[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

19 Shahrivar 1386 [11 September 2007]

 

In the Name of the Merciful and Forgiving God

To the esteemed Governor of the County of Najafabad,

Respectfully, it was deemed appropriate, to convey the following point to your Excellency as the highest authority for community affairs in the area.

Sometime between the dates 17 Shahrivar 1386 [9 September 2007] and 18 Shahrivar 1386 [10 September 2007], some unauthorised individuals, wilfully, bulldozed the Baha’i cemetery of the region (Najafabad, Vilashahr, Goldasht, Yazdanshahr, and Amirabad) located approximately 15 kilometres north of Najafabad (behind the mountain range in the north of the town), and demolished all the 95 existing graves, removing the grave stones and placing them on the small pine trees near the block.  A small sanitation facility belonging to the cemetery was completely destroyed, and two water tanks, used at times of need and for watering the trees, were severely damaged making them unusable.  Also, five graves in the new block, which were recently made and did not yet have gravestones, were completely destroyed and flattened, and around eight empty prepared graves were filled.

Nearly three weeks ago we submitted an application, number 3800 dated 22 Mordad 1386 [14 August 2007], to obtain a legal permission to construct a mortuary in the cemetery.  Undoubtedly, your Excellency would agree that this was not the responce we expected to receive.

Meanwhile, you may have already been informed that last Friday night (16 Shahrivar 1386 [8 September 2007]), a printed offensive and intimidating letter was delivered to approximately 30 homes of Baha’i families in Vilashahr.  Some unpleasant and insulting expressions were written on the walls of these homes.  The incident was immediately (Friday morning) reported to police station 11 and also to the Najafabad Basij [Mobilisation Headquarters].

It has been over 150 years since small and large Baha’i communities have lived in this area and currently more than 350 Baha’i families are occupied with work and other activities in the aforementioned cities and towns.  The most important and distinguished characteristic of them is not being involved in conflicts or partisan politics, but rather following the law of the country.

This piece of land was given to our community, for burying the dead, by the authorities in the county in 1374 [1995].  Certainly, you agree that such a community is in need of an independent cemetery.

Members of this community, irrespective of their belief or principle, are considered citizens of this country and are entitled to their civil rights, which has been and will be as such, with the grace and favour of God and with the tactfulness and foresightedness of the esteemed officials in the country.  Is it worthy of some extremists, whose real intention is unknown, to freely set off doing such careless acts?  Undoubtedly, you are aware of the reaction such malicious acts could possibly have on the minds and consciences of most of our law-abiding fellow citizens who are justice seekers.

We would like to request of that esteemed authority to arrange for such law-breaking and self-centred individuals to be identified as soon as possible and to deal with them as well as with the members of this, seemingly defenceless, community.  We are seeking confirmations from the Almighty God, Who is the Creator and the Provider for us all, to grant you ever-increasing success in your services for the estate and the people.

 

A number of the families in the community,

Ghalili, Eghterafi, Dehghani, Parvini, Ferdowsian, Moghaddam, Hoseini, Ruhi

 

[Handwritten note on the bottom of the page:]

The Governor was met and instructions to follow-up were issued to the Political Secretary.  The Political Secretary was also met, who promised to follow-up the matter.

Najafabad 14 Shahrivar 1386 [6 September 2007]