Sunday 15th Sep 2019 

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News: Iran human rights

Iran: Destroying farmlands in Semnan (northern province) and displacing 80 families

NCRI - By declaring an area in “Mehdi Shahr” as a military area, the Revolutionary Guard in Semnan has destroyed the biggest apple garden in the province thereby displacing 80 families settled in the area. The displaced families have been engaged in plantation and exploiting the gardens and farmlands in the area for 150 years.

The families settled in the area set up an agricultural and livestock company in 1991.They cooperatively took all the farmlands under cultivation and set up the biggest apple garden in Semnan province.

According to a member of one of the families, in order to provide the households with water and electricity and following the approval of Seman Electricity Department, the company installed more than five kilometers of power transmission lines at company members’ expense and also received the permit from the provincial officials to construct three earth dams.

He added: “From 1999, pressures on the families were boosted by preventing them from using the pastures followed by cutting off the power by the power department.

It seems that these pressures were aimed at forcing the families to leave. Since many of these families are Baha’is, these pressures are along the economic pressures on Baha’is to worsen their situation.

By declaring the region as a military area in 2013, the Revolutionary Guard provided the arrangements for expelling the families and confiscating their properties and gardens with military and security excuses.

The families have been in dire straits during the past four years, with their 150-year-old properties being confiscated and their sheep being on sale. After two years from filing a complaint by the families, their case has not yet been dealt with.

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