Baha'i International Community Deplores Destruction Of Khavaran Cemetery

January 30, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Bahá’í World News Service

The destruction earlier this month of a cemetery in Iran used for the mass burial of hundreds killed in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution in 1979 is an outrageous violation of human dignity, the Baha'i International Community said today. At least 15 Baha'is were among those buried at the site.

"The destruction of the Khavaran cemetery by government agents goes against all concepts of respect for the dead in any culture, including values preached in Islam," said Diane Ala'i, the representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva.

"We join with other human rights groups inside and outside of Iran in condemning this shameful deed, which is yet another sign of the intolerance of the current Iranian regime," said Ms. Ala'i.

Located southeast of Tehran, the Khavaran cemetery was used as the burial site for hundreds who were killed in the early years of the Iranian revolution.

Earlier this month, a group of unidentified individuals using bulldozers demolished an area of the cemetery known as the "graveyard of the infidels," the area where many of the people executed in the early years of the revolution were buried.

Reports indicate the group clearly represented a branch of the government. It was also reported that the officials told the cemetery custodian that the parcel was being demolished to develop a green space or park.

Human rights groups inside and outside of Iran have since registered protests.