Two Months in the Morgue: The Unburied Bahai of Ahwaz

HRANA News Agency – The body of a Bahai has been held in the morgue for nearly two months in the large southern Iranian city of Ahvaz because local officials have refused to allow his burial.

According to the report of Bahai World News Service, Shamel Bina passed away on 28 October but remains unburied, despite numerous appeals from his family and others, who have appealed to numerous officials from the governor general to the city’s Friday prayer leader.

The family’s agony is compounded by the fact that, earlier this year, the Bahai cemetery here was closed by authorities. The door to the walled compound was welded shut and bricked up.

The episode is the latest in a series of incidents in recent months where Iranian officials have blocked or interfered with the burial of Baha’is – or sanctioned the destruction of their cemeteries – apparently as part of a campaign to force Baha’is to deny their own religious identity.

In another city, Semnan, the Baha’is were told that in order to be issued a permit to bury their deceased relatives, they must sign an undertaking. In this form, they are asked to have no marking on the graves except the names and dates of birth and death and not to create green space in the cemetery since that is considered a promotion of their faith.

Similar orders were issued earlier this year for the Baha’i cemetery of Sangsar.

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