[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

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

[Date:] Khordad 1327 [May/June 1948]

[Issue No.:] 2

[Pages:] 10-12

 

First - The text of the letter that was submitted to the prime minister’s office on 6 Azamat of the current year, coinciding with 1 Khordad [1327] [22 May 1948], under number 647, and copies have been submitted to all ministers:

Esteemed Prime Minister

With utmost respect, we convey to Your Highness the following:

The leaders of the United Nations, which includes our country in its ranks, whether during the recent World War or after its conclusion, have announced to the people of the world that their goal in using weapons and inviting people to sacrifice and give up their lives has been to establish social justice, strengthen the principles of brotherhood and equality, alleviate injustice and oppression, and prevent violation of the human rights of individuals and minorities. They have emphasized and certified these statements by producing important historical documents, such as the Charter of the United Nations, of which our country is also a signatory, and have left no room for doubt or hesitation by anyone. 

After the end of the [Second] World War, the United Nations was established to carry out these same principles, and the people of the world, who have only recently come out from under the backbreaking weight of the enormous cost of the war, have begun to bear the heavy expenses of this international entity because of their love for the promotion of justice and advancement of human principles. They have pinned their hopes on that centre of justice and fairness and are fully convinced that, if at any time a country violates the established principles and treads the path of injustice and assault on others, the representatives of the [other] countries will guide that country toward promotion of justice and prevent them from committing injustice and insurrection.

Fortunately, our government has also agreed to be a member of this international body and has sent representatives to the committees on protecting the rights of minorities. Nevertheless, we can see how, in our dear country, the majority is behaving with utmost cruelty and injustice toward a sizable minority, whose number is larger than all other religious minorities in Iran, and whose coreligionists live in more than 91 countries around the world, and are so well-connected to each other that they comprise, in effect, one great international community. [The majority] has raised the level of injustice and enmity toward them so high that the members of this minority are constantly subjected to foul and abusive language and are beaten and injured; their property is looted; their orchards and agricultural lands are destroyed and trampled; their spouses and children are turned into homeless refugees; their places of worship are set on fire and burned down; and their social entities, even the bathhouses that belong to them, are razed to the ground. Even their young children and elderly men and women are not immune, and occasionally the ground is stained with the blood of these oppressed people. In general, the members of this religious minority have no protection for their lives and property in most areas of Iran and are constantly living in fear and anxiety. If you were to take, as your time allows, even a cursory look at the numerous letters this Assembly has sent to that esteemed official during the last few months, and pay attention to the bloody incidents in Miandoab, Bonab, Maragheh, and Ardestan and the painful atrocities in Sarvestan, and look closely at the injustice and cruelty of the majority against this religious minority, you would affirm that such behaviour is not only contradictory to the aims of the United Nations and the standards of the Atlantic Treaty, and contrary to the principles and standards of the international community, but that it is also against the spirit of the Constitution of the sacred country of Iran, which has unequivocally forbidden and condemned such actions under the law.

As this letter is being written, in many parts of Iran the members of this minority are besieged by the oppression and insurgency of the majority. For example, in Hesar, Nameq, Jasb, Aligudarz, Neyriz, Ardestan, Sarvestan, and other places, Baha’is have fled their hometowns; their agricultural products and orchards have been destroyed, their employment and livelihood is in chaos, and their property has been looted and destroyed. The appeals for justice by these oppressed ones to the relevant authorities have not borne fruit as they should, and have failed to obtain the desired results. In addition, every day a new instigation is made against this minority in the capital of this country, and articles and essays are written in certain publications and magazines that encourage the populace to oppose the Baha’is. For instance, announcements are being published on behalf of Mr. Seyyed Abol-Ghasem Kashani, saying that, “Either the Haziratu’l-Quds [Baha’i Centre] must be confiscated by Muslims, or people will destroy that edifice.” Regrettably, neither has Mr. Kashani denied the association between himself and this announcement, nor has the government given any thought to preventing the publication of such provocative announcements.

It would be a mistake to imagine that the government of Iran is incapable of establishing order and security and preventing the actions of a handful of mischief-makers and provocative individuals. On numerous occasions, the government of Iran has proven that it is fully capable of establishing security in the country, and no one has the capability of resisting the forces of the government. And if we are to assume that our government, despite its ability and power to preserve the rights of minorities and prevent the assault of the majority, is equivocating and neglectful, or if, God forbid, it is shirking its responsibility on purpose, it would be very far from the justice of a government with so many international responsibilities to knowingly and consciously refrain from preventing individuals from killing their brothers or taking action to put the mischief-makers and provocative individuals back in their place.

It is clear that in this era, when the five continents of the earth have become so connected and interdependent as to make the world into one family, and at a time when the news of every country immediately spreads in other countries at the speed of light, the prevalence of such injustice and cruelty committed by the majority in Iran against the Baha’i minority, as the government remains silent about it, is extremely harmful to the good reputation of our dear homeland.

In closing, this assembly beseeches Your Highness to end these provocations, uprisings, violations, and oppression, with reliance upon the power of the government, and to protect the rights of this large religious minority. Given that it is not possible [for us] to bear this situation any longer, please finalize a clear response to the condition of the Baha’i Community of Iran based on the standards of justice and equity, so that a vast number of the honest servants of this monarchy may be relieved of this agonizing situation.

With expressions of respect,

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

Shoa Alaei

 

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

Ali-Akbar Foroutan