Sen's daily

October 6, 2016

New arrest in Qorveh

Bahai News (Persian), October 4, 2016.

Dr. Mariya Kothari (ماریا کوثری), a Bahai living in Qorveh, was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on October 4. Eleven agents, including one female agent broke the door of her house and took her away in handcuffs. Her present whereabouts are unknown. Mrs. Kothari is a qualified medical doctor, but has no licence to work because she is a Bahai, and she herself has health problems. After her arrest, the agents hung a sign in front of her house saying that the property was closed because of sanitary violations. This apparently refers to the finding of some drugs, which Dr. Kothari said were for herself and her family.

Qorveh lies in Kurdistan Province, over an hour’s drive East of the major city of Sanandaj. The Bahai community there has been subject to intense scrutiny. In March 2012, fifteen members of the community were interrogated by the Ministry of Intelligence. They were asked about Bahai meetings, the participants and how the meetings are run, and the names of relatives living outside Iran, their income and living situation, and willingness to travel outside Iran, work status, and participation in Ruhi training institutes. In January 2013, 13 Bahai homes, including the home of the Kothari family, were searched in simultaneous raids by almost a hundred security agents. When the local authorities in Sanandaj decided to refuse to bury Bahais in their city, they began transporting the bodies to Qorveh, which had a Bahai cemetery containing the graves of nearly 30 Bahai martyrs who were executed by the Islamic Republic. But this cemetery was destroyed by the local authorities in Qorveh in the small hours of July 14, 2016. The agents also uprooted 300 20-year-old trees.

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