[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Publication:] Akhbar-e Amri [Baha’i News]
[Date:] Dey 1326 [December 1947/January 1948]
[Issue No.:] 9
[Page:] 8 – 9
Third – Extracted from the letters written to the Ministry of Interior
Date: 13 Sharaf 104
Corresponding to 21 Dey 1326 [12 January 1948]
Esteemed Minister of the Interior, Brigadier General Agh Avali,
With utmost respect, further to previous letters, the following is conveyed:
Recently, in some parts of Iran, the Baha'is have been severely persecuted, and at the instigation of a number of corrupt and biased individuals, the locals have risen up and taken action against those oppressed ones, who are quietly and impartially earning their livings, and they have not [refrained from] all sorts of harassment; in some cases they have resorted to beating, looting and plundering.
In addition to the previous incidents and events, a report on some of which was communicated to that esteemed official in previous letters, a few days ago, according to a telegram received from Tabriz, in Miandoab, they set fire to the Haziratu’l-Quds and the homes of a number of Baha’is, looted their belongings, and also injured some people. On Friday, 18 Dey [9 January] in Dorud, a group of men gathered at the door of the store of a local Baha’i, Mr. Pezeshk, and after [creating] tumult and commotion, walked toward the Baha’i Haziratu’l-Quds with the aim of killing and looting, but were dispersed due to police resistance. Then, in the presence of the governor, the head of the Borujerd Police Department and the prosecutor, who had come to Dorud for this purpose, told the three Baha’i business owners that they should move out of Dorud and relocate their work, homes and lives to another location because the lives and properties of the Baha’is were not safe in that locality.
Further, they have to choose one of these two paths: they should either recant [their belief in] the Baha’i Faith in the presence of a few prayer leaders, or leave Dorud. On Saturday, 19 Dey [10 January], the governor summoned two Baha’is and told them for the last time that they would have to leave Dorud immediately by noon, or else he would arrest and exile them.
You can see from the foregoing description that the governor has personally been the steward of the exile of the Baha’is of Dorud and has forced them to leave their homes and businesses, while according to the explicit text of the Constitution, first, all the citizens of this country have equal rights before the law, and no distinction has been made between the followers of different religions in this regard. Second, freedom of housing and business is the inalienable right of all subjects of the imperial government, and no official can deport a person from one point to another without the explicit decision of the courts of law; especially since these people are engaged in their businesses with good morals, honesty and fidelity and not the slightest act against the law has been committed by them. In this case, it is not clear under what legal sanction the governor has forced the Baha’is to leave their homes, livelihoods and businesses. Even though the Baha’is of Dorud have temporarily closed their affairs, have left the area and left their families unprotected in order to alleviate the turmoil in the area, they have no recourse but to return to their homes after a few days and continue with their businesses and jobs.
Now, assuming that the Baha’is leave Dorud and move to another area, the same situation will certainly [arise] at the new place; the same events that are currently [taking place in Dorud], but even more severe, have occurred for the Baha’is of [Borujerd], where Mr. Ali Soltani, an officer of the Treasury Department who is one of the Baha’is residing there, has been severely attacked by an [aggressive] and provocative group, in such a way that his life has been endangered.
[According to] this account, if the Baha’is move from one area to another, they will face the same barriers and restrictions, unless, for example, they leave Iran altogether. Therefore, it is requested that that esteemed official issue explicit orders to the governors and subordinate departments in any way you deem appropriate, to completely prevent the assault, aggression, instigation and incitement against the Baha’is, who are sincere and obedient subjects of this sacred country, and not coordinate with the instigators and the biased, and also issue instructions in regard to the Baha’is of Dorud so that they are under the protection of the law, and that they can be engaged in their businesses as before.
With utmost respect,
Chairperson of the Assembly
Secretary of the Assembly