Saturday * July 26th 2014

Baha’i Leaders Arrested in Iran

Members of the national coordinating group of the Iranian Baha’i community

 

On May 14, Iranian intelligence officials arrested six Baha’i leaders and took them to the notorious Evin prison. The imprisonments are ominously similar to episodes in the 1980s when scores of Iranian Baha’i leaders were summarily rounded up and subsequently executed.

 

The six men and women, all members of the national-level committee that coordinates the activities for the Iranian Baha’i community, were in their homes Wednesday morning when government intelligence agents entered and spent up to five hours searching each home, before taking them away.

 

The seventh member of the committee was arrested on March 5 in Mashhad after being summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence office there.

 

Arrested on May 14 were: Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All live in Tehran. Mrs. Kamalabadi, Mr. Khanjani, and Mr. Tavakkoli have been previously arrested and then released after periods ranging from five days to four months. The seventh member of the committee, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, also lives in Tehran although she has been detained in Mashhad.

 

These actions by the Iranian authorities are strongly reminiscent of their earlier treatment of Baha’i leaders when on August 21, 1980 all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, the national governing body, were abducted and disappeared without a trace. It is certain that they were killed.

 

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran reconstituted soon after those disappearances, and eight of those nine members were executed on December 27, 1981.

 

 

The Baha’i World News Service released an article with further details and statements by the Baha’i International Community.

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