[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate

[Date:] 1 Mordad 1394 [23 July 2015]

 

Honourable Dr. Rouhani, President of Iran,

With greetings and respect, I wish to inform you that we, the Baha’i citizens of Sanandaj, have had no problem burying our dead during decades of living in this city, and we have always had a place for this purpose. The last place, which was outside the city limits, was given to us by the municipality 24 years ago, as part of the urban development plan. Up until 1392 [2013/2014], we had buried our dead in that place. Unfortunately, in 1392 [2013/2014], the fence and the walls of the mortuary and the irrigation system to the trees was destroyed by the police force using a loader but without providing any reason. Only the graves and the 24 years old trees remained. We went to the office to plead for justice, but we were not given a convincing answer. They only expressed their regret and said that the order was given from above. Officials, including the judge who received our complaint, agreed that no one would prevent the burial of our dead alongside the previous graves. They advised us, if someone dies go and bury him there. Then an 83-year-old woman died on 21 Tir 1394 [12 July 2015] and we went to the same place for burial, but we were stopped by the police. And the only answer we were told was that the order was given by higher authorities and we should take the body to the city of Qorveh and that we do not have the right for burial in any cemetery in this city. Unfortunately, after four days of uncertainty, with the threat and pressure from the police, the family and all those who were to attend the funeral were transported to Qorveh City. Everyone was surprised and questioned what guilt did this 83-year-old woman carry that her body was exiled to another city. We request that your supreme authority allow burial alongside the previous graves or provision be made for a new place outside the municipality so that the above disturbing scene is not repeated.

 

With respect and appreciation,

Below the signatories of the citizens of Sanandaj