HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency – The intelligence ministry of the province of Semnan has been putting pressure on the Bahá’í residents of Dazgareh-Afshar, a neighboring hamlet of Sangesar, over the past few months. According to reporters from HRANA, the news agency of the Association of Human Rights Activists in Iran, pressure has been applied since 2006 to destroy the area and force its residents to evacuate the place. A few years later it became clear that all this pressure has been orchestrated by intelligence ministry agents from Semnan. The pressure has increased in recent months.
The report further adds that over the past few years, security forces destroyed the water supply, cut off electricity, issued warnings from the water department about filling wells which were under construction, and initiated schemes for demolishing residential homes there.
For example, the water supply dam of Dazgareh was built under an authorization from the water department in 2000. In 2006, however, security forces of the department called in a complaint for the destruction of this earthen dam. In 2009, in a confidential letter to the Office of the Attorney General’s office in Semnan, the intelligence ministry of Semnan ordered the destruction of the earthen dam. Under the direct supervision of intelligence ministry agents, the dam was then destroyed.
Agents of the water department then asked the owners of the dam to pay 60 million tomans [Tomans are an obsolete Iranian currency, but in general usage 1 toman equals 10 Iranian rials — 60 million Tomans is equal to approx $49,000] for costs incurred in carrying out the destruction. As the owners did not pay that sum, the agents confiscated their livestock (a total of 157 animals worth 604,900,000 rials [approx. $49,400]).
In addition, without prior notice, in August 2009, the region’s electricity supply for agriculture was cut off. Following initial visits, the electricity department of Mehdishahr (Sangesar) stated that they had been unaware of this, and the head of the department referred the matter to the electricity department of the province of Semnan. After frequent follow-up visits to the department of energy, it became clear that the Security Council of the province of Semnan had issued the cutoff order.
As shareholders of this company believe in elimination of oppression and pressure through the legal system, legal complaints were made against all these judicial and governmental authorities, both at the local and state levels. No one ever responded or followed up.