Iranian authorities have arrested four members of the Baha'i religious minority in central Yazd and transferred them to an undisclosed location.
The detainees are Mojgan Basiri, Shokofeh Basiri, Vida Ehrari, and Jamal Qadirzadeh.
Security forces raided Mojgan Basiri's house on Sunday evening and arrested her along with three guests who were at the house.
The agents searched the house and confiscated a substantial amount of personal belongings. The agents then split into three teams, each accompanying one of the three guests to their respective houses, where more searches of the detainees' houses were carried out and more personal items seized. All four individuals were then transported to an undisclosed location.
On Monday, October 2, families of the detainees approached various judicial and security institutions seeking information, but they were met with vague responses.
There is still no information available regarding the charges brought against the detainees or where they are being held. None of the detainees have been able to make phone calls to their families.
The arrest of these four Baha'i citizens is part of a wider pattern of persecution and discrimination against the Baha'i community in Iran – which has included months of intensifying crackdowns.
Baha’is have been persecuted in Iran for decades for their faith and are often accused of being spies or opposed to the Iranian government.
On August 16, the Baha'i International Community denounced more than 180 incidents of persecution against Iranian Baha’is in previous weeks, which itself has followed months of intensified crackdowns.
Eighteen have faced interrogations, 59 Baha’i-owned businesses were reportedly sealed by the authorities and the homes of nine others were raided and searched.
Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The constitution recognizes several minority faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, but not the Baha'i faith.
The Baha’i community claims to have more than seven million followers worldwide, including some 300,000 in Iran.