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Up to 200 Iranian government and local officials have blocked off the town of Roushankouh in the Mazandaran region, where many Bahá’s live, and are using heavy earthmoving equipment to destroy their homes in a savage escalation just two days after earlier attacks on Bahá’s around Iran.
The village’s access and exit roads have been closed. Anyone who attempted to resist the agents was taken into custody and handcuffed. Agents have taken away attendees’ cell devices and forbid filming. Neighbors have been asked to stay inside and have been forbidden from filming or taking pictures.
Four residences that were being built at the time were already destroyed. The government is erecting sturdy metal fences to prevent Bahá’s from entering their own residences.
The Bahá’s in Roushankouh have frequently been the target of land seizures and house demolitions in the past. However, this action comes after weeks of escalating persecution of Bahá’s, during which time over 100 people have either been arrested or the targets of raids.
“We implore everyone to speak up and demand an end to these horrifying instances of obvious persecution. According to Diane Ala’i, a representative of the Bahá’ International Community (BIC) to the United Nations in Geneva, over the past few weeks, “there have been new reports of persecution of the Bahá’s in Iran every day, demonstrating unmistakably that the Iranian authorities have a step-by-step plan that they are implementing, starting with blatant lies and hate speech, then raids and arrests, and today land grabs, occupations, and the destruction “What comes next? Before it’s too late, the world community needs to take action.