Agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry ransacked the residences of dozens of Baha’i citizens in coordinated raids in the provinces of Tehran, Alborz, Isfahan, and Mazandaran, impounding their personal belongings such as computers, laptops, cellphones and religious books.
Reports indicate that 30 to 50 houses were searched on Sunday, November 22.
Some of the raids were carried out without search warrants.
The agents entered the houses in groups of several and confiscated the Baha’is properties.
All of the Baha’i families have not been identified as yet and it is still not clear why these homes were raided.
Afif Naeemi, Shahram and Taher Safajou, Niki Khanjani, Homa Etemadi, Shahrokh Taef, Riyazollah Sobhani, Ataollah Ashrafi, Dariush Diani, Bahador Motaarefi, Parvin Namdar, Fariborz Behin Ain, Ehsan Makari, Elham Amiri, Nasser Dalli, Shahla Hekmatshoar and Khosrow Shafizadeh are among those Baha’is whose homes were raided and whose belongings were confiscated by Iranian security agents.
Iranian authorities have consistently claimed that all religious minorities in Iran are free and enjoy citizenship rights, but in the past four decades, religious minorities, especially the Baha’is, have faced descrimination and deprivation of basic citizenship rights.
The Iranian regime considers the nation’s estimated 300,000 Baha’is to be heretics with no religion, and routinely arrest them for practicing their faith, accusing them of national security offenses without disclosing evidence.
In a May briefing with reporters, U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said he was “particularly” concerned by Iran’s treatment of its Baha’i prisoners.