Iranian police arrested a member of Iran’s persecuted Baha'i religious minority on Tuesday and took him to an unknown location, IranWire understands.
Armed forces raided the workplace and home of Homayoun Khanlori, a business owner and theater actor, in the northern city of Rasht. Agents confiscated Khanlori’s personal electronic devices before then detaining him.
Khanlori owns a company selling and installing CCTV cameras in Rasht, but is also a familiar face among the city’s dramatists and has collaborated with various theatre projects there as a producer, director and actor.
The Iranian authorities’ crackdown on members of the Baha'i minority appears to have accelerated after the September death of Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police, which triggered the ongoing protests across Iran. The apparent acceleration also follows rising levels of persecution of Baha’is which began in July.
Since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979, Baha'is in Iran have faced systematic discrimination and harassment, including deportation, restrictions to education, property confiscations, imprisonment, torture, and executions.
Baha'is number some 300,000 in Iran and have an estimated 5 million followers worldwide.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes a number of minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha'i faith.