[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Publication:] Akhar-e Amri [Baha’i News]
[Date:] Khordad – Tir 1331 [May – July 1952]
[Issue No.:] 2 and 3
[Pages:] 6 – 7
Extracted from letter dated 5 Bahman 1329 [25 January 1951]:
The account of the oppression and illegal detention of the members of the [Local] Spiritual Assembly of Yazd and some of the Baha’is of that area has been conveyed in the letters of this Assembly to that esteemed official by quoting the contents of some newspapers, which, from the beginning of the tragic Abarghou incident, conveyed the essence of the matter and the truth to the generality of the people of Iran, and there is no need to repeat it anymore. What prompted this Assembly to write this letter again is a strange event that took place on Monday, 2 Bahman of this year [22 January 1951] in Tehran, the capital of the Imperial Government of Iran.
At noon on that day, across from the bazaar, two young individuals from Yazd suddenly grabbed the hand of Mr. Jalal Binesh, a Baha’i from Yazd, who is a 65-year-old man suffering from intestinal ulcers and weakness of the nerves and who had recently come to Tehran for treatment. With clamour and shouting they pronounced him to be the murderer of the woman from Abarghou and called the police to arrest him. When, amidst the commotion of the people, they took the oppressed old man to the police station, the head of the police station found his arrest to have been in violation of administrative regulations and exempted himself from interfering in the matter. The two young Yazdis and their peers did not stop insisting, screaming and shouting, and took Mr. Jalal Binesh to the prosecutor’s office which issued an arrest warrant for this man because his name was mentioned in the two Yazdis’ book as an accomplice in the murder of the woman from Abarghou.
When a Muslim acquaintance of Mr. Binesh, with whom he had business dealings, went to the prosecutor’s office of Tehran to express the truth, he noticed that a cleric was sitting at the head of the table in the prosecutor’s office and a large number of people from Yazd and Tehran had surrounded him, each insulting and humiliating Baha’is’ religious sanctities in some way, and being abusive and slandering this oppressed group. They identified Mr. Jalal Binesh as an effective member of the Spiritual Assembly of Yazd and an accomplice in the murder of the woman from Abarghou and acknowledged him as the carrier of 400,000 tomans in cash for the release of the Assembly members from prison. After the crowd left, the prosecutor told that Muslim individual that, according to these people, Binesh is a murderer, and that sick and disabled old man, who was not only not a member of the Spiritual Assembly of Yazd, but also had not been attending the ordinary Baha’i gatherings of that area owing to chronic illness and extreme weakness, had been imprisoned based on this strange premise.
Note that on the one hand, the Yazd judiciary has not indicted the real murderer and is pursuing an innocent group at the instigation of fanatics and biased people, and on the other hand, in the capital of the country, justice officials have violated the law and have arrested an individual walking on the street without a court order, the issuance of a warrant and necessary legal protocol. Is this the meaning of securing the lives, property and legal immunity of individuals? And does this type of behaviour and attitude of government officials portray the meaning of social justice that everyone, including the privileged and the commoner, talks about these days?
One may have expected it if this strange incident had taken place in a remote part of the country, but the occurrence of this incident in the capital of the country, with the knowledge of Tehran’s prosecutor, is truly one of the wonders of judicial affairs, the likes of which may not have been seen in the world; based on this, no one has security, as individuals may be arrested at any minute and imprisoned under the same pretexts.
Another matter that is also very important and noteworthy to that high-ranking official is that according to the legal regulations, the trial of these innocent, oppressed individuals was planned to be held in Kerman, and for this reason, the prisoners were transferred to that city, and their lawyer also went there. It is not clear why the [decision] of the judicial authorities was suddenly changed and the case was transferred to Tehran, even though it is clear to the authorities that in Tehran the biased and fanatical individuals, provoked by the instigators and influential people―meaning the same people who caused the uproar and commotion in the trial of the murderers of Dr. Berjis―will form many factions with such arrangements.
All this evidence―that is, avoiding the pursuit of the real killers of the woman from Abarghou and instead, arresting an innocent group, whose souls were unaware of this incident; initially taking them to Kerman and later transferring the case to Tehran; inserting provocative and untrue articles in many national and local media outlets; publication of proclamations and statements against the Baha’i community; corrupt statements of a group of preachers at the pulpits; the silence of esteemed law enforcement officials and the approval of the supreme judicial authorities of the actions of Yazd and Kerman judiciary―makes it certain to this Assembly that in this matter there are definitely expansive conspiracies based on detailed plans playing against the Baha’is of Iran, and that the beneficiaries want to execute their evil intentions under these precepts. The course of events is, by itself, a telling evidence of the truth of this claim, because such events, occurring simultaneously―and accompanied by so much outcry and clamour, conspiracy, the formation of groups, the launch of a bus convoy from Yazd to Kerman, distribution of leaflets, and a number of people walking in the streets and alleys with shouts and commotion―have never been seen.
The Baha’is of Iran, who, for eighty years, have been plagued by all kinds of suffering and calamities, rely on God in these situations, and according to their religious beliefs, resort to legal measures and seek recourse through the authorities who are the defender of the masses. At the same time, they are aware of the important point that sooner or later the truth will be revealed to all; for in the past, many oppressors have attacked the oppressed, have destroyed their livelihood and have imagined [themselves] to have caused their extinction. However, the future generations have testified that those aggressors and transgressors have suffered losses both in this world and in the hereafter, and have not benefitted from their evil deeds.