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Baha’i Motocross Champion Arrested

November 23, 2018
2 min read
Baha’i Motocross Champion Arrested

Shahrzad Nazifi, an Iranian Baha’i and a women’s motocross champion and coach, was arrested on Sunday November 18 and taken to Evin Prison. After her arrest, security agents searched her house for five hours and confiscated books, her cellphone, her laptop and some other personal items, according to Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA). An informed source told HRANA that Nazifi was arrested “on the motocross course” [Persian link].

Shahrzad Nazifi, her husband Mehrshad Naraghi and their daughter Noora Naraghi are all motocross champions of Iran. Both mother and daughter are pioneers of women’s motocross in the country.

It was reported that Shabnam Isakhani, a Baha’i resident of Tabriz, was also arrested [Persian link]. Security agents searched her home on Monday, November 19 and served her with a summons to present herself at the Intelligence Bureau in Tabriz. Upon presenting herself to the bureau, she was arrested. The reason for her arrest is not known, and there is no information available about her whereabouts.

Shabnam Isakhani has been arrested before, on July 18, 2014. She was released on bail on July 28 of the same year.

On November 17 and 18, security forces arrested five other Baha’is in Tabriz: Faramarz Bahadori, Kambiz Misaghi, Shahriar Khodapanah, Kheirollah Bakhshi and Monica Alizadeh.

The Islamic Republic not only does not recognize the Baha’is as a religious minority but its officials often insult them as followers of a “deviant sect.” Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Baha’is have suffered from repression, widespread discrimination in business and education, illegal arrests and imprisonment. The Islamic Republic does not even recognize the marriage of Baha’i couples and refuses to register them.


Also read — Motocross Star Returns to Iran: "I want to help women," an interview with Noora Naraghi, Shahrzad Nazifi's daughter


Related Coverage:

Baha’is Go to Prison for Praying, November 16, 2018

70-Year-Old Baha’i Sent to Prison, November 2, 2018

The Arrest that Boosted Support for the Baha’is, September 29, 2018

Six Baha’i Environmentalists Arrested, September 25, 2018

Mass Arrests of Baha’is in Shiraz, August 28, 2018

The Baha’i Prisoner of Semnan: 2,000 Days and Counting, August 13, 2018

Baha’i Woman Sent to Prison for BIHE Volunteer Work, July 26, 2018

Foreign Minister Zarif: What Baha’i Prisoners?, April 27, 2018

Ten Years Later: the Baha’i Seven are Free for Norooz, March 20, 2018

Freed Baha’i Leader: Jailing Baha’is is Futile and Pointless, February 17, 2018

Baha’i Teacher Jailed for Five Years, December 20, 2017

Young Baha’i Tries for University but Ends up in Jail, November 14, 2017

An Exclusive Interview With the Freed Baha'i Leader, September 19, 2017

A Living Story of 174 Years of Constructive Resilience, August 2, 2017

Motocross Star Returns to Iran: "I want to help women", February, 2017



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