[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Publication:] Akhbar-e Amri [Baha’i News]
[Date:] Bahman 1328 [January/February 1950]
[Issue No.:] 10
Third – Copy of letter number 9420 from this Assembly, dated 19 Sultan 106 [B.E.], 17 Bahman 1328 [6 February 1950], addressed to the chief commissioner of the State Police:
To the esteemed chief commissioner of the State Police;
Further to letter number 9172, dated 10 Bahman 1328 [30 January 1950], and personal conversations, we would like to again inform Your Honour:
As a result of the negligence and carelessness of Mr. Fatemi, police commissioner of Kashan, in [not] preventing the instigations of the prejudiced people, and his agreement and friendship with the inciters and spiteful crowd, on the morning of Friday, 14 Bahman, of the current year [3 February 1950], a few members of Preachers of the Islamic Association took Dr. Soleiman Berjis, chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i of Kashan, to a house in “Golhar” [Kalhor] region, under the pretence of visiting a patient, and murdered that innocent and defenceless person with utmost cruelty in a tragic and calamitous way. To date, eight individuals have turned themselves in to the Kashan police station, and explicitly confessed and publicly admitted to the murder, saying that since Dr. Berjis was a Baha’i, they did that as members of the Anjoman-e Tablighat-e Islami [Society for the Promotion of Islam]. The circumstances clearly show the late Dr. Berjis’ murder was the result of a planned conspiracy, and the police commissioner of Kashan was an accomplice and collaborator with the instigators and fanatical ones, because:
- Since Mr. Fatemi took the position of police commissioner of Kashan, the seditious and fanatical people have significantly increased their opposition to the Baha’is there. A few preachers and speakers, such as Torbati and Tasaloti, flagrantly instigate and encourage people from the top of the pulpit to murder and plunder the homes of Baha’is of Kashan and surrounding areas. Although their voices were broadcast by loudspeakers throughout the town, to motivate and excite the crowds, the police commissioner himself was present and witnessed the sedition and corruption on many occasions, and he did not take any action to prevent such agitations. Repeated complaints and a plethora of pleas for justice by oppressed Baha’is were completely ignored by him.
- The contents of a friendly and confidential letter that Major General Alaie wrote to Mr. Fatemi, asking him to prevent the encroachment against Baha’is, were read to Torbati, the above-mentioned instigator preacher. He, in turn, tampered with the contents on the pulpit and used them as the subject of his sermon with total revulsion and aspersions toward the Baha’i community.
- When the late Dr. Berjis met the police commissioner and asked him to take effective measures to prevent the repeated instigations by the prejudiced and corrupt people, Mr. Fatemi asked him for the names of those instigators. Dr. Berjis mentioned a few names that he could think of. The police commissioner relayed what the late doctor had told him to the same people who were the leaders of the seditious Kashan lot. One of them had openly threatened the doctor with consequences.
- Mr. Ali Naraghi, head of criminal investigation in Kashan, had encouraged the above-mentioned Torbati to oppose the Baha’is, and promised him the support and cooperation of the police.
All these circumstances, which are confirmed by impartial and just residents of Kashan, prove that Mr. Fatemi, Kashan’s chief commissioner, has been secretly cooperating with the influential instigators in these events; the fanatical and seditious people were committing these atrocities quite freely with the assurance, support and encouragement of the above-mentioned and had no fear of government authorities. This negligence of the police commissioner led to the murder of one of the righteous and learned people of Iranian society, and one of the most honest, benevolent and innocent subjects of the holy country of Iran, who was sacrificed due to personal motives and religious prejudice. This barbaric action threatens the fame and good name of beloved Iran at such a historic time.
We ask that notable authority, who always endeavours to provide for the welfare and tranquillity of the people of Iran with utmost impartiality, and who works day and night to maintain social discipline, to, first, have the proper decision made regarding Mr. Fatemi, who has, so far, clearly proven his opposition to the Baha’is, and the presence of the aforementioned in that area may prevent the discovery of the facts; second, to dispatch an impartial inspector to Kashan to investigate and prevent the spiteful events from continuing and not to have the blood of an innocent person that was shed be in vain, lest the instigators who are watching the government reaction gain more courage and boldness; third, to issue definite and strict orders to Kashan Police to investigate and prosecute this matter impartially and without prejudice; and fourth, to issue proper orders to police stations all over the country to prevent such instigations by seditious people, which usually happen at such times, to fan the flame of hate and sedition.
Undoubtedly, Your Honour, who is well-known among the people of Iran for your capability, efficiency and impartiality, will pay complete attention to our requests.
Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran
Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran