[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Date: 31 Mordad 1359 [22 August 1980]
Dr. Seyyed Abolhasan Banisadr, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
With utmost humility we inform you of the following:
On 30/5 /1359 [21 August 1980], a group of armed individuals arrested, without charge, the innocent members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran. These people were elected for a one-year term by the Baha’i community and were solely responsible for the spiritual affairs of the Baha’i community and for assisting the oppressed people of this community. Along with two of their friends from Zafar street, they were taken to an unknown place, which has caused the Baha’i community of Iran, the largest religious minority in this country, great sorrow and worry.
Your highness is fully aware that Baha’is believe in the oneness of God and the truth of all divine Messengers. Yet prior to the establishment of the Islamic Republic government, Baha’is had suffered great cruelty and antagonism from the authorities, such that more than 20,000 of them chose martyrdom because of their belief in this Faith.
Based on the tenets of their Faith, Baha’is refrain from interference in political affairs at all times, and under all conditions are obedient to the government of the country in which they live. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic regime, we had imagined that the oppression of this community would be lifted under the reign of Islamic justice. However, with utmost regret, some of the authorities, in contrast to Islamic teachings and exhortations, have taken severe action[against the Baha’is] such as the destruction and burning of their the properties and buildings, and abduction, torture and imprisonment of followers. Bahá’ís have also suffered expulsion from organizations and companies, and various other injustices. The esteemed authorities have not yet paid the least attention to the rightful legal and religious appeals from the Baha’i Community of Iran.
These current conditions have caused the life, possessions, and reputations of the oppressed Baha’is in the sacred country of Iran have come under pressure, and sorrow and worry and have overwhelmed the members of this community. The Baha’is in other countries of the world also are worried and saddened by the continuation of these unjust acts.
We hereby beseech your respected Highness, who fears God, to issue an order to ensure the release of the oppressed individuals listed above who have been arrested, thereby bringing gratitude and joy to the hearts of their families.
From the Baha’i Community of Iran
- His Highness Hojattol Islam val-Muslemin, Mr. Aliakbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, esteemed Head of the Islamic Consultative Assembly
- His Highness Ayatollah Mousavi-Ardabili, esteemed Prosecutor General
- His Highness Ayatollah Dr. Beheshti, Head of the Supreme Council
- His Highness Ayatollah Ali Qoddusi, Prosecutor General of the Islamic Revolution of Iran