[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Honourable Prosecutor General, Your Holiness Ayatollah Rabbani Amlashi,
We would like to convey respectfully that your interview, published in [issue] number 800 of the Islamic Republic Newspaper, is a glimmer of hope for Baha’is, since you, the supreme judicial and spiritual authority of the country, have expressed a view about this oppressed and wronged community, free from prejudice and discrimination, and have endorsed the protection of their lives and property from a religious and legal point of view. This good will and sincere intention of Your Honour demands that we convey the gratitude of the Baha’i community to you and respectfully mention some matters for further information. We hope that you will receive this letter and study it.
Your Honour, as the prosecutor general, and as a just religious jurist, you are aware that the court’s judgment, both religious and legal, must be substantiated, documented and [made] public. The accusations must be based on the evidence; the competency of the court for the investigation must be proven, and the ruling of the court must be impartial and free from prejudice. The conscience and the Word of God are witness that the judgments issued against the Baha’is have not conformed to any of the above standards.
In 1359 [1980/1981], Baha’is were executed, [according to] detailed verdicts, including various baseless allegations―even religious activities and slander. In 1360 [1981/1982], the charges changed to espionage for Zionism and imperialism, and lately they have neither published any news of the executions nor have they announced any verdicts or delivered the bodies of the executed individuals to their families.
In an interview on 29 Dey 1360 [19 January 1982], after news of the execution of a number of Baha’is was published in the media, the head of the Central Revolutionary Courts said in response to reporters, “It has become clear that this group or sect is spying for colonial organizations, and the damages which this perverse, harmful sect have inflicted on the country, God is Almighty ….” and it continues to recommend to the courts, “It is incumbent on the courts and Sharia judges to punish these people and …”
Have you, as the prosecutor general, ever reviewed the cases of executed Baha’is, and have the authorities who have issued the death sentences studied the Baha’i beliefs free from prejudice when they testify firmly that Baha’is are spies or perverse? For example, seven Baha’is in Yazd were executed by firing squad on 17 Shahrivar 1359 [8 September 1980] on frivolous charges of conspiracy against the Islamic government and espionage, citing from documents discovered in the Isfahan Episcopal Circle. Did the prosecutor general of the revolution, after announcing that the documents were forged, take any action to acquit them, at least after their execution? Baha’is, based on the same beliefs and principles, sacrifice their lives, and consider interfering in politics forbidden, let alone espionage and betrayal of the nation and the country. On this same principle, in the previous regime, Baha’is preferred persecution and the threats of expulsion from their homeland to membership in the Rastakhiz Party. On what evidence [do you find that] Baha’is have spied for colonial organizations? What news or information have they given to foreign governments and what damages have they inflicted on this country? What problem have they created except for serving this land with utmost honesty and loyalty?
The Baha’is of Iran, [because they are] Iranians and they love this land, are not only mosta’man [protected], but consider themselves entitled [to the] rights given to them based on Articles 3, 14, 19 and 23 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, they would like the authorities and the public protectors to endorse this right and let Baha’is benefit from it. Baha’is are possessors of a holy and exalted Book. They believe in the eternal, unknowable Essence of God and profess the truth of all the Messengers from Adam to the Seal [of the Prophets].
Based on jurisprudence, the principle of [protection] is given to non-Muslims who are not considered the people of the Book, meaning that they are neither mota’alleh [believers and worshippers of God] nor possessors of a Holy Book. However, now that Your Honour, far from the prejudice of the people, has acknowledged the minimum rights of the believers of this religion―and this community is grateful to you for that―are the oppressions that are imposed on this persecuted community an indication of their being [protected]?
Is the martyrdom of more than 100 Baha’is, based on completely frivolous and baseless charges, an indication of their security? Is the confiscation, marauding and looting of the properties of Baha’is in different locations of the country a sign of their safety? Is the ratification of reconstruction law for government institutions, and regarding the Baha’is as criminals and murderers, proof of their security?
Is the expulsion of Baha’i employees from governmental and non-governmental institutions without the payment of a penny for years of service [because they are members of a] perverse sect, and depriving them of all wages and benefits, an indication of their security? Is it possible to call individuals perverse who believe in God, the Divine Messengers, the Sacred Books, the next world, the rewards and punishments of the hereafter, who adhere to moral and human principles, and exert effort to murder and destroy them?
Is insulting and humiliating the holy places of this religion in Iran, and their destruction, a sign of their safety? Is prohibiting Baha’i students from university education, expelling students from schools on the principal’s personal decision, cutting off the wages of retired Baha’is, banning Baha’i business owners in some part of the country, preventing farmers from cultivating in other parts, and forcing them to give up their beliefs by threatening them with guns, an indication of their safety?
Honourable Prosecutor, thousands of other questions can be posed in relation to the atrocities committed against Baha’is, which I will not ask, so as not to inconvenience you. However, I request that, at least once, you consider conscience and truth and pay attention to their grievances and complaints. Even though we have not, so far, seen any results from our grievances and complaints, we have no refuge but God, the Powerful, the Merciful and the Saviour of the oppressed, and have accepted all calamities with submission.
With gratitude and respect for an individual who has expressed good will regarding the Baha’is, we ask you to please issue an order to have all the above matters investigated, and if they are proven [to be correct] to please adjudicate or, at the least, stop the oppressions.