Followers of the Baha’i faith continue to be systematically persecuted by the Iranian authorities, in cases uncovered by Iran International.
One adherent of the religion, Nahaleh Shahidi, is still in jail after being apprehended in April by security forces at the Kerman railway station and subsequently transferred to Kerman prison.
He is reportedly facing charges of "propaganda against the system" and "formation of groups with the intention of disrupting national security."
He was informed of the accusations months ago, but no formal indictment has been issued. A source close to Shahidi’s family says the prosecutor's representative has allegedly halted the progression of the case on a number of pretexts.
The source said that Shahidi's detention is routinely extended each month, without any indication of a trial or release with bail in sight.
On Thursday, legal proceedings were initiated against five Baha'i residents from Ghaemshahr in northern Iran. The defendants learned about the prosecution through text messages on their phones.
A source close to the families of the residents expressed concern, saying, "It seems that security forces are attempting to fabricate cases against the individuals, as there is still no news about the charges and reasons for filing a case against them."
Informal sources estimate that over 300,000 Baha'i citizens reside in Iran. However, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Baha'is constitute the largest non-Muslim religious minority in Iran and have been systematically targeted for persecution since the 1979 revolution, facing arbitrary detentions, discrimination, and restrictions on religious practices.