[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:] Saham News

[Date:] 11 Shahrivar 1394 [2 September 2015]

 

One Cemetery for Baha’is in Each Province

According to a new ruling issued to the Baha’is by the judicial authorities, any person from this community who dies not only can no longer be buried in the same city, but his family must go to the city designated for burial.

According to Saham, the communication states that Baha’is in Iran have a city in each province for the burial and interment of their dead, and they can only have cemeteries in these [designated] cities.

The demolition of cemeteries and the burial of Baha’is in the Islamic Republic has always been one of the government’s conflicts with this minority. In cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Semnan, Mashhad and Shiraz, Baha’i cemeteries have been demolished and building construction has taken place on these sites. However, Baha’is have flocked to the deserts around their hometowns to bury their dead, which were later attacked and destroyed. This is while the Baha’is have legally purchased, prepared and planted trees in, their cemetery lands.

With the growing protests of this community and its international repercussions, the authorities of the Islamic Republic have recently proposed and implemented a solution to this problem. Under the plan, Baha’is in each province can bury their dead in only one city in that province.

Recently, a Baha’i living in Sanandaj, whose mother had died, kept her body in the refrigerator for two weeks so that he could be allowed to bury her in Sanandaj. But after two weeks, he had to move his mother’s body to Qorveh City [for burial], which is more than 160 kilometres away from the place where his mother died.

In this regard, one Baha’i said, “Of course, it is not clear what they will do with our cemeteries in those cities. Although we believe that every dead person should be buried only in a place that is at most one hour’s distance from the place of death, and this [government’s decision] is contrary to our beliefs, we have no choice but to accept the strict instructions of the government.”

Other Baha’is say, “It does not matter much; what is important is that with the ban on education and work of the members and youth of this community, [we] are gradually being killed while alive.”