Bahai News (facebook), August 13, 2015.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Fars Province has continued to prepare the site for the cultural, sporting and commercial centre it intends to build on the Bahai cemetery of Shiraz. New burials in the cemetery were forbidden in 1984, soon after 10 Bahai women who had been hung by the government were buried there. In all, the cemetery held the remains of 23 Bahais martyred for their faith, following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. However the cemetery had been in use for nearly 70 years, and contained 950 graves, of which nearly 400 have now been desecrated by earth-moving machinery. The IRGC has chosen to build on the cemetery, although there is a large empty site adjoining it which would be suitable. When the destruction of graves began, there was an international outcry, and the destruction was limited to one area in the cemetery, although the building work continued. However the latest photographs show that work is underway on most of the site’s 16,000 square meters. The Bahais of Shiraz have attempted to discuss the matter with religious and civil authorities, and some have even gone to Qom [to meet senior religious figures there ~sen], but without results. On August 5, 2014, three Bahais were arrested in Shiraz, apparently because they had sought to discuss the destruction of the cemetery with the responsible authorities. On June 14 last year, the head of the IRGC in Fars Province held a religious ceremony on the site, to mark the “night of power,” and used the occasion to insult and threaten the Bahai community.
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