Translation by Iran Press Watch
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Based on a new decision by judiciary officials, they announced to Baha’is that from now on any deceased member of their community not only cannot be buried in the same city in which they passed away, but the family has to travel to specific cities designated by officials for burial of their dead.
As reported by Saham News, this announcement states: “In every province, a city shall be designated for burial of their dead; they may only have cemeteries in these cities.”
The destruction of cemeteries and burial of Baha’is has been an on-going source of oppression by the government against Baha’is. Additionally, in cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Semnan, Mashhad and Shiraz, Baha’i cemeteries have been destroyed and new buildings have been erected in their place. Despite this, Baha’is head to far-off locations around their towns to burial their dead, but these cemeteries are also attacked and destroyed. Baha’is had purchased all the lands for these cemeteries legally, and had prepared and landscaped the cemeteries.
With the increase in this community’s protests and its international repercussions, Islamic Republic authorities recently proposed a solution to solve the problem and moved forward to carry it out. Under this plan, Baha’is in each province may only bury their deceased in one designated city.
Some time back a Baha’i from Sanandaj whose mother had passed away had to keep her body in a refrigerator for two weeks before receiving permission to bury her in Sanandaj. But after two weeks he was forced to move the body of his mother to the town of Ghorveh, more than 160 Kilometers away from where his mother had passed away.
Related to this one Baha’is said: “It is not clear what they will do with our cemeteries in those towns. Although our sacred text requires that the dead should not be buried more than an hour away from the place of death*, we have no choice but to accept the government’s strict guidelines.
Some Baha’is say this is not very important: what is most important is the prohibition against education and restrictions on work for individuals and the youth in this community ‒ this will gradually kill them even as they are still physically alive.
* A brief summary of Baha’i burial practices can be found here: https://www.funeralwise.com/customs/bahai/