Alarming reports are emerging about a significant increase in attacks on the Bahá’is in Iran.
In June and July of this year there were reports of a sharp increase in arrests of innocent Bahá’is, whose only “crime” is their religious belief. “crime” is their religious belief.
In the first three days of August alarming reports from the rural village of Roushankouh in Mazandaran Province indicated that Iran’s longstanding campaign to suppress the peaceful and law-abiding Bahá’i community has taken a violent turn, reminiscent of the earliest period of the 1979 Revolution.
In summary, the key developments are as follows:
• The imprisonment of 26 Bahá’is in the city of Shiraz alone, including many parents of infant children. Across Iran hundreds of Bahá’ís have been either raided, arrested or recalled to prison in recent days and dozens others have been targeted since June.
• The re-arrest of three former members of the Yaran, the informal leadership committee of the Bahá’í community, all of whom have already served 10 years imprisonment as prisoners of conscience.
• The sealing off of the village of Roushankouh, Mazandaran Province by 200 armed agents of the Iranian state, followed by the demolition of Bahá’í homes and seizure of Bahá’í land.
This is the most serious development facing the Bahá’is in Iran for many years. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has already made public comment, condemning these senseless acts of cruelty. For the U.K. Lord Ahmad has made a statement from the FCDO here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fcdo-minister-statement-on-treatment-of-bahai-in-iran.
The Times has run an article on 9th August on this story: Iran jails Bahai faith leaders and demolishes homes in religious crackdown | World | The Times
As a Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief I have added my voice to the calls for Iran to release the Baha’i prisoners and compensate those who have lost their property. I have also drawn the situation to the attention of Liz Truss MP, the Foreign Secretary, and to Fiona Bruce MP, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief
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