[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Publication:] Akhbar-e Amri[1]

[Date:] Tir 1325 [June/July 1946]

[Issue No.:] 3

[Pages:] 9-11

 

The Prime Minister, His Honour, Mr. Qavam os-Saltaneh

Following our earlier letter, dated 10 Tir [1325] [1 July 1946], we once again draw your kind attention to the fact that according to cablegrams received from Birjand, on the morning of 8 Tir [1325] of this year [29 June 1946], a large mob, consisting of hooligans and thugs, led by a certain Mirza Hosein, who is one of the fanatic trouble makers of the locality, raided the homes of the Baha’is with the intention of pillage, plunder and killing. They looted their belongings, caused property damages equal to 1,500,000 rials, and made them abandon and flee their homes, with no mercy towards the women and children. The police force was unable to prevent them, and the remainder of the belongings and furniture of those wronged ones was exposed to looting and damage by the malicious villains.

In Sar Chah, a village in the vicinity of Birjand, the Baha’is were attacked at the instigation of the opponents and trouble makers. A number of them were beaten and injured, their belongings looted, their farms and harvests were set on fire, and they were all made homeless, wandering with no food to eat.

The Baha’is of Khash, like those in Birjand and Sar Chah were caught in the claws of the cruelty and tyranny of the oppressors, and in fear for their lives, they remained home and were banned and deprived of work. In Zahedan, there was a public riot and uprising with the aim of plundering and killing the Baha’is. A number of them were beaten and several were very severely injured. Another four were incarcerated on baseless charges, only for the sake of satisfying the instigators and fanatics. There is no hope for the lives of any of the Baha’is of that locality. And in the midst of all this commotion, unfortunately, some of the authorities, such as the justice departments and offices, are filing all kinds of false charges against the wronged and oppressed Baha’is of that area.

Furthermore, in the regions of Fars, too, signs of riots and disturbances are being witnessed. In its issue number 68, following the citation of the nonsensical article of “Vojdan” Newspaper that was mentioned in our earlier letter, “ Mehr-e-Izad” Newspaper gave its readers the good news that, “Praised be God that the clergy of Shiraz have joined hands in the utmost sincerity to defend the religion, and they will not abstain from, or withhold any action that would protect the religion in the most efficient and best manner.”

From this reference alone, His Honour will no doubt apprehend the perilous plans of the instigators and troublemakers of Shiraz and the southern regions. Despite the fact that strict orders have been issued by that respected authority to the relevant centres to prevent these horrific incidents, and while all the Baha’is of Iran are grateful to His Honour, as stated in our earlier letter, this Assembly believes that if, at this exact time, the respected authorities in the country do not arise, as needed, to protect and defend its oppressed and unprotected citizens, who at every moment have been in some way or other subjected to the vicious intentions and the ruthless goals of the biased-minded and the instigators; if the authorities do not strictly and severely prevent the brutal activities of the mobs and hooligans who are the instruments for carrying out the foul intentions and perilous plans of a group of corrupt fanatics; if the looted and confiscated belongings have not been returned to their owners; and if the criminals and perpetrators are not brought to justice and punished for their evil deeds, once the regrettable news of the acquittal of charges of those accused of the tragic event in Shahroud is disseminated, the flame of similar riots and upsurges against the Baha’is will gradually burn high throughout most regions of Iran, and the spread of chaos, anarchy and public frenzy will be so vast that the law enforcement agents will be incapable of restoring or establishing peace and order. [Under such circumstances,] the lives and livelihoods of a large number of well-wishing and peaceful citizens will be dissipated and lost, and the good name of our dear Iran—a country that wishes to be counted among the civilized nations, aims to be considered as equal to the developed countries in its regard for justice and its citizen’s rights, and intends to implement the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, which is the freedom of belief and conscience—will be blemished and stained. The noble people of Iran will, in the sight of the advanced nations, be accused of lacking social development, and the evil intentions of the fanatics who, in order to achieve their sinister aims, generally kindle the flame of discord and conflict in the name of religion, will be achieved.

In closing, this Assembly wishes to respectfully assure Your Honour that the Baha’is of Iran, according to their religious beliefs and standards, will continue to observe moderation, caution and prudence, and will refrain from any act that would be seen as a public display of belief, and will never provoke any tension in people. These unfortunate events that have happened and continue to happen to them, as testified by the history of the past 100 years, have purely been the result of the evil incitement and provocations of the fanatics, instigators and troublemakers, and have been carried out with the collaboration of secretive and thrill-seeking individuals.

 

Respectfully,

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

Ali-Akbar Foroutan

 

Further letters regarding these distressing events, have also been submitted to other high-ranking authorities, such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the chief of the Security Bureau, [and] the chief of the Police Department.  Necessary discussions have also been carried out, and according to the information that has been received, serious and diligent action has been taken by the respected authorities to prevent such events from occurring.  We cherish the hope that peace and tranquility of the oppressed friends will be made available.

 

 

[1] [This was an official Publication of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, which was published between 1922 and 1980.]