[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Emblem]

Islamic Republic of Iran

Province of Khuzestan

Islamic Council of the City of Ahvaz

 

Date: 20 Aban 1393 [11 November 2014]

Number: 2000/3920

Enclosure: -----

 

Mr. Mousavi

The honourable mayor of Ahvaz Metropolis

Praise be to Muhammad and His family (PBUH)

Greetings,

Respectfully, the complaint presented by the Baha’i citizens is submitted for your kind investigation and report. While following up the case, kindly inform this council of the situation. /S 84

Ghorban-Ali Saadatnia

President of the Islamic Council of Ahvaz Metropolis

[Signature]

[Address]

 

In the Name of God

Date: 20 Aban 1393 [11 November 2014]

The respected City Council of Ahvaz

With greetings, respect and condolences on the occasion of these heart-rending days.

This appeal for justice is submitted on behalf of several Baha’i citizens of the city. They are introduced below.

 

Dear Sirs,

This is to inform you that the cemetery (situated at the back of the Kianpars gas station), belonging to us Baha’is, is the burial ground of many of our relatives and dear ones. On 18 Esfand 1392 [9 March 2014], the iron entrance gate of the cemetery was welded shut by the town hall and its access blocked with very large cement blocks.

We draw your attention to the fact that this action was carried out without any prior notification by [the town hall] or by any other authorized organization. We add that all the activities of this minority have always taken place after the obtaining of a legal permit and in compliance with the regulations laid down by the government. For example, the last deceased person, by the name of Sharifeh Afshar, was buried in that cemetery on 29 Mehr 1392 [21 October 2013], and the burial permit had been obtained from Ahvaz cemeteries.

During our meetings with the municipal authorities, the contradictory reasons that were, of course, conveyed [to us] only verbally, were on one occasion related to the private nature of the complaint, and on the other regarding the unsuitability of the location of this burial place and the dangers to the environment and the city hygiene!!

This cemetery has belonged to the Baha’is for over one hundred years, way before the time that its surroundings were urbanized, and the deceased have been buried there throughout this time. This, of course, is not a reason for the Baha’is to disregard their responsibility towards the city’s health and hygiene. The evidence of this is that a few years ago, we had requested a suitable piece of land, outside the city. A copy of one of the requests is enclosed.

[The corpse of] one of the Baha’i citizens of Ahvaz, who passed away on 6 Aban 1393 [28 October 2014], is still in the morgue, and due to the lack of a burial place, we are unable to bury the body anywhere. This is while numerous letters have been sent since 18 Esfand 1392 [9 March 2014] up to now, by the Baha’i citizens of Ahvaz and addressed to the authorities, such as the respected provincial governor, the governor-general, Ahvaz Municipality, the office of the Friday prayer leader, and the majority of their deputies and authorities, on the subject of requesting a new piece of land and reclaiming the old cemetery. No action has been taken so far.

Unfortunately, the only reply given by the respected authorities in this regard has been that we should transfer the deceased [members of our community] from the centre of the province to one of the cemeteries of the surroundings of Omidiyeh – (previously Mahshahr).

 

[Handwritten note at bottom of the page]

The respected mayor

For a speedy report

20 Aban 1393 [11 November 2014]

 

[Received stamp]

20 Aban 1393 [11 November 2013]

2000/3913