Injustice in Iran against Baha'is: Fariba Kamalabadi’s letter from inside Iran’s Evin Prison in reaction to rising attacks on the country’s Baha’i community

On the morning of October 29, in a phone call with my husband, I found the opportunity to talk with my son-in-law’s mother, Mrs. Shoghangiz Sooroorian, who had travelled from Hamadan to Tehran for medical treatment and to visit her daughter. I heard from her that a group of security agents had attacked their house in Hamadan, had broken down the door, and had looted it in the absence of the owner.
My mind immediately returned to 1987. To the time when Mrs. Shoghangiz and her husband were arrested for being Baha'is and transferred from Hamadan to Evin Prison in Tehran.
At that time, they had three young children aged 4, 6, and 8, who were deprived of parental care due to the arrest of their parents. After several months of not hearing from each other, for a long time the relatives took all three children to Tehran every week to meet their father on one day and their mother on the other day, in prison, and then return to Hamadan and school.
It goes without saying that arresting parents with young children is a deliberate act and that, regrettably, it continues still and leaves irreparable negative effects on children and their parents.
It is an example of "child torture".
That same 4-year-old girl grew into a young woman. In the late 80s, she was arrested in Hamadan and jailed in to Nahavand Prison. Then it was the turn of her elderly and lonely mother to go from Hamadan to Nahavand, every week, to visit her young daughter in the general ward of Nahavand Prison, in very inappropriate conditions.
Now, after about 36 years, the house of this 82-year-old lady has been brutally attacked and looted, and her mental security has been deliberately disturbed. I also heard that the house of Mrs. Akhtar Kothari (Naimi), who is 88 years old and has Alzheimer's, has been also attacked and ransacked.
She is the wife of Dr. Firoz Naimi, a prominent, well-known and popular medical specialist in Hamadan, who was brutally arrested along with six other Baha'is at the beginning of the 1979 revolution and was executed as a result of terrible torture.
The other two houses that were attacked were the houses of Mrs. Puran Habibi (Khandel) and her son Mehran Khandel. Her husband, Mr. Hossein Khandel, and her two uncles, Mr. Sohail and Mr. Sohrab Habibi, were among the same seven people who were executed.
My Wednesday morning started with this news and with thinking about the sad 40-year history of this family. My heart was full of sadness. Sadness for the severity of oppression and sadness for the severity of the government's hostility towards a group of the most peaceful and law-abiding Iranian citizens.
The continuation of the same sadness that had taken over my heart, and the hearts of many of my dear compatriots since the end of last summer following the people's protest uprising against the death of Mahsa (Gina) Amini and the death of many dear Iranian youth in the course of pursuing their basic human rights.
In the afternoon of the same day, I had the opportunity to call my children for a few minutes, when I heard the attack on Baha'i homes was not limited to those few families. In fact, about 25 houses were attacked and ransacked and nine people were arrested and imprisoned i n Hamadan. I also heard about the arrest of about six other Baha'is in Karaj. One of them is the nephew of my husband, Foad Taefi, who has three young and teenage children.
During his childhood, Foad also witnessed his father's imprisonment and later his mother's arrest in Mashhad, and then his father-in-law's arrest and imprisonment in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Among those who were arrested in Karaj are a young couple who also have two young children. It can be safely said that there is not a single Baha'i family in Iran that does not have a past full of suffering and injuries like these in several successive generations.
After hearing this terrible news, I remembered a time in August 2022, during my interrogation sessions, when I was explained to the interrogator:
“You know the Baha’i group that was responsible for managing the internal affairs of the Baha’is has been closed since 2008, when I was in prison. After my release in 2017, I have been under surveillance every moment, and you know that the accusation of ‘forming an illegal group’ is not true. And now I, like all Baha'is living in Iran, have no administrative responsibility. So what is the reason for repeating this accusation?”
The investigator replied:
“Yes, we know that you didn’t have any responsibility during this time, but in our opinion, all Baha'is who have remained in Iran and have not left Iran ought to be arrest ed and imprisoned. If we could, we would imprison all of them."
At that moment, I thought this answer was the only justification for my illegal arrest; but now, by attacking the houses of some elderly women, I am sure that, on that day day, he was talking about an objective and real strategy of the government regarding the Baha'i community in Iran. 
"All the Baha'is who have stayed in Iran and have not left Iran deserve to be arrested and imprisoned”.
I am writing these lines, with a sad heart, to my dear grandchildren Nava and Diba, one of whose grandmothers is spending her twelfth year of imprisonment in Evin Prison, under such unfortunate conditions, while the other grandmother is 82 years old and, after enduring prison with her husband and away from three young children 36 years ago, is now deprived of even the basic right to live safely in her home.
And for dear Sina, Faran and Fares Taefi, who have seen and heard the imprisonment of their father, two grandfathers, and their uncle. And for all the children of Iran and the justice-loving people of my beloved land, who have lost their loved ones and young people due to cruelty. Because "our story is one.“ Maybe hearing these painful but true stories will make us try harder, so that justice replaces injustice and light replaces darkness.