Burial of a Deceased Baha’i Prevented


arton5903The following report was posted on the online site of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters on Friday, September 25, 2009, and appears below in translation:

After the destruction in recent days of the Baha’i cemetery of Vilashahr and Najafabad [see ipw], agents of the Ministry of Intelligence are preventing the burial of a deceased Baha’i in that same cemetery.

Azizu’llah Subhi Najafabadi, born 1924, was a resident of Najafabad.  He passed away on Tuesday, September 15, 2009, in Namazi Hospital due to old age.  Since then, the family’s effort to receive the body has been unsuccessful.

The family’s appealed to authorities in the local police station, the security office and the local branch of the Ministry of Intelligence, the law enforcement agency, the municipality, and the mayor’s office in Najafabad.  But they have only met with the same consistent response:  “His remains will be given to you only if you do not bury him in the [recently destroyed] Baha’i cemetery of vilashahr-Najafabad, and inter him instead in the Baha’i cemetery of Isfahan.”

According to Baha’i teachings, Baha’is are not permitted to bury their dead far from the place of passing.  It is for this reason that the family is exerting efforts to bury their dead in the aforesaid cemetery, near the place of his passing.

Currently, because of the destruction of the Baha’i cemetery of Vilashahr and Najafabad, the Baha’is of these towns have no place for the burial of their dead.

Reports receive from the field indicate that authorities are putting considerable pressures on Baha’i residents in this region aiming to prevent them from adhering to their religious percepts. 

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

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.

More details are available in Persian at hra-news.  For description of a similar incident in Semnan, see: ipw

[Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009, at chrr.  Translation by Iran Press Watch.]


11 Responses

  1. Bill

    September 25, 2009 8:36 pm

    Clearly, the Islamic Revolutionary authorities not only know about Baha’u’llah’s requirement that Baha’is bury their dead within one hour’s travel time of the place of death, but have dcided to use such knowledge as a means of abusing the Baha’is still further. These people have no shame.

  2. maliheh

    September 25, 2009 9:23 pm

    It is unbelievable how low the authorities do stoop. What do they think they can accomplish by preventing a burial.

    Is it going to be a victory for Islam, if a deceased is buried in another city and a Baha’i law is not adhered to?

    What are the authorities really scared of? Baha’is are less than half a percent of the population of Iran! why are they spending so much energy and finaces of the country for spreading hatred?

  3. Purplexed

    September 25, 2009 11:33 pm

    To the Islamic authorities:

    You did not succeed forcing Baha’is recant their faith. Are you trying to convert the deceased Baha’is to Islam by not allowing them rest in peace, adhering to thier burial laws?

  4. DustyA1

    September 26, 2009 2:42 pm

    The synthesis that is taking place at the World Council of Churches allows everyone to believe what they will as long as they agree with the Vatican. Papal law is still in effect and the Hegellian/dictatorial attitude is prevelent in the documentation.

  5. neh

    September 26, 2009 4:05 pm

    This behaviour on the part of the authorities, mirrors that of spoiled, petulant children who are told “no”. One almost expects them to next throw themselves on the ground kicking and screaming … what incredible shame they bring to their office and to their country.

  6. colorado

    September 27, 2009 2:59 am

    On second thought, this wasn’t the sort of ugly desecration and smearing usually resorted to by ‘religious’ criminals, who think of Baha’is, Jews, and so on as unclean, but so visibly need to make the filth themselves. Rather, the complete erasing of the site, including removal of the remains of the water tank, etc., is more like the acts of ‘religious leaders’ or ‘people in high positions’, who then take the land for their own use at no cost. How soon will this ‘unused’ land be taken, and who will it be given to?

  7. Nima

    September 28, 2009 5:14 am

    Logic is absent in these descendants of Prophet Muhamad Mustafa (SAWS) and His Ahle-Bayt. Do they not realize that they behave towards the Baha’is the same way the Arabs and Jews to Muhammad? This is why Baha’u’llah’s interpretation of “Return” makes so much sense. This persecution only further confirms the beauty and truth of Baha’u’llah’s message.


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