Shahriar Siroos is an Iranian painter who taught at a Baha’i school and has also published a number of noteworthy articles on the philosophy of art. He is also a member of the Baha’i faith, one of the most persecuted religious minorities in Iran.
In June 2015, Shahriar Siroos was arrested in his classroom in front of his students by police who showed no warrant. The classroom is located on the first floor of a residential building there Siroos, his family, and an unrelated Baha’i family reside. All residents of the building, in addition to Siroos’ students, had their mobile phones and other articles confiscated by police.
An anonymous witness close to the family stated, “At about 4 p.m. on June 30, eleven agents from the Intelligence Ministry entered Shahriar painting class. They took his mobile and those belonging to the students. They handcuffed him and began searching the building… The agents searched the entire building without showing a warrant. They even searched the home on the third floor, which had no connection to Shahriar. They took laptops, computers, iPads and books from all the homes in the building.”
Shahriar Siroos has a wife and a seven-year-old son who have been denied visiting rights to Evin Prison, Tehran’s high-security facility for political prisoners, artists, and other prisoners of conscience.
Shahriar Siroos is currently being held in Section 209 at Evin Prison in Tehran, with no clear charges having been made against him. Due to the arbitrary nature of his detention, it is impossible to suggest when Shahriar Siroos will be released.