The head of the Mazandaran Provincial Judiciary has announced the closing of 12 schools and educational centers in the northern city of Babol on charges of "promoting Baha'i Faith".
Mohammad Sadegh Akbari further stated that "Baha'i instructors from three cities in the country were providing education and training on their beliefs to promote Baha'ism." As a result, intelligence forces have detained and imprisoned two individuals considered prominent Baha'i instructors in Iran.
Akbari added that in the sealed educational centers in Babol, "a number of books and brochures related to the Baha'i Faith" were confiscated.
The statements by the head of the Mazandaran Judiciary come at a time when, in recent months, there has been a widespread wave of summoning and detaining Baha'i citizens in Iran. The crackdown is happening simultaneously with an escalation of government pressure on various segments of society and political groups following the nationwide protests in 2022.
The Shia clergy consider the Baha'i faith as a heretical sect. In Iran, the Baha'i community, numbering around 300,000, faces systematic persecution, discrimination, and harassment. They are barred from holding public sector jobs and are sometimes dismissed from their private sector employment under pressure from authorities.
During the recent crackdown on Baha'is in Iran, security authorities detained nine Baha'i citizens in Tehran and confiscated 40 Baha'i homes and warehouses belonging to them.
Security authorities in Iran have repeatedly applied pressure on citizens who practice the Baha'i Faith, using various pretexts and security reasons, and have seized or confiscated their properties on multiple occasions.