[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
1 Mehr 1359 [23 September 1980]
The Respected Editor of Kayhan Newspaper,
In Kayhan Newspaper, on 31 Shahrivar 1359 [22 September 1980], issue No. 11099, an article was published quoting the words of Hojjatol-Islam Shaykh Mohammad Reza Naseri, the Shari’a judge of the Islamic Revolutionary Courts of Yazd, as well as Hojjatol-Islam, Haj Seyyed Shokrollah (Seyyed Ali) Mousavi, the Revolutionary Public Prosecutor of Yazd Province, about the unjust sentences issued on 17 Shahrivar 1359 [8 September 1980], which resulted in the execution of seven Baha’is in Yazd.
Although, for a long time, that newspaper and some other media outlets have repeatedly made false and baseless allegations against the Baha’i community from various sources, and on the other hand, they are not willing to publish any explanation or response from the members of this community, we find it necessary to respectfully convey the following for your information.
The Shari’a judge of Yazd said, “According to the evidence we have, the Baha’is have been part of the spy staff; otherwise, we have nothing to do with the individual Baha’is because of their [religious] beliefs.”
He and other people who are involved in the attacks against the Baha’is of Yazd and the surrounding areas should be asked the question: even [when they] refrained from selling to the Baha’is the necessities of their life, or, when they prevented the people from conducting ordinary business trade with the Baha’is, or, when, in some places, they looted their homes, ransacked their properties and attacked and raided the Baha’i cemeteries, dug up their graves and removed the bodies of the Baha’i dead or—as attested to by this newspaper—called all the Baha’is “spies” and issued orders prohibiting them to enter their workplaces, and created an atmosphere of persecution, threat and tyranny against them, were all these acts to confront a few spies? And were they not motivated to persecute the Baha’is?
The esteemed head of Yazd’s Revolutionary Court has stated in another place that approximately [US]$500 million was being sent from Israel and [the United States of] America by a supreme council to the assemblies, and then they have sent abroad the funds belonging to Iran in any possible way.
What kind of unfounded slander is this—claiming that, on the one hand, $500 million was being sent from abroad by a high council to the assemblies, and on the other hand, that the Baha’is were sending the Iranian money abroad in any way possible. They accuse a group of receiving money from abroad, and on the other hand, say that they are sending the money abroad as much as possible? If one does not adhere to any limitation or principle when expressing a matter, one can easily utter any unfounded and completely false statement, and not think for a moment how the fire of sedition rises from the truthless speech and engulfs an innocent and oppressed group.
One of the attributes and characteristics of a Shari’a judge is that he should be fair and just; but what can be done when they issue and execute a verdict unjustly and when confronted with the disinterested and righteous people in Yazd and elsewhere, they have no choice but to resort to slander and defamation, which is also so baseless?
What evidence has shown that Baha’is have been spying?
Do the foreign governments use a ninety-year-old peasant from the Village of Manshad for spying? And can the Baha’i villagers in the villages around Yazd, who do not even have the power to defend themselves, protect their property and their own lives and the lives of their loved ones when attacked by a small number of ungodly individuals, be utilized as spies? These allegations are so unfounded that they cannot be dignified with an answer.
For more than 100 years, they have repeatedly massacred the Baha’is of Yazd and its vicinity. They have looted their homes and belongings, have committed thousands of unjust atrocities and have afflicted an innocent group with the most severe torments. Have all of these been done because they had an unknown report from the documentation centres of the Islamic Republic of Iran in their hands which had identified them as spies, or because they had received funds from abroad to act against the Islamic Republic? Let us be fair, even if it is for a moment!
Have the remains of Baha’i corpses which have been dead in the grave for several years been used to spy for the foreigners who have been attacked by several incited people?
In short, Baha’is have never been, are not, and will never be spies. Insightful, knowledgeable, conscientious and truth-seeking individuals well recognize the ugly face of the hatred and religious bigotry behind all these baseless allegations and realize how they want to cover up an “unjust verdict” with another ugly action and baseless slander—because they themselves have realized that public opinion in Iran and the world looks at these obvious oppressions with pessimism.
We hope for a day when these instigations, resentments and enmities will disappear, and love, brotherhood and friendship will replace hypocrisy and enmity. By His blessings and bounties!
On behalf of the Baha’i Community of Iran