In what the Baha'i International Community (BIC) has described as a "cruel" escalation and just two days after previous attacks on Baha’is across Iran, up to 200 Iranian government agents have sealed off the village of Roushankouh, Mazandaran province. A large number of Baha’is live there and heavy machinery is now being used to demolish their homes.
A video was published by the BIC showing the destruction of a Baha'i-owned home by an excavator with a hydraulic ram.
A video taken today, 2 August 2022, shows heavy equipment destroying #Bahai homes in the village of Roushankouh in #Iran's Mazandaran province.#ItsTheirLand #BahaiRights #HumanRights https://t.co/ZfpRIxUoQr pic.twitter.com/yTzrNHkYcq— Baha'i International Community (@BahaiBIC) August 2, 2022
IranWire understands that in the last 24 hours:
- Roads into and out of the village have been blocked;
- Anyone who tried to challenge the agents was arrested and handcuffed;
- Agents confiscated the mobile devices of those present and prohibited filming;
- Neighbors have been warned to stay in their homes and barred from filming or photographing;
- Four homes that were under construction have already been destroyed;
- The authorities are installing robust metal fences to restrict access of the Baha’is to their own homes.
The Baha’is in Roushankouh have been targeted many times in the past with land seizures and demolitions. The latest onslaught comes after weeks of intensifying persecution of the Baha’is of Iran. More than 100 have seen their homes raided, been arrested, or both in recent weeks. Yesterday Iran's Ministry of Intelligence published conspiracy theories and false charges of "espionage" to justify the action taken.
“We ask everyone to raise their voice and call for these dreadful acts of blatant persecution to be immediately stopped," Diane Ala’i, a Baha’i International Community’s Representative to the United Nations, said of the recent events.
"Every day there has been fresh news of persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, demonstrating unmistakably that the Iranian authorities have a step-by-step plan that they are implementing: first blatant lies and hate speech, then raids and arrests, and today land grabs, occupations and the destruction of homes.
"What will be next? The international community must act before it is too late.”