Iranian security forces have arrested several members of the Baha’i community in Shiraz.
The Human Rights Reporters Committee announced on Friday that several Baha’is were arrested at their homes today in Shiraz. Details of the arrests have not yet been released, except that the arrests were carried out during sudden and simultaneous raids on the homes of the targeted people.
The crackdown on Iran’s Baha’i community has intensified in recent months. In addition to arresting Baha’i citizens, the authorities have also detained staff and faculty of the BIHE, the Baha’i online university. The BIHE has been denounced as an “illegal” organization lacking any credibility in academic terms.
The Baha’i faith is not recognized as a religion by the Islamic Republic and, therefore, its followers face widespread discrimination in the workplace and the school system.
Iranian Baha’i youth are often denied access to higher education, so the BIHE was developed allow Baha’is to continue their education despite the obstacles presented by the Islamic Republic.