[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Ministry of the Interior
Date: 28 Esfand 1322 [19 March 1944]
Shirvan - Received on the night of 24 Esfand [15 March 1944]
Following the telegraphic report of 6 Esfand 1322 [26 February 1944], I [wish to] submit that, a few months ago, a number of Baha’is who are from Sangsar and Yazd moved from Tehran, Sangsar and Yazd to Shirvan, and have been residing here as pioneers. Since the arrival of the first group, others have gradually joined them. The total number of them, including men, women and children, has reached forty. After arrival in Shirvan, one or two of them organized a textile shop, and one or two of them have opened a photography and a spice shop. A number of them have engaged in trade.
[Around] ten or twelve days ago, a notice was published and disseminated in town that addressed these people. The notice was written using indecent and offensive phrases, and at the end, they were told to leave Shirvan within ten days. Apparently, after being informed of the contents of this notice, they filed a complaint with police headquarters. After one or two nights, late in the evening, a number of inhabitants went to the houses of some Baha’i residents and started kicking their doors, throwing stones and insulting them with obscenities, [and] they requested help from the police headquarters. A few days ago, a notice was again disseminated in town addressing the Baha’is, threatening them that if they did not move out and leave Shirvan, [various actions] would be taken against them. On the fifth of Esfand [25 of February], they again observed another notice in town on which was written the message that if they did not move out today, [they would be forcefully thrown out]. It must be mentioned that all these notices were written with very obscene and offensive language.
On the evening of 5 Esfand [25 February], some clergy and well-known authorities of Shirvan came together at a mosque and were planning to debate with the Baha’is, including Mr. Pak-Azma— one of their propagators—who had recently arrived in Shirvan. Messrs.Moin Shirvani and Karimi, who have apparently been visiting Mr. Hosein Negahban at his house, became aware of the gathering at the mosque. Mr. Moin [Shirvani] and Mr. Negahban sent them [maybe Baha’is?] a message, discouraging them from entering into this debate and [saying] that it would be better to disperse and avoid any crowding.
The crowd at the mosque moved out, without the knowledge of the landlord, and they went to Mr. Negahban’s house. From there, a message was sent for some Baha’is to go to Mr. Negahban’s place and become engaged in discussion. Three of the Baha’is named—Pak-Azma, Zohurollah Sobhani and Mohammad Sobhani—went to Mr. Negahban’s place. On their way, a big crowd, whose number, it was guessed, reached over two thousand, followed them. The three Baha’is entered the room and conversation started with Mr. Shirvani. Their discussion did not go on long before the arguments and disputes started, leading to altercation and quarrel.
Mr. Negahban, observing the gravity of the situation, asked four of his men to accompany the Baha’is to their homes so that they would not be hurt by the populace. Yet, in the street, some children apparently threw stones at them and insulted them. The stones even injured the head of one of Mr. Negahban’s men. In any case, if the four men had not accompanied these gentlemen [Baha’is], the situation would have been more severe than the simple throwing of stones and insults.
Finally by the evening, the gentlemen arrived safely at home and during the night two police guards remained guarding their house until morning. So far, the situation is peaceful.
[Signature], 28 Esfand 1322 [19 March 1944]