Stop Persecution of Baha’is

In a statement issued on August 22, UN Human Rights Experts urged Iranian authorities to stop “persecution and harassment of religious minorities and end the use of religion to curtail the exercise of fundamental rights”. In recent weeks, security and judicial authorities targeted dozens of Baha’is in a new wave of arrests, house searches, land confiscations and home demolishing. 

Additionally, dozens of Baha’is were banned from entering the university. The organization demanded that the international community should not remain silent while”the Iranian authorities use overbroad and vague national security and espionage charges to silence religious minorities or people with dissenting opinions, remove them from their homes and effectively force them into internal displacement”.

Further, the organization called for an “immediate and unconditional release of all individuals detained on the basis of their religious affiliation.”

In recent weeks, in several cities across the country, security forces raided at least 36 Baha’i houses. They also arrested 44 Baha’is including three members of a now-disbanded Baha’i group known as the “Yaran e Iran” or “Friends of Iran.” 

In early August, in Roshan-Kouh village, Mazandaran Province, state-owned agencies demolished Baha’i-owned houses and grabbed their lands. During this operation, the security forces arrested a Baha’i citizen and beat another one.

Also, this year, like the previous years, many Baha’is were banned from entering the university under the pretext of “document deficiencies”. So far, HRANA has identified 63 Baha’i applicants whose enrollments have been rejected by the National Organization of Educational Testing (NOET).