Religious Persecution Against Baha’is Continues in Iran

By The Free Iranian Staff
Left to right: Forough Farzaneh, Noushin Afshar and Neda Sabeti
Left to right: Forough Farzaneh, Noushin Afshar and Neda Sabeti

Three Baha’i women from Ahvaz and Abadan, Noushin Afshar, Neda Sabeti and Forough Farzaneh, were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment in Abadan on October 9th, on charges of “propaganda against the state.”

Originally arrested at their homes in Abadan on May 6th by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the three were first detained in Ahvaz’s Sepidar Prison. During their detention, as close friends of the women informed human rights activists, the IRGC tortured them during interrogation sessions in order to extract false confessions. The women were then released a week later, on May 13th, but rearrested by the IRGC that same day, and held again until May 30th when they were finally granted bail.

It is illegal to practice the Baha’i faith in Iran under the Khomeiniist regime, as the ruling Shi’a clerics consider the religion to be an Islamic heresy. Consequently, Iranian Baha’is are forced to keep their faith a secret. Baha’is are also forbidden to attend schools or to be employed. If discovered to be following that religion, they risk imprisonment, and in some cases, execution.  Anti-Baha’i repression has been especially heavy over the past couple of years. 

 

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