[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

In the Name of God

 

Honourable Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani

Greetings,

We are thankful and grateful to Almighty God for being able to write this letter to you. As Your Honour knows, we Baha’is of this sacred country of Iran are deprived of the minimum citizenship rights as compatriots of Iran. A fanatical group oppresses, attacks, and tyrannizes this community, which is the largest non-Islamic religious minority in the country.

The following is a summary of the persecution and oppression of the Baha’is of Iran, especially the Baha’is of Tabriz.

1. Baha’is not allowed to work in government

2. Prohibition of continuing higher education for young people

3. Prohibition of self-employment and employment in legal jobs

4. Prevention of the issuance of business licences for Baha’is, especially in the field of spectacles making

5. Closing and sealing operating shops on unfounded pretexts

6. Expulsion of a number of students from high school, and even elementary school

7. Threatening and intimidating the [Baha’is] at home and at the places of business in person or by phone

8. Continuous summoning of Baha’is to the Intelligence Office, arrest and imprisonment of a number of these individuals in most parts of Iran

9. Finally, preventing the burial of the deceased Baha’is from 12 Mordad 1390 [3 August 2011] in Tabriz City. While about 60 years ago, the Baha’i community paid some amount of money to Mr. Vaez Charandabi towards assistance for Tabriz cemeteries, and until 1390 [2011] the burial of the deceased Baha’i in the cemeteries was possible without any problems, suddenly, from that date onwards, the burial of deceased Baha’is in this city has been banned. Without the consent of the families of the deceased, those in charge of the Tabriz cemetery have been transferring the bodies of the deceased to the cities of Miandoab or Urmia. It is important to explain that some of these bodies have been buried without ghusl[1] and in covering provided by the hospital. In many cases, we have had to wash the bodies of our dead in our backyards or in our homes. As a result of these issues and problems, all the families of these loved ones have complained to all local and national government agencies and requested a plot of land near the City of Tabriz for burial of bodies. Unfortunately, this issue has not been addressed and this trend continues after 33 deaths in the last five years.

According to the divine laws of the holy religion of Islam and the emphasis of the Holy Prophet on the observance of the corpses of the human bodies, which are regarded as the vicegerents of God, we, the following signatories, call for the serious attention of state officials, and hope with the help of Your Honour and with God’s assistance, urgent measures will be taken to solve the problem of burying the deceased Baha’is of Tabriz, so that all human beings can enjoy equal rights.

We wish Your Honour increasing success in serving the people and dear Iran.

[17 signatures]

 

 

[1] [Ghusl:  A term referring to the full body washing required, if the adult loses the state of body cleanliness; it is used in Islám by adults prior to ablution for various rituals and prayers; to wash the entire body in a rigorous manner.]