Iranian authorities have launched a renewed attack on Iran’s Baha’i community, targeting Baha’i-run shops and small businesses. In a bid to prevent the religious minority from observing holidays, authorities ordered the closure of dozens of shops owned by Baha’is in Rafsanjan, Kerman, Sari and Hamedan.
The small businesses, which were closed down in April, May and June, included repair shops, automobile parts outlets and clothing stores. Authorities ordered the closures after shop owners failed to open their premises to the public on Baha’i religious holidays, and warned some shopkeepers that if they did not sign a document stating that they would observe official national holidays only, their trading permits would not be renewed and shops would face permanent closure.
The Baha’i International Community representative at the UN in Geneva, Diane Ala’i, said the recent measures were illegal. “Stopping Baha’i shopkeepers from observing their religious holidays is against Iranian law, as well as against human rights.”
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