54 baha’is arrested in iran

From the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS), about the recent arrests of Baha’i youth in Iran:

54 Baha’is arrested in Iran

NEW YORK, 24 May 2006 (BWNS) — Iranian officials have arrested 54 Baha’is in the city of Shiraz, the Baha’i International Community has learned. They are mostly youth and were all engaged in humanitarian service when they were arrested. It is one of the largest number of Baha’is taken at once since the 1980s. The specific charges are not clear, though in the past, Baha’is have been arrested summarily on false charges.

The arrests occurred on Friday, 19 May, while the Baha’is, along with several other volunteers who were not Baha’is, were teaching classes to underprivileged children in a school as part of a community service activity conducted by a local non-governmental organization. At the time of the arrests, they had in their possession a letter of permission from the Islamic Council of Shiraz. They also carried the letter of permission in each of their classes.

The nature of the charges against the Baha’is is unknown at this time. […]

Read the entire article.

Update: “After their arrests on 19 May in Shiraz, Iran, three Baha’is remain in jail while 51 others have been released on bail. No indication has been given as to when the three will be released. None of those who had been released, nor the three who are still being detained, have been formally charged.” Read the rest of this update.

Addendum: This story was also blogged at Baha’i Blog.

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