Reporters and Human Rights Activists in Iran (RAHNA) reported today about the desecration by an unidentified group of the Baha’i cemetery in Damavand.

According to the report, an unidentified group entered the cemetery on April 24th, and using heavy machinery overturned every gravestone in the cemetery. The cemetery was completely leveled. Complaints to authorities have resulted in nothing. The cemetery was established in 2005 following the illegal confiscation of the lots of the previous two cemeteries of Damavand by the Ministry of Intelligence.

Desecration of Baha’i cemeteries has been a long-held unofficial policy of the Iranian regime. In 2009, the Baha’i cemeteries in Semnan, Najafabad and Vilashahr, Abadan and Khorramshahr and Sangsar were desecrated. The destruction of cemeteries has been used by the Iranian regime to prevent Baha’is from burying their dead in their towns, in contradiction to Baha’i teachings. The fact that the destruction operations are usually carried out using heavy machinery means that the people behind the attacks are not just random anti-Baha’i vigilantes. The fact that no charges are ever pressed against those criminals signals to them that the regime supports their abhorrent actions.