[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] BBC Persian

[Date:] 5 Ordibehesht 1400 - 25 April 2021

 

‘Destruction Of Khavaran Cemetery’: Letter from 79 Families from Inside Iran: Do Not Rub Salt in Our Old Wounds

Following the protests against the destruction of Khavaran Cemetery, the families of 79 political prisoners and those prisoners killed in the summer of 1367 [1988], published a letter addressed to the Mayor of Tehran denouncing the changes in Khavaran Cemetery as contrary to human dignity.

This morning, 5 Ordibehesht [25 April], sseveral families went to the City Council in the Municipality of Tehran and officially registered the protest letter. A copy of this letter has been sent to the Presidential office and the Ministry of the Interior.

All 79 signatories to this letter live in Iran. Below this letter, they have given their details and the name of their family member who was killed.

In their letter, the families wrote, “On Friday, 3 Ordibehesht [23 April], while visiting the unmarked graves of our loved ones, we were shocked with what we saw. The graves had been dug into a mass grave and two deceased Baha’i have been buried there.”

The letter comes after recent reports emerged that 10 new graves had been dug and two bodies buried in the Khavaran mass grave, where many killed in the 1360s [1980s], and especially those executed in the summer of 1367 [1988], were buried. The Baha’i International Community issued a statement saying that the government had pressured them to bury their bodies at the site and that they had been told that the bodies in the mass grave had been exhumed.

Now the families of the executed political prisoners in Iran in the 1360s [1980s] in solidarity with the Baha’i community, have written to the government officials: “We urge you to stop insisting that the Baha’i families bury their dead in a mass grave, and do not rub salt in our old wounds.”

The government of the Islamic Republic has refused to return the bodies of thousands of those executed in the summer of 1367 [1988] to their families and has not yet commented on the Khavaran cemetery or where those executed in the summer of 1367 [1988] have been buried.

Reiterating the demands of the past decades, these families have once again written, “The citizens have the right to know the exact burial location of their loved ones and to be able to honour their memory by attending their graves. Now, after about forty years of deprivation of this right, we want this situation changed in this cemetery.”

A copy of this letter has been sent to the Office of the President and the Ministry of the Interior.

Yesterday, the children of those executed in the 1360s [1980s] in Iran while condemning the changes in Khavaran cemetery, issued a statement addressed to the Iranian people, “We, the children of those people executed of the 1360s [1980s] and especially during the massacre of the summer of 1367 [1988], continue to seek justice for the mothers, fathers and spouses, who have suffered for more than 30 years, many of whom are no longer with us.”

The statement said, “This is not the first time that the government of the Islamic Republic has tried to cover up the remaining evidence of its crimes during the 1360s [1980s] and the massacre of the summer of 1367 [1988] and leave no trace to history”.

After the revolution, some Baha’i cemeteries in Tehran and other parts of Iran have been destroyed. Similar reports had been published in 1387 [2008/2008] about the destruction of Khavaran cemetery and the relocation of the bodies.