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The son of an imprisoned chief of Iran’s Baha’i group says he has not heard from his mom for greater than 5 weeks and jail authorities have prevented her from phoning or assembly with relations.

Mahvash Sabet Shahriari, 69, was arrested in July amid a brand new wave of repression towards Iran’s Baha’i group and given a brand new 10-year sentence following an hourlong trial on November 21.

Frud Sabet mentioned in an interview with RFERL’s Radio Farda that he had no details about his mom’s situation for the reason that trial.

“The household could be very apprehensive about her well being,” he mentioned. “We do not know the place she is, and we do not know if she’s alive.”

Sabet Shahriari is a outstanding Baha’i chief. She beforehand served 10 years in jail on costs of appearing towards Iran’s nationwide safety, collaboration with overseas international locations, and “corruption on Earth,” amongst different issues.

In July, Iranian safety brokers raided the properties of dozens of Baha’is in several components of the nation, arresting a number of well-known group leaders and charging many with “spying for Israel.”

Months of protests erupted in Iran following the September 16 demise of Mahsa Amini after she was detained for allegedly sporting her head scarf improperly and reportedly crushed by members of the infamous morality police.

Frud Sabet instructed Radio Farda that whereas his mom’s arrest got here previous to the latest protests, “we assume that the overcrowding of prisons and courts has affected my mom’s destiny.”

“However being utterly unaware of her after issuing such a heavy sentence is just not justified,” he added.

Since Amini’s demise, a number of thousand individuals have been arrested, together with many protesters, in addition to journalists, legal professionals, activists, digital rights defenders, and others.

Iran accuses Baha’is of getting hyperlinks to Israel, the place town of Haifa hosts a middle of the Baha’i religion. Baha’i leaders reject the allegations and say they’re used as a pretext to persecute members.

There are some 300,000 Baha’i adherents in Iran and an estimated 5 million followers worldwide.

In Iran, the place their religion is just not formally acknowledged within the structure, its leaders say they face systematic persecution.

Iranian Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has on a number of events known as the Baha’i religion a cult and, in a non secular fatwa issued in 2018, he forbade contact, together with enterprise dealings, with followers of the religion.

For the reason that Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979, a whole bunch of Baha’is have been arrested and jailed for his or her beliefs. Not less than 200 have been executed or have been arrested and by no means heard from once more.

Hundreds extra have been banned from receiving larger schooling or had their property confiscated, whereas vandals typically desecrate Baha’i cemeteries.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi primarily based on an unique story in Persian by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda

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