Bahai News (Persian), November 22, 2016.
On the evening of November 22, five Bahais living in Shiraz were arrested in their homes by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence. Those arrested are Lala Salehi (لالا صالحی), Parisa Sepehri (پریسا سپهری), Thamar Ashna’i (ثمر آشنایی), Nasim Kashaninejad (نسیم کاشانی نژاد) and Rezvan Yazdani (رضوان یزدانی). At the same time, a number of other Bahai homes in Shiraz were raided by the security forces.
Lala Salehi and Parisa Sepehri were arrested in their shared home, which was searched. Books and a computer were seized, and they were taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Detention Facility 100 in Shiraz. There is no indication of the charges against them, but others who were present at the time of their arrests (being the relatives of other recent Bahai arrestees in Shiraz) were also questioned, and all their mobile phones and ID cards and other effects were confiscated. Parisa Sepehri is in the early months of pregnancy.
Thamar Ashna’i was arrested when she returned home at about 9 p.m., by security forces who had been waiting for her. They searched her home thoroughly and took her to Detention Facility 100.
In recent months over 20 Bahais have been arrested in Shiraz, on charges of teaching their Faith. Some have been released on bail after questioning, but a number are still detained, two months after their arrest.
Payam Wali (پیام ولی), a Bahai living in Karaj, was also arrested on November 22. He had recently written an open letter to Iranian authorities, seeking an end to the nine-year-old closure of his business. He had also written a letter to the Alborz Provincial Prosecutor about personal threats he has received, and an attempt by two persons to enter his appartment. He was present in court for a hearing when he was arrested, and taken to his home which was searched. He was taken to a detention centre. In 2009 he was detained on charges of undermining national security, and released on bail after two months of interrogation. On June 9, 1990, his brother, Afshin Wali (افشین ولی), was killed by religious fanatics in the village of Hussain Abad.
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