Baha’i citizens in Iran are facing a new wave of arrests and raids on their homes in several cities across the country. In the past days, dozens of Baha’i citizens have been detained or summoned to begin their prison terms over their religious faith. Some have been harassed by the state security forces who raided and searched their homes. On March 27, five Bahai women were summoned to serve their prison terms in Mashhad, northeastern Iran. They were told to present themselves within 10 days to serve their sentences. The five women were identified as Nika Pakzadan, Faraneh Daneshgari, Sanaz Eshaghi, Nekisa Hajipour, and Naghmeh Zabihian. In October 2020, the five Iranian Bahai women were sentenced to one year of prison each by the 3rd Branch of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court, also upheld by an appeals court, for “spreading propaganda against the state by being Bahai”.
18 Jailed dissidents at Raja’i Shahr Prison of Karaj wrote an open letter on March 21, protesting the exile of political prisoners and opening new cases against them.
The letter, a copy of which was sent to Iran Human Rights Monitor, states: “during the last months, despite all the claims by the highest judiciary authorities about complying with the rights of the political prisoner, what is really happening on daily basis, not only is not a bit of improvement but also they have intensified suppression by making the prisoners conditions even more inhumane.
Their aim is to intimidate people of Iran and political activists to comply with their suppressive policies by making their conditions at prison even worse.
They put pressure on the prisoners and harass their family by transferring them to solitary confinement, offending and humiliating, beating, opening new cases against them and issuing new sentences, exiling them to far away prisons. These suppressive measures and harassments have increased during the last few months.
Iranians began their New Year today on March 20. Mothers of political prisoners and executed political prisoners celebrated the New Year near prisons or by the side of their children’s tombs.
Farangis Mazloum, mother of political prisoner Soheil Arabi, and mother of political prisoner Arsham Rezaii, celebrated the New Year near Gohardasht Prison in Karaj. Mrs. Mazloum said they were not allowed to set-up their Haft-seen near the prison, so they had to do it a little farther.
Farangis Mazloum congratulated all Iranians in Iran and abroad and expressed her wish that the upcoming year be the year of Iran’s freedom. She said, “I hope that next year, we would all be together, and all Iranians could live together in happiness and freedom.”
The IRGC forces opened fire on a car on Saturday, killing a child and wonding a woman.
The minor who was killed in Rask Country, southeast Iran, was identified as Younes Yazdanshenas. The woman who is the minor’s aunt, has been identified as Nour Bibi.
According to the Baloch Campaign website, the two were going for medical errands when the police opened fire on them after they passed a checkpoint. The report said that both were transferred to the Chabahar hospital but Younes died due to the severity of his wounds and blood loss.
There are almost daily reports of IRGC and security forces opening fire with impunity, injuring and killing innocent locals in the southeastern cities of Iran.
Last week, police opened fire on Baluch citizens on March 7 and March 8 in the southeastern cities of Minab and Mirjaveh.
Following the major protests over the killing of fuel carriers in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province, many protesters have been brutally beaten and detained. In the past days at least four people were beaten and detained in Iranshahr by Intelligence police. In Shuru, a village near Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan, another three citizens were detained. Due to the internet blackout, the exact number of protesters killed, wounded or detained is not yet known. The Baluch Activists Campaign wrote in a report: “Iranshahr intelligence officers on February 26, shot at protesters and arrested at least four people after beating them. On the same day, at least three protesters in Shuro of Zahedan city were arrested by anti-riot forces.
At least two Baluch protesters, including a 13-year-old child, were shot and killed today by the IRGC forces in the Qaleh Bid Base during protests in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan Province. Hassan Mohammadzehi, 13 and Mohammad Saleh Motaghedi were shot and killed during the protests on Wednesday, two days after dozens of ‘fuel carriers’ were were killed and wounded in the southeastern province. On February 22, several of the Baluch locals who carry fuel across the border gathered outside the IRGC base to protest the blocking of the border, demanding that it be reopened. The IRGC has dug large holes on the border to prevent Baluch fuel carriers from crossing. The IRGC responded with bullets killing at least 40 protesters and woundening more than 100 defenseless protesters, according to social media reports and videos.
Iranian security forces fired tear gas on Tuesday to disperse demonstrators gathered in the south-eastern city of Saravan, and there was a heavy presence of forces in the city.
Videos posted on social media from inside Iran showed the state security forces using tear gas and bullets to disperse angry locals who are protesting the killing of Baluch “fuel carries” by the IRGC.
Witnesses in Saravan said there had been several arrests in the city, which is in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province. Clashes ensued between locals and security forces. Security forces attacked protesters with tear gas and pellet guns on the streets of Saravan. Although several protesters were injured, there are still no reports on the exact number of people who were injured as the protests are ongoing.