BIC GENEVA — In a cruel escalation, and just two days after previous attacks on Baháʼís across Iran, up to 200 Iranian government and local agents have sealed off the village of Roushankouh, in Mazandaran province, where a large number of Baháʼís live, and are using heavy earthmoving equipment to demolish their homes.
- Roads into and out of the village have been blocked.
- Anyone who tried to challenge the agents were arrested and handcuffed.
- Agents have confiscated the mobile devices of those present and prohibited filming.
- Neighbors have been warned to stay in their homes and barred from filming or photographing.
- Four homes that were under construction have already been destroyed.
- The authorities are installing robust metal fences to restrict access of the Baháʼís to their own homes.
The Baháʼís in Roushankouh have been targeted many times in the past with land confiscations and home demolitions. But this move follows weeks of intensifying persecution of the Baháʼís: over 100 have been either raided or arrested in recent weeks.
“We ask everyone to raise their voice and call for these dreadful acts of blatant persecution to be immediately stopped. Every day there has been fresh news of persecution of the Baháʼís in Iran, demonstrating unmistakably that the Iranian authorities have a step-by-step plan that they are implementing, first blatant lies and hate speech, then raids and arrests, and today land grabs, occupations, and the destruction of homes,” said Diane Ala’i, representative of the Bahá’í International Community (BIC) to the United Nations in Geneva, referring to the past several weeks. “What will be next? The international community must act before it is too late.”