Widespread Destruction of Baha’i Properties in Semnan

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atash-zadanEditor’s Note:  Semnan continues to be among the foremost anti-Baha’i hotbeds in Iran.  Hardly a day passes that the Baha’is of that region are not subjected to another form of persecution, vandalism, and harm.  This latest episode in these activities is reported by Human Rights Activists News Agency, presumably based on reports by members of the Baha’i community in Iran.

Once again, after many previous instances, the Baha’i cemetery of Semnan and many places of business belonging to Baha’is have been attacked and vandalized by unknown assailants.

Several days ago, unknown individuals used bulldozers to destroy the building used to offer the Prayer for Dead by the Baha’is of Semnan; also they poured a large quantity of soil near the entrance to the same building in the cemetery, thereby blocking access to the burial washing facilities.  In recent months, this is the second attack against the same cemetery.  In previous attacks, assailants destroyed graves and set the washing facility on fire.

Moreover, in continuing attacks on Baha’i residents of this town, at 1:00 AM on the morning of August 8, for the second time motorcycle assailants attacked the shop belonging to Peyman Shadman (see IPW), a Baha’i resident of Semnan.  After their initial efforts, the assailants dispersed due to neighbors’ vigilance, while Mr. Shadman was able to extinguish and prevent the spread of the fires with the help of neighbors.  Surprisingly, the assailants returned, but once again due to the presence of people and their attempt to identify the assailants, they quickly dispersed.

It should be noted that several nights earlier, certain elements had tried to invoke fear in Baha’is by hanging a dead cat and smearing blood on the walls of the same shop.

During the same period, the sign on the shop of Sepehr Subhani, which asserted, “Pelasku Roshik”, was set on fire.

It is important to bear in mind that in all the above instances, and in every other instance in recent months in which Baha’is have suffered a loss of property, security forces have been informed of details and a report has been filed with them.  However, so far, not the least attention has been paid by any of these agencies to pursuing the offenders.  

[Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, at hra-news and hra-iran.  Translation by Iran Press Watch.]

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