[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adopted from website:] Centre for Human Rights in Iran

[Date:] 22 Azar 1387 [12 December 2008]

 

Release the Baha’is Detained in Mazandaran

Recent Arrests Indicate That Government Has Targeted the Baha’i Community

22 Azar 1387 [12 December 2008] - The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has expressed deep concern over the recent arrests of three Baha’is in Mazandaran Province and called on the Iranian authorities to respond to these arrests.

In late Aban [November] and early Azar [November] of this year, security forces arrested Masoud Ataeian, Soheila Motallebi and Anvar Moslemi in the cities of Qaemshahr and Sari in Mazandaran Province over a period of six days.

Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said:

“Concerns about the health and safety of these detainees are due to the fact that these detentions continue a pattern of repression and the process of arbitrary detention of members of the Baha’i community.” Ghaemi added, “The fact that the government has not yet commented on the arrest of six prominent members of the Baha’i community earlier this year in itself fuels this worrying trend”.

Masoud Ataeian was arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on 27 Aban 1387 [17 November 2008] at his home in Qaemshahr. The security forces, led by Mr. Movahhed, searched Ataeian’s home, tore down religious images, and confiscated his religious books and documents related to his work, as well as his personal computer. Ataeian has not been allowed to see his lawyer so far and has only made a brief contact with his family.

The agents of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Soheila Motallebi at her home in Sari on 1 Azar 1387 [21 November 2008] without presenting a summons or search warrant. They searched her home and took away her religious documents and books. Soheila Motallebi is in custody at the Sari Intelligence Office and has not yet contacted her family. Abdol-Fattah Soltani, the human rights lawyer who has defended her, has not yet been able to meet with her.

Anvar Moslemi was arrested two days later, on 3 Azar [23 November] in Sari.

A number of Baha’is were arrested in Mazandaran this year. Tarazollah Allahverdi and his wife, Sonia Tebyanian, were arrested on 26 Mehr 1387 [17 October 2008] in Behshahr. Siamak Ebrahimian, who was released two years ago, was arrested again on 14 Aban 1387 [4 November 2008] in Tonekabon. Siamak, who is currently in prison, has been sentenced to six months in prison and two years in exile in Zabol, more than 1,100 kilometres away from where he lives.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on the international community to protest the continued persecution of Baha’is and calls on the Iranian authorities to end the unjust treatment of Baha’is and the detention of members of the Baha’i community throughout the country.