[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

In the Name of God, the merciful the kind

9 Dey 1386 [30 December 2007]

 

To the respected Islamic City Council of Najafabad,

In a letter to the city council of Najafabad signed by 430 Baha’is in that city, the numerous difficulties imposed on the Baha’is regarding the Baha’i cemetery in that area was brought to the attention of the authorities.  In this letter it was explained that in 1363 [1984] the Baha’i cemetery was confiscated by the authorities.  This land, which was in the vicinity of Najafabad, measured three acres and was worth three billion tumans, had been legally owned by the Baha’is in that area for the past 110 years.  After many complications, twelve years ago the Baha’is, who had been living there as peaceful and law-abiding citizens for generations, were finally given a six-acre piece of land located behind the mountains to use as a cemetery; so far 102 bodies have been buried there.  In 2007, on separate occasions, this cemetery was destroyed four times by seemingly unknown individuals using heavy machinery.  Recently, a few Baha’is whose family members had been buried in this cemetery were summoned by the authorities and three of them were kept in detention for three days. These individuals were told that based on the decision of the Security Council, the Baha’is are not allowed to bury their dead in that cemetery.  To their question as to where they should bury their dead, the authorities answered wherever they want to.  The Baha’is write that according to paragraph 13 of Article 55 of a document on the municipal councils, which states that the municipalities are responsible for providing for their citizens cemetery, a mortuary, and a means of transporting the dead, and ensuring the safety of their fellow citizens, but these laws were not followed and the rights of the Baha’is, who, in accordance with their teachings, are obedient to their government, have been violated.  The Baha’is request that they be allowed to use the present cemetery or be given another property, and that their safety be guaranteed.  They also request the following:  If they are given another piece of land that they be able to keep the present cemetery so that the relatives of the deceased may be able to visit their graves.  According to the Baha’i teachings the transportation time of the dead cannot be more than one hour.  They request that the enclosed petition bearing 430 signatures from the Baha’is residing in that region be accepted as a testimony to their statements.

With utmost gratitude,

 

Copies of this letter have been sent to:  The governor-general of Iṣfahan; the public prosecutor of Najafabad; the governor of Najafabad; the mayor of Najafabad.

[19 pages of signatures under the letter]