By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– Eight Iranian Christians have been detained and interrogated by security forces over their Christian activities, rights activists said Friday, March 7.
Amin Khaki, Hossein Barunzadeh, Hossein Etemadifar, Rahman Bahman, Mohammad Bahrami, Saiede Rahimi, Fatemeh Bagheri and Amineh Moalla were detained Wednesday afternoon, March 5, during a group picnic near the city of Shush-e-Daniel, said Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an advocacy group keeping contact with local believers.
The group was reportedly taken by minibus to a location where they were allegedly blindfolded and interrogated by armed agents from Iran’s feared Ministry of Intelligence and National Security (VEVAK) until 9pm local time.
During the interrogation, members of the group had personal items confiscated, including their mobile phones, Christians said.
Details remained sketchy Friday, March 7, but Christians said most of the group was released after being told not to contact their relatives. However, arrest warrants were issued by a cleric for three of them, identified as Amin Khaki, Hossein Barunzadeh (Daniel) and Rahman Bahman (Zia), who remained behind bars.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas told BosNewsLife that “This harassment and interrogation of innocent people who were merely socialising is both highly irregular and wholly unacceptable.”
“We urge the Iranian government to ensure that the rule of law is upheld and religious minorities are not subject to arbitrary interference by officials and subsequent trumped-up charges.”
Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment. However authorities have expressed concern about the spread of Christianity in the Islamic nation, where several devoted Christians remain behind bars.