Barring the burial of a deceased Baha’i

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The Office of Protection of the city of Najaf-Abad has not delivered the body of a deceased Baha’i, Mrs. Puran Bahrampour, to her family to conduct her funeral.

According to Human Rights Activists News Agency, Religious Minorities Rights: The body of Mrs. Puran Bahrampour, a Baha’i in [the city of] Vila-Shahr who passed away on the 5th of Azar [26 Nov. 2009] at the Montazeri Hospital in Najaf-Abad, has been kept at the hospital’s morgue; the authorities refuse to deliver the body to her family.

Notwithstanding the efforts of the family of the deceased, the Security Office of the city of Najaf-Abad has refused to deliver the body to the family, and has made the delivery of the body conditional on the family’s consent to inter [the body] in Sagzi Cemetery in Isfahan. The Security Office officials declared that should the family not consent to this condition, they will bury the body at this cemetery on their own authority.

It is important to note that in the second half of the month of Shahrivar [Sept. 2009] the Baha’i Cemetery of Vila-Shahr and Najaf-Abad, two cities in the Province of Isfahan, were destroyed for the 18th time, and since then the Ministry of Intelligence has not permitted any burials there. Also, on the 5th of Mehrdad 1388 after the passing of another Baha’i in the same area, city officials arrived at the Shahid Montazeri Hospital, took the body from the hospital morgue, and without informing the family of the deceased and without any funeral ceremony, transferred the body secretly to the Baha’i Cemetery of Isfahan and buried it.

According to Baha’i belief, the body of a deceased person may not be transferred to distant locations for burial. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” [1] Notwithstanding the fact that Iran is a signatory to these Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Baha’is in Iran, over the past 30 years, have been denied the most basic rights such as respect and personal security. Even their cemeteries have been subjected to raids many times over; now they are even barred from burying their dead according to Baha’i beliefs.

[1] Editor’s Note: the exact wording of the Declaration is reproduced here. See http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a18

[Source: HRNA, http://www.hra-news.org/news/9416.aspx; Translated by Iran Press Watch]

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5 Responses

  1. N. E. Hoyle

    November 30, 2009 6:55 pm

    This can only be seen as yet another pathetic demonstration of desperation and frustration by a Regime impotent to effectively bully their Baha’i citizens into abandoning their Faith. How incongruous! How foolish to attempt to weigh, on the Scale of Eternity, their might against the might of God. They do not realize that by this very action they have created a Martyr out of a small insignificant woman who had already died of natural causes.

    Reply
  2. Bill

    December 1, 2009 3:44 am

    It is the way of bullies and oppressors to humiliate through endless requirements that chip away at the pieces of one’s faith. In my view, forcing Baha’is to violate the Baha’i burial requirement in Iran is tantamount to requiring a denial of faith. I hope the family holds out against the authorities. Would that the authorities truly understood what blasphemers they are. Muhammad is ashamed.

    Reply
  3. sb

    December 1, 2009 12:55 pm

    Woe to Iran if this is the way the overseers of The Office of Protection in Najaf-Abad “defend” their faith . . . by refusing burial to a deceased elderly woman!? Will anyone see this as a righteous act? Could such low behavior lessen anyone’s faith? No, their cruelty can only strengthen the conviction that a New Day must inevitably dawn upon such a benighted land. “Soon will all that dwell on earth . . .”

    Reply

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