Darzikola is a small town associated with Qa’im-Shahr (pop. 175,000 in 2006) in the province of Mazandaran, in the northern part of Iran. It is also near the larger towns of Babul and Sari (see the attached maps) and has had a relatively small Baha’i community for many years.
Because this region is rather remote and email communications are not readily available, reports being received on the incident described below are incomplete, but this is what we know as of Friday, 24 October:
During the early hours of Thursday, 23 October 2008, a number of individuals along with at least one bulldozer arrived at the Baha’i Cemetery of Darzikola, which is one of several Baha’i Cemeteries in that region. They proceeded to destroy all the Baha’i graves, and one estimate by the Baha’is of that region suggests that over 90% of the graves were desecrated and their stones broken.
This heinous crime was discovered by the Baha’i community on Thursday morning. The Baha’is took their complaint to the authorities, but it fell on deaf ears as the authorities stated, “This is not our concern.” However, a number of individuals working for the municipality were so moved by the shocking nature of this incident that they offered to come to the Cemetery and assist with the clean up – an offer that was gently refused by the Baha’is. It was clear though that most of the staff and workers at the municipality were indeed deeply moved by the graciousness of Baha’is and the cruelty of this crime.
On Friday, 24 October, the City Council posted a sign at the Cemetery sympathetic to the Baha’i community.
As more details become available, they will be posted here.
This heinous desecration is captured in the attached pictures.