On February 12, 2013, Ardeshir Fanaeyan and Shidrokh Firouzian, Baha’i citizens living in the city of Semnan were detained. Intelligence agents raided the residences of the 2 Baha’i citizens, conducted a search, confiscated personal items, and transferred them to the Semnan Intelligence Ministry headquarters.
During the past years, pressures against citizens following the Baha’i faith have intensified. Baha’i citizens are routinely subjected to arbitrary detention and heavy judicial sentences, school children are harassed, the private sector is pressured to dismiss Baha’is, their shops or workplaces and bank accounts are closed down, their assets are seized, and their business licenses are denied or suddenly revoked. They have been subjected to other forms of harassment such as arson, destruction of property, bulldozing their gravesites, destruction of dams and cutting off water supplies to agricultural properties resulting in dried fields and gardens.