[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Asre Nou

[Date:] 12 March 2014

 

Letter from More Than 500 Baha’i Citizens to Iranian Clerics

Human dignity is the main value that is ignored in our country

Your honours Grand Ayatollahs, Great Authorities, Scholars and the distinguished Spiritual Leaders,

As you are aware, for some time now, that the chaste and faithful people in this land and of this soil are either shot or killed by the knife, annihilated due to religious fanaticism and hatred. It has been less than a week since the assassination of Ataollah Rezvani, a Baha’i citizen, by an unknown person in Bandar Abbas; this time, the religious bigotry has shown its ugly face in a different way and disguised to the true thinkers and genuine religious people, allowed three other Baha’i compatriots to be stabbed and injured by knife in the east of Iran (Birjand). But the interesting matter is that in both incidents, although the assailants were acting unlawfully, free and aloof, no institution or official was made accountable to the families of those killed and injured.

It is strange that these events take place in a country that is under the rule of the Islamic government and the justice of Imam Ali, yet its rulers and officials have all remained silent in the face of this oppression and injustice though they see the actions and behaviour of these obstinate and unrestrained people. Human dignity is the main value that is ignored in our country for all those whose thought and belief appears to not be in line with the ruling thought. This leads to anger and beatings with the intention of confiscation of property, expulsion, exile and deprivation of education and government jobs, to murder and imprisonment and execution and …

In these difficult and cruel years, we thought that the authorities, clergies, and the legislature, culture, and influential men of our country would obstruct the discrimination and prejudice in the minds and hearts of our compatriots, and they would issue more appropriate laws and fatwas.

We call for [Imam] Ali-like justice that you, the grand Ayatollahs, the notable authorities and scholars, and the distinguished spiritual leaders will be responsible for preserving the lives, properties and honour of your non-Muslim compatriots, just as when a Jewish woman was oppressed in Ali’s government, he said, “It would not be strange if we died from this grief”.

We are confident that in the near future, you the noble ones, will condemn these atrocities against the Baha’i compatriots and other Iranian dissidents, and will use all your power to control blind religious prejudice with wisdom and justice.

[Names of more than 500 people]