IranWire has learned that today, July 31, three members of the long-defunct Yaran or “Friends” of the Baha’i community in Iran, who had helped manage the affairs of the community until 2008, were arrested.
Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi and Afif Naemi were all taken to an undisclosed location. Sabet, a writer, was recognized by English PEN as International writer of courage In 2017 and the same year, Kamalabadi was recognized by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom religious prisoner of conscience.
All three previously served a decade each in prison for their faith and service as members of the defunct Yaran group. The Yaran – an informal leadership group formed after the Baha’i of Iran dissolved their National Spiritual Assembly by order of the Iranian government – was also dissolved in 2008 after the arrests of all seven Yaran members.
Ministry of Intelligence agents also ransacked the homes of several Baha’i citizens living in Karaj, including Naemi, Kamiyar Habibi, Saman Astvar, Basir Heravi, Sara Shabanpour and Mozafar Nabili, ransacked their homes and confiscated phones, computers and some personal belongings and books related to the Baha’i -Believe. Saman Astvar were then arrested along with Naemi.
Agents also took Kamiyar Habibi to his workplace and after another search sealed the workplace and released Habibi. Kamiar Habibi is a composer and music teacher.