[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Shahrivar 1321[August/September 1942], Tehran
Distinguished Mr. Ghavamol-Saltaneh, the Prime Minister of Imperial Iran
Herewith I cordially inform you that, my husband Habibollah Rouhanian, who married [me] according to his (Baha’i) religious belief on Azar 1318[November/December 1939], has been condemned to six months imprisonment while I have been condemned to eight days of imprisonment by Kerman’s Department of Justice. This is the result of there not being any marriage Registration Office to register our Baha’i marriage and [despite us] informing the Yazd’s Deeds and Property Registration Office, Census and Personal Status Registration Office of Yazd of our marriage, by mail. Currently my husband spends his time in the prison of Yazd and I am left with my infant with no support. The Esteemed [Prime] Minister, with his complete awareness of Iran’s law, will understand that the Department of Justice in its memorandum of 10206 – 5 Tir 1318 [?] [27 June 1939] has declared that all wedding contracts, marriages and divorce cases between followers of the four main religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism) should be registered in the office of the Public [Personal Status] Registration Office. However there is no mention of other religions.
When the law is silent and does not consider the rights of other religions, why should we [Baha’is] become the scapegoat and although without any guilt or transgression, be condemned to imprisonment and endue the loss of all our possessions? Out of respect to the country’s law, we did inform the higher authorities via the registered mail and we have the postal receipt of the letter. If we had not informed the authorities, no one would have noticed this marriage. Of course some argue that the Baha’i Faith is not a recognized religion in Iran and as such, those who marry according to the Baha’i law must be persecuted.
The Esteemed Prime Minister: In Iran, besides the Baha’is, there are other religious groups that are not counted in the four official religions. When it comes to [the recognition of] their marriages, are they treated the same ways as Baha’is? Should someone who marries according to his/her own religion although not officially recognized in Iran, be condemned to imprisonment? Should a Muslim man and woman, who marry in a country that does not recognize their Islamic religion as an official religion be condemned to imprisonment?
Mr. Prime Minister! Are Baha’is not considered Iranian? Should they not have the right to live? Have Baha’is been negligent or have they ignored their responsibilities? Is not Iran a country that respects the freedom [of individuals]? Is not Iran one of those countries whose motto is the freedom of religion? Does Iran condemn two people who have committed the same crime to different punishments? One is condemned to eight days of imprisonment, the other one to four months and another to six months? While their crime is the same, the court is the same and the law is the same?
I earnestly request that you consider my sincere appeal and do not leave myself and my infant without livelihood and guardian. And please instruct that my husband be discharged.
[Signature: Mrs. Sultan Ghadirzadeh]
[Handwritten note1:] 224020-30 Tir 21[21 July 1942], Legal Office
[Handwritten note 2:] The exact letter should be sent to the Ministry of Justice. 1 Mehr21[23 September 1942]
[Handwritten note 3:] [The stamp: Entered to the Office of the Director of the Ministers, Number 15293, Date: 5 Mehr 21[27 September 1942]
[Handwritten note 4:]Records, 7 Mehr21[29 September 1942]
[Handwritten note 5:] [Stamp: illegible, Number 23402, Date 8 Mehr21[30 September 1942]]
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