Murder of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani was religiously motivated

27 August 2013

From the available information it is now clear that the murder in Iran of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani was religiously motivated.

It is understood that Mr. Rezvani was shot in the back of his head and that his body was found in his car near the railway station on the outskirts of Bandar Abbas, the city where he resided with his family. Information received thus far points to the possibility that his assailants had forced him to drive to that location. His body was discovered following a search when he failed to return home.

Mr. Rezvani was well-known as a Baha'i and was loved and respected by the people of Bandar Abbas for his honesty and helpfulness. As a young man, he was expelled from his engineering studies at university because he was a Baha'i. He nonetheless came to be regarded as an expert in water purification, and his work took him to other cities. Recently, owing to pressure and threats from agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, he was dismissed from his work and had to resort to selling water purification equipment. These agents had also been bringing pressure to bear on him to leave the city. More recently, he had begun receiving menacing telephone calls from unknown persons. It should also be noted that on several occasions in the past few years senior local clerics have attempted to incite the population through incendiary sermons against the Baha'is of the city.

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