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Iran's Baha'is Targeted In Arson Attacks

Diane Ala'i, Baha'i spokeswoman in Geneva
Diane Ala'i, Baha'i spokeswoman in Geneva
The Baha'i International Community has sounded the alarm over a recent spate of arson attacks on Baha'i-owned businesses in the city of Rafsanjan in south-central Iran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The most recent such attack, on a repair shop, took place on January 2, the group said.

Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva, told Radio Farda that since late October 2010, some 12 shops belonging to the Baha'is in Rafsanjan have been raided and set ablaze, including a household appliance store and a stationery shop.

She added that some 20 Baha'i homes and businesses in that city have also received threatening letters in which they were warned against having any contacts with Muslims. Baha'is were addressed in those letters as "members of the misguided Baha'ist sect," Ala'i said.

She said there have been similar attacks by security forces in the towns of Karaj, west of Tehran, and Sari and Semnan in northern Iran.

"But unfortunately, the Iranian authorities -- whether police or local authorities -- never investigate such events," Ala'i said.

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