[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]
[Newspaper:] Iran Times
[Date:] Friday, 29 November 1985 [8 Azar 1364]
Following the publication of the report of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations: Jomhouri Eslami Newspaper: “the Executed Baha’is were Israel’s Spies”
Ruhiyyih Rabbani, the wife of Shoghi Effendi and the leader of the Baha’is, criticized the United Nations report and said, “This report does not reflect what really is happening to the Baha’is”.
Washington – The Iran Times News Agency: Following the publication of the report of the United Nations Human Rights Commission regarding the human rights conditions and the treatment of the Baha’is in Iran, Jomhouri Eslami newspaper wrote: “Every Baha’i who has been executed in Iran has previously been tried according to the Islamic laws and has been condemned”. This newspaper wrote: “The executed Baha’is were Israel’s spies.”
On the other hand Ruhiyyih Rabbani, the wife of Shoghi Effendi, the leader of Baha’is, criticized the United Nations report and said that this report did not show a true picture of the conditions of the Baha’is in Iran.
Jomhouri Eslami newspaper, the official organ of the Islamic Republic, on Thursday 21 November [30 Aban], wrote that every Baha’i who has been executed in Iran, has previously been tried and convicted in the Islamic courts.
The Reuters News Agency, in publishing this news, wrote that the report of the above-mentioned newspaper was a reaction to the United Nations report, saying, “Iran did not provide any information regarding the executed Baha’is to the United Nations.”
Reuters wrote, “It is said that close to 300 individuals were executed during 1984 and 1985. The report of the United Nations Human Rights Commission prepared by Andres Aguilar, the special rapporteur to United Nations Secretary General, does not say how many of the executed individuals were Baha’is. But it said some of the 13 people who have been interviewed and informed him were Baha’is.
Jomhouri Eslami newspaper wrote: “The members of the Baha’i sect who were executed were spies of the Zionist regime (Israel) and their sentences were issued following the complete legal [procedures] of the courts.”
The Jomhouri Eslami newspaper has not written how many were executed, but it writes that the report of the United Nations was prepared based on the statements by 13 fugitives, without paying any attention to the nature of those individuals.
Reuters, at the end of its report, writes that there has been no open confrontation against Baha’is in Iran in the last two years.
It is said in a report prepared by Andres Aguilar that he has spoken to 13 individuals who have said they witnessed torture in Iran. He wrote that it is said that around 282 individuals were executed in Iran between 1984 and 1985, and it is said that the other 17 died as a result of maltreatment in prison.
Aguilar, who used to be the minister of justice in Venezuela, and is set to become the ambassador of Venezuela to the United Nations, has written in his report that, as the special rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, he asked Iran in July to provide the complete information about the reports published regarding the execution and death of these individuals. But Iran, in response, only sent him some general information and articles from Iran’s Constitution regarding human rights, and there was no mention of the executions and deaths of these individuals in Iran’s response.
The United Nations representative then wrote that since he had not received sufficient information to refute the allegations regarding the “systematic torture and execution” of this group from Iran, he could not say the reports regarding the existence of the systematic torture and execution were unfounded, unless sufficient evidence regarding the baselessness of these reports is submitted to the United Nations, and that the government of Iran is the best resource for providing this information and submitting it to the United Nations.
Aguilar wrote that he had sent a letter to Iran towards the end of August, in which he described to Iran the details of the torture of 13 individuals who had claimed they had personally experienced the violation of human rights. But again, he did not receive any response. The United Nations special rapporteur wrote that some of the 13 individuals were Baha’i, and said the Baha’is in Iran are subject to torture and execution so that they are forced to recant their religious beliefs.
Reuters continued, “Ruhiyyih Rabbani, who is the highest-ranking personality among the Baha’is, expressed disappointment with the United Nations report.”
The United Press News Agency, regarding the reaction of Ruhiyyih Rabbani, wrote that she had said that the United Nations report was not a very useful report; it does not show what is happening to the Baha’is and does not portray a true picture of the situation.
United Press wrote “Ruhiyyih Rabbani, who was born in Canada, is the widow of Shoghi Effendi Rabbani. And Shoghi Effendi was the grandson of the founder of Bahaism. Mrs. Ruhiyyih Rabbani has arrived in New York to discuss the situation of Baha’is in Iran at the United Nations.”
The report of the United Nations Human Rights Commission regarding the situation of Baha’is in Iran is scheduled to be discussed at the United Nations General Assembly.
In a report on Sunday, 24 November, the New York Times [newspaper], in criticism of the United Nations report regarding the human rights situation in Iran, wrote, “A Western diplomat questioned whether the person preparing that report was talking about Iran or Switzerland”
… The New York Times wrote that the United Nations authorities had defended the said report and Kurt Harendel, the deputy to the United Nations Secretary General, said this report may be weak or strong, but the said matter was going to be discussed at the General Assembly for the first time.
On Monday, the New York Times also [published] in an article titled “The Crimes of Iran”, [saying that,] immediately following the fall of the shah, the victorious clergy started to persecute one of Iran’s largest religious minorities, meaning the 300,000-member Baha’i community. The Baha’i leaders were executed, hundreds were killed and thousands of Baha’is were tortured.
The New York Times wrote that Iran’s Constitution does not protect Bahaism the same as Christianity and Judaism; the United Nations does not need to investigate in order to prove this matter.