[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
In the Name of the Almighty God
20 Ordibehesht 1393 [10 May 2014]
The Honourable Judges of Branch 8 of the Court of Appeal of Mazandaran Province
We, the signatories of this petition, wish to respectfully bring to your esteemed attention the following.
On 5 Esfand 1392 [24 February 2014], we submitted to you a letter, a copy of which was submitted to the [Special] Court for Article 49 of the Constitution, for information and action on 6 Esfand 1392 [25 February 2014]. It is surprising for us that, despite having described our complete petition in the mentioned letter, we should still be deprived of our basic citizenship rights on the instructions of the honourable director of the Office of Civil Rights of the Judiciary for the investigation [of the case], considering the religious and customary laws and regulations of the society to [recognize] the rights of people. Our houses, hay barns, and warehouses for the feeding of our animals were unjustly burned, destroyed, leveled, and dug up by a small number of people in 1389 [2010/2011]. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, all the judicial processes that were underway have stopped. Thus, we are requesting that the continuation of the judicial process be carried out for Case number 900732, and lead to the issuance of a fair and just verdict.
Graciously note the brief statements that follow. Please note the attachments that confirm our ownership rights and the unjust possession of our land and properties, which is illegal and contrary to the customary laws. Our plea is that the appropriate judicial action be taken at the time of [investigating] the case.
A)- Like other people of this land, we are attached to our home town, because of our ancestors and our forefathers. We have had and still have houses, gardens and arable lands in our home town and homeland in the Village of Ivel. However, due to the insecurity of life and property, we were expelled from our home town in 1362 [1983/1984], and [currently] live in the City of Sari or its vicinity. Following this incident, and since that same year, we have complained to the judicial authorities. Sentences were issued condemning the perpetrators, two of which are attached. After being expelled from our homeland, we have been engaged in cultivating our farmland to this day, and in the fall of the year 1392 [2013/2014], we planted barley in our fields and are waiting for the harvest season. We have always done so, all these thirty years, with the support of the law and the judiciary officers. By filing a complaint with the judicial authorities, we were able to remove the disturbances and finally receive the verdict that was issued by Branch 5 of the Provincial Court of Appeal, a copy of which is attached.
B)- Half of our lands were aggressively occupied by other farmers, under the pretext of endowments in our neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, with all the measures taken to obtain the expropriation order and hand over the land to its original owner, it is still in their aggressive possession. This action has been condemned through a judicial authority, according to the Sharia and legal ruling. A copy of this ruling is attached, along with the fatwas of the religious authorities.
C)- On 17 Ordibehesht 1393 [7 May 2014], a couple of us farmers went to the office of the [Special] Court for Article 49 [of the Constitution] and presented some documents which prove our residence and ownership in the Village of Ivel. Part of it will be presented for your consideration, although it is possible that it has already been reflected in the case file.
D)- The elders and trustees of the locality and the neighbouring villages acknowledge the ownership of us farmers and approve the hereditary nature [of our ownership]. Every year we have used the tractors and trucks from the neighbouring villages for planting [our crops] and harvesting our agricultural products. Some of these cases were recorded by order of the respected judicial authority of Kiasar and by action of officers of Poshtkuh police station. These are recorded in case of the demolition of our buildings; as an example, a couple of them are presented to you.
For us, the evidence and reason for proving our case, by considering our long history of residence in the Village of Ivel, which is our birthplace, and based on this summary that was pointed out, is as clear as the sun in the sky. If this [proof] is not acceptable, then no truth can be proven.
Therefore, we are requesting that you honour the principle, “Ownership of the harvest follows that of the seeds, even if it is planted in usurped land”, and pay attention to the restoration of our rights, so that we can develop our home town, together with the people of our locality. Condemn those farmers who have obstructed this charitable intention, and in recent years, have made religion [an excuse for] seizing our lands, and have burnt, destroyed, leveled, and dug up the houses, the barns, the hay warehouse and the cattle that belonged to us farmers, according to the popular law, so that others are reprimanded. From the beginning until today, we, the farmers, have not bothered nor obstructed anyone, except for appealing to the authorities; nor, of course, will we do so in the future.
We are resigned to whatever is the will of God and what He assigns for us, since He is the Sustainer of the world of humanity.
With utmost respect,
[Signatures of various people]