Ongoing arrests of women activists in Iran raise concerns

TEHRAN — Continuing a pattern of repressive measures against activists, particularly women, Iranian authorities have undertaken numerous arrests of women across the country. The reasons for these arrests, as well as the detainees’ whereabouts, remain undisclosed by authorities.

In one recent incident, Iranian forces apprehended Shabnam Tabianian, a Baha’i woman from Semnan, while she was driving. She was subsequently taken to an undisclosed location and her residence searched. During the search, equipment related to her journalistic pursuits and books associated with the Baha’i faith were seized.

Another Baha’i citizen, Anisa Fanaian, was arrested following a raid on her residence during which personal belongings were confiscated. As with previous cases, the grounds for her arrest and her current location remain unclear.

On 15 August, Iranian forces arrested Nyusha Badie and Suzan Eid Muhammad Zadghan, both Baha’i women, and their whereabouts have not been disclosed. Authorities have not provided information regarding the charges against them.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Baha’i community in Iran numbers approximately 300,000 individuals, although the country’s constitution does not officially recognize the Baha’i religion. Baha’i citizens in Iran, similar to other minority groups including Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians, Armenians, and Kurds, continue to face challenges related to their religious identity and practices.