[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Dear Mr. Bazargan, the esteemed prime minister of the Provisional Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran

With utmost humility, enclosed is a copy of the complaint made by two thousand oppressed and looted tribal Baha’i farmers and ranchers from the villages of lower Boyer-Ahmad, who have been oppressed by the ill-intentioned people and have been bewildered in the deserts with their families and children. This complaint has been sent to the Islamic Revolutionary Committee, and we request that Islamic justice be implemented.

With utmost respect,

On behalf of two thousand Baha’is of Boyer-Ahmad, Sadat Mahmudi [Rural District]

Eshghollah Ravanbakhsh

[Signature]

Alijan Dastpish

[Signature]

Rouzbahan Rouzbeh

[Signature]

 

Date: 5 Khordad 1358 [26 May 1979]

The Central Provisional Committee of the Islamic Republic

To His Holiness, Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani

The following is conveyed with gratitude and declaration of heartfelt subjugation and obedience to all the orders and laws of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We, the residents of the lower Boyer Ahmad villages of Kata, Darreh Shur, Margh-e Chenar, Katak, Garuzeh, Gowdelan, Ab Garmak, and Bar Aftab, considered as Sadat Mahmudi, have been living in the subject villages for generations and are Baha’is. The Baha’i population of the above villages is over 10,000. We are descendants of the Prophet of Islam; we believe in the oneness of God and the righteousness of all the prophets and messengers―particularly the righteousness of Prophet Mohammad and His pure and innocent children. In the Holy Quran, the Seal of the Prophets says, “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.[1]” And in another place, He says, “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”

And the grand ayatollahs have beautified their statements with these verses, have warned the people of the country against ignorant religious actions toward the religious minorities of the country and declared that all minorities are under the protection of Islam.

It is regretfully conveyed that, contrary to the commands of God and the contents of the proclamations of the grand ayatollahs, ill-intentioned individuals have been persecuting the Baha’is in the subject villages for the past several months.

Initially, they set the motor of the mill on fire in the village of Garuzeh and inflicted a bullet wound on a Baha’i by the name of Rowshan Ajir. We immediately took him to the local police station, and Lieutenant Falsafian, the commander of the Fatemizadeh Troop, observed these actions. However, nothing could be done by him. Owing to the attack of the biased local individuals, the Baha’is of the Village of Garuzeh were forced to leave their homes, farms and livestock and go to the Village of Darreh Shur. Also, two Muslim families in the subject village fled to the Village of Rudashti. The ill-intentioned individuals plundered their sheep, and a complaint was made to the police station about the incident. In addition, a report and a plea for justice was made to Ayatollah Haj Seyyed Karamatollah Malek-Hoseini, the head of Yasuj Committee. He took some action for the restitution of the stolen sheep, which bore no result.

Then, the ill-intentioned individuals attacked the Village of Darreh Shur, fired shots and plundered some cattle and sheep belonging to the Baha’is. Again, they attacked the Village of Katak and pillaged their homes and livestock, as well as the home of a Muslim named Jafar. A complaint was immediately made to the Fatemizadeh Troop and [its] commander. However, they did not return the properties and livestock of the Baha’is but returned the livestock of the Muslim individual. Owing to threats made by the biased people and the absence of life and property security, all the Baha’is of the mentioned villages took refuge in the Village of Kata. Habib Bahador and his assistants, [a group] which included more than three thousand armed individuals, surrounded Kata at night, firing numerous shots and killing a large number of the cattle owned by Baha’is.

Habib Bahador stated that Ayatollah Haj Seyyed Karamatollah Malek Hoseini, the head of the Yasuj Committee, had instructed him that the Baha’is of lower Boyer-Ahmad should either leave Boyer-Ahmad, or, if they did not leave, they would be exterminated and pillaged; or they must recant the Baha’i Faith, all of which was reported to the Fatemizadeh Police Station. The subject commander reported [this] to the Yasuj Troop, and Lieutenant Bagheri, the commander of the Yasuj Troop, together with Seyyed Ebrahim Malek Hoseini, brother of Ayatollah Haj Seyyed Karamatollah Malek Hoseini, Mr. Falsafian, the commander of the Fatemizadeh Troop, Seyyed Azizollah, who is the head of the Fatemizadeh Committee, and a few members of the Fatemizadeh Committee, came to the location. Seyyed Ebrahim Malek Hoseini put pressure on the group, threatened their lives and forced them to recant in writing. He then went to Yasuj, and the armed, spiteful individuals dispersed. Five hours after this incident, Mr. Habib Bahador and some of his armed gunmen returned to the Village of Kata and said, “You should either leave Kata within five days or you will be exterminated.”

All the lower Boyer-Ahmad Baha’is left their homes and farms and took refuge and pitched tents in the villages of Falard, Shahreza, Dezej and Boroujen, and a group went to Mahyar in Isfahan and set up tents in the desert. They are wandering, bewildered and helpless. Four hundred hectares of wheat and barley farmland and several hectares of rice-growing land have now been destroyed by the oppressors. All the doors and windows of the homes of Baha’is in Darreh Shur, Margh-e-Chenar, Katak and Garuzeh have been removed and taken away. Complaints have been sent to the Mal-e-Khalifeh[2] Committee―which is a part of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari―the Fatemizadeh police station, the Fatemizadeh Committee, Yasuj, and even the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, the office of the grand ayatollah and supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution in Qom.

Once, about 150 Boyer-Ahmad Baha’is, including men, women and children, went to Qom, visited the holy imam and pleaded for justice. A letter was written to the gendarmerie headquarters from the office of His Holiness the Imam; the gendarmerie headquarters immediately sent a telegram to the Khuzestan gendarmerie district, the Khuzestan gendarmerie district sent a telegram to the Behbahan gendarmerie regiment and the Behbahan gendarmerie regiment ordered the Fatemizadeh gendarmerie regiment to reverse the offences. However, that regiment could not reverse the offences, either. The Mal-e-Khalifeh Committee also reported the matter to the governor of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari [Province], but no result was achieved. Later, another group of Boyer-Ahmad Baha’is went to the office of His Holiness the Imam and pleaded for justice.

In a 20 Ordibehesht 1358 [10 May 1979] letter, numbered 994/ 981, which was signed by Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, the Islamic Revolutionary Central Committee in Tehran ordered the provisional Yasuj Islamic Revolutionary Committee in Boyer-Ahmad to reverse the offences against Boyer-Ahmad Baha’is. However, it was found out and confirmed that Seyyed Karamatollah Malek Hoseini, the head of the Yasuj Islamic Revolutionary committee, has refused to administer Islamic justice, has made some inappropriate remarks about the Baha’is and has even blurted out obscenities, which we refrain from mentioning, out of respect for the position of the esteemed clergy.

We need to point out that the implementation of the orders of the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, regarding protection of the rights of all religious minorities, is obligatory for every Muslim, and in the above referenced letter, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani explicitly ordered cessation of the offences against the Baha’is of Boyer-Ahmad, because, according to Imam Khomeini, all minorities are under the protection of Islam.

Surprisingly, while the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution has explicitly written to the Yasuj Committee to appoint an investigative team to address the complaint of the Baha’is, this order has been ignored. We, the oppressed Baha’is of Boyer-Ahmad, have become wanderers, have been living in tents in the deserts of Isfahan, and our lives have been destroyed. We request that you order the appointment of an investigative team from Tehran by the person of the imam to closely examine the plight of the displaced Baha’is of Boyer-Ahmad, and have a strict order issued so that [they] are returned to their ancestral villages to engage in their farming and animal husbandry and that they will not be attacked by biased individuals who are certainly the enemies of the great and Holy Islamic Revolution of Iran. If biased people want to refrain from carrying out the holy commands of the imam regarding protection of the rights of religious minorities, their actions must be prevented, because spiteful local people and the opponents of the Islamic Republic of Justice intended to make the situation in Boyer-Ahmad similar to that of Naqadeh, but they observed that Baha’is are oppressed and they believe that it is better to be killed than to kill and cause discord. Therefore, they did not succeed in creating the same situation as in Naqadeh. However, they succeeded in exiling the oppressed Baha’is, looting their properties and destroying their homes, and are strongly preventing the local authorities from administering justice for the Baha’is and preventing them from returning to their localities. We do not even cite the human rights laws. We cite the laws of Islamic justice and request the implementation of Islamic justice.

On behalf of the Baha’is of lower Boyer-Ahmad

Eshghollah Ravanbakhsh

[Signature]

Alijan Dastpish

[Signature]

Rouzbahan Rouzbeh

[Signature]

Address – [redacted]

Copy to the Minister of Agriculture of the Provisional Government of the Islamic Republic, for information and action

Copy to the esteemed commander of the Gendarmerie Headquarters, for information.

 

 

[1] Quran, 2:256

[2] [Mal-e-Khalifeh is a city and the capital of the Falard District]