[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Publication:] Akhbar-e Amri [Baha’i News]

[Date:] Shahrivar-Mehr 1324 [August-September 1945]

[Issue no.:] 5 and 6

[Pages:] 9-10

 

The text of a letter addressed to the Cabinet of the Ministers, copied to the Ministry of Education

Honourable Ministers

Some time ago, this Assembly issued a letter to the honourable Ministry of Education requesting that the academic education of Baha’i students not be prevented by educational institutions, and that the Baha’i students not be banned from continuing their education in such institutions based solely on their belief.

In reply, the honourable minister of education stated that as the Baha’i Faith is not officially recognized in Iran, the request of the Baha’is could not be processed, and the ban could not be lifted. Given that the solution to this matter, in fact, rests with the respected cabinet, we are thus appealing to that esteemed body and wish to respectfully draw the kind attention of the honourable ministers to this fine point: the fact that the Baha’i Faith is not officially recognized by the government is not and cannot be an impediment to stopping the violation of the rights of the Baha’is as citizens of the government of Iran, inasmuch as Article 8 of the Supplement of the Constitution, clearly and with no ambiguity stipulates that “The people of the Persian Empire have equal rights before the laws of the State.”  And this Article includes all peoples of Iran, irrespective of their religious beliefs; it has been legislated in such wise that no one has been exempted from it.

According to this Article, the Baha’is of Iran enjoy rights equal to the rest before the law, and in no wise can they be deprived of their indisputable rights, such as the right to education in schools and academic institutions.

Article 12 of the same law states, “No punishment can be decreed or executed save in conformity with the law.” Based on this law, how can Baha’i students, who have strived for years and have studied in academic institutions, be punished and withheld from reaping the benefit of their hard labour, and, without legal authorization, be subjected to punishment and banishment from their right to education?

We respectfully request and plead with the respected Cabinet of Ministers, which is the protector of the law, and the shield and defender of the rights of all the inhabitants of the sacred country of Iran, at this time when the Charter of the Allied Nations has been approved by the parliament, to not deprive the Baha’i youth from their rightful access to education, purely on religious grounds, without any legal authorization and contrary to the explicit text of the Constitution, and not to prevent them from their studies and higher education, which, in turn, would be beneficial to the country. We therefore request that clear and emphatic orders be issued in this respect to the relevant offices.

With respectful greetings,

Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran

Ali-Akbar Foroutan