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UN human rights experts condemn destruction of Baha'i cemetery

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Three United Nations experts on human rights in Iran , freedom of religion, and minority issues have today renewed an calls to stop the destruction of a Baha’í cemetery in Shiraz by Revolutionary Guards.

The experts said:“We are dismayed by reports that excavation work has resumed at the cemetery" in Shiraz, Iran, after pausing for several months.

In this historic cemetery, established in the 1920s, 950 members of the Baha’i community have been buried. They includes ten women who were executed by the mullahs’ regime in June 1983. The demolition of the cemetery, first began in late April.

“Cemeteries, like places of worship, are an essential part of how people exercise and manifest their right to freedom of religion or belief. Their significance goes beyond their physical presence,” said Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

“Attacks on cemeteries are unacceptable and are a deliberate violation of freedom of religion or belief," he said.

The experts also called for the release of Baha'i prisoners in Iran.