[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Saturday, 20 Bahman 1358 [9 February 1980]

 

The Honourable Dr. Abol-Hasan Banisadr, President of the Islamic Country of Iran, May His Glory Last

With utmost respect and brevity, and as it was previously brought to your attention, [we] wish to submit for your consideration [the following]. For a period of 136 years, Baha’is have been subjected to all kinds of atrocities, including murder, plunder, assault, beating and destitution in Iran. Especially over the past year, since the establishment of the Islamic Revolution, the Baha’i community has fallen under such assaults, by unauthorized, hostile and opportunist groups. There is no parallel or [similarity] in terms of its vastness and depth, during the past 136-year history of oppression of the Baha’i community. All the possessions and assets of this community have been confiscated―the Omana Company, the Nawnahalan Company, and even Misaghieh Hospital have gone with the wind with no trial or any court order. Similar to the year preceding the Islamic Revolution of Iran, hundreds of Baha’i families―most, if not all, from the impoverished and deprived classes―have been subjected to killings and lootings in various villages, towns and cities in Iran for the sole reason of being Baha’is. Their homes, their agriculture and their household furniture have been set on fire, and those innocent, helpless and defenceless people have been scattered all over mountains, valleys, wilderness and deserts.

Also, since the beginning of this year, a number of Baha’i community members have been kidnapped, and ten months of search has produced no trace of their whereabouts. Given that among them are people with heart conditions and cancer, such conduct is an indication not only that the perpetrators acted illegally, but also that they are deprived of the most basic human compassion. Although, according to the edict of the public prosecutor general of the Islamic Republic, no one must be arrested without the prosecutor’s written order, none of the authorities have produced any court order for the arrests. In a few cases, even when the person has asked for the order to be produced, his request has been considered as an insult to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and [he has] been subjected to insult and torture. 

On Thursday, 18 Bahman [7 February 1980], they arrested one of the prominent members of this community, Dr. Masih Farhangi, at his home, and produced an order indicating their authorization to arrest all members of the National Assembly, Local Assemblies and National Committees. If the public prosecutor general has, in fact, issued such an order, kindly summon all the people in question, and they will present themselves at the prescribed date, time and place, to be tried in an equitable court for being Baha’is. And yet, if this order is only a pretext for violation of rights of the Baha’is, then we wish to ask for your intervention and elimination of aggressions.

Continuation of this tyrannical treatment towards a community that has never fallen short of its services to this land, and has proven its claim of sincere obedience to the administrative orders of the ruling government, especially over the past year, and its readiness [to render] every sacrifice towards the development and prosperity of this country, will have wide coverage and reflection around the world. One may even say that this is exactly what certain groups opposing Your Honour and against the political stability of the country strive for.

Honourable President, these dark days of oppression against the Baha’i community will no doubt pass, but this is a special time in history, when Your Honour, as the first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the reins of affairs in your capable hands, alongside other responsible persons in the country of whose sincere intentions we are certain, and under the guidance of Imam Khomeini, can act and conduct the affairs so as to avoid degrading the station of beloved Iran and the Islamic Revolution for committing atrocities against the Baha’is, similar to the period of Qajar and Pahlavi. And now, when the whole world knows that Iran is governed according to the Islamic law, God forbid it would be the cause of disgrace to the sacred religion of Islam.

Now as an urgent request, which if neglected will cause imminent danger to the lives of a number of innocent people for the above-mentioned reasons, and to the legal security, which is one of the most basic human rights, and will lead to disastrous consequences, we wish to request the release of Mr. Mohammad Movahhed, Dr. Alimorad Davoudi, Mr. Rouhi Rowshani, Mr. Badiollah Farid, Mr. Saied Javadi, Mr. Bahrami, Mr. Yadollah Poustchi, Mrs. Vajdiyyeh Naji (Rezvani) and Dr. Masih Farhangi.

Secondly, wish to request that the prosecution of Dr. Hosein Naji, Mr. Yousef Ghadimi and Mr. Manouher Ghaem-Maghami, whose homes have been raided and sealed, be suspended.

The Baha’i community wishes to assure you that it is free from any kind of political accusation and that anyone officially summoned by the revolutionary court will present himself within 24 hours to the appointed authority.

In conclusion, we wish to request that the illegal arrests of the innocent members of the Baha’i community in the sacred land of Iran be ceased, in order to eliminate the distress of hundreds of thousands of Baha’is of Iran and millions of Baha’is of the world.

With utmost respect,

On behalf of the Baha’i community

Abdol-Hosein Taslimi

Houshang Mahmoudi