[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

22 Aban 1318 [14 November 1939]

The esteemed head of the Council of Ministers,

I, Ali-Mohammad Khademi, signed the marriage certificate of Mr. Ali Aousat, a resident of Qorveh in Kurdistan, as a witness in the month of Dey 1317 [December/January 1938].  As the marriage ceremony was conducted according to the Baha’i Faith, he presented the marriage certificate to the registry representative (office) of Qorveh, and the subject office telegraphically asked the Kurdistan Registry Office for instruction. The reply was not to register the marriage. Though as a matter of disclaiming responsibility, the office handled it according to national laws, the Magistrate’s Office and Kurdistan Court prosecuted and caused trouble for him, me and other witnesses. In the month of Khordad [May/June] we were summoned to Kurdistan Court during the peak of our agricultural activities; nonetheless, we appeared at the appointed time so as to obey the law, as it is a religious duty for me and the other witnesses. The court’s investigation, based on the state laws, confirmed the innocence of the witnesses.  It became evident that neither getting married according to one’s religion, nor being a witness in such a ceremony, is considered transgression; thus we were acquitted. However, the loss we endured for transportation and missing work was such that required us to seek justice as to why the registry office, which was at fault for refusing to register a Bahá’í marriage certificate, puts the burden on the marrying couple and witnesses.  The point was to avoid the reoccurrence of such inconvenience for future couples or witnesses who get married based on their religious laws. Despite this, however, we refrained from filing a claim so as not to impose on the precious time of the authorities with such details, until it became clear that the public prosecutor of Kurdistan felt that the troubles and damages done to these poor citizens were not enough and insisted that it was necessary to find these individuals guilty by filling an appeal and asking for their punishment. Why? Because they were married according to their own beliefs and did not follow the laws of other religions. Finally, the appeal from Kermanshah arrived, and after travelling for fifty farsakh, we appeared in court on 22 Mehr [14 October]. We were acquitted after again responding to the same questions as in the Kurdistan court, and were told that the court’s decision would be announced in due course. The loss and burden imposed on the citizens is unbearable, and the esteemed state authorities will certainly not be pleased to witness the financial loss endured by these poor ones. I ask that august council to address this matter, so that the mercy and compassion of that esteemed government may be bestowed upon these poor ones, who are completely obedient to their beloved government, according to their belief, and who try wholeheartedly to be law abiding citizens, so that they may be spared such disturbances in affairs of conscience, which are not against the well-being of the government and the nation.  Would the pure conscience of that august council be content to see that young Baha’is are subjected to all sorts of harassment when they decide to get married, while, according to the instruction of their leader, they consider betrayal of the king, the homeland and fellow human beings as betraying God? It is hoped that, as a result of that esteemed authority’s love for justice, honest and sincere citizens like us can also benefit from the blessings of the fairness bestowed upon our beloved country in this glorious age.

With utmost gratitude and due respect – Ali-Mohammad Khademi

 

[Stamp:]

Receipt by the office of head of ministers

Number: 10683

Date: 28 Aban 1318 [20 November 1939]