[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

15 Mordad 1376 [6 August 1997]

 

To the esteemed president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hojatoleslam Khatami

I respectfully offer my congratulations, after hearing about and witnessing your great victory in becoming the president of the Islamic Republic through votes received from more than seventy percent of educated youth and women of the Iranian nation of this sacred country. My heart and soul were revived with the light of hope, and I beseech the Divine Threshold for your increasing success.

I hereby take your valuable time to mention Article 14 of the Islamic Republic Constitution and the following verse of the Quran: “Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair”[1], and to reassure your illumined heart that all the Baha’is worship God. Turning to Him, I say [Arabic verse][2] and “My God, Whom I worship and adore! I bear witness unto Thy unity and Thy oneness, and acknowledge Thy gifts, both in the past and in the present. Thou art the All-Bountiful, the overflowing showers of Whose mercy have rained down upon high and low alike, and the splendors of Whose grace have been shed over both the obedient and the rebellious…. All are but poor and needy, and Thou, verily, art the All-Possessing, the All-Subduing, the All-Powerful.”[3]

Dear Sir, the forefathers of this servant, Pari Vahdat-i-Hagh, were Zoroastrians and, unfortunately, did not believe in any of the other great divine religions. Luckily, by the grace of God and His boundless bounties, my parents and I, after thorough investigation, [came to believe] in the Baha’i Faith. The condition of entry into the Baha’i community is complete awareness, faith, belief and confession to the truth of all previous religions. This humble servant believes in the sacred religion of Islam and the Holy Quran and the 12 Imams. I am therefore not an infidel, and according to “Let there be no compulsion in religion”[4], please allow me to provide you with a list of the judgements issued against me and a brief defence, which is a drop in the ocean of events that happened to me as a member of the Baha’i minority, whose numbers exceed the sum of all the other religious minorities in Iran. Moreover, what has happened to my family is one of the thousands of injustices inflicted upon the followers of the Baha’i Faith in Iran. Undoubtedly, a great scholar like you, who has the destiny of this sacred country in his hand, would bear witness to these two writings: “Justice, which consisteth in rendering each his due, dependeth upon and is conditioned by two words: reward and punishment. From the standpoint of justice, every soul should receive the reward of his actions, inasmuch as the peace and prosperity of the world depend thereon.”[5] and (Persian verse)[6].

1-Discontinuation of retirement pension for being a Baha’i

2-My husband, Colonel Seyyed Hosein Vahdat-i-Hagh was executed. He was a Baha’i, born of Baha’i parents (his father, the deceased Seyyed Mohammad, was one of the religious scholars of Fars Province when he became a Baha’i. His mother was Syeda Fatemeh. My husband’s paternal and maternal ancestors were all religious scholars in the Fars region).

My husband had obtained his higher qualifications from Germany and France. He was also a lecturer with the Army Cadets for some time. He was arrested by a number of anti-corruption revolutionary guards and imprisoned based on an order issued by the local Sharia judge, Seyyed Mehdi Tabatabaei. The content of the order was: “Subject, Seyyed Hosein Vahdat-i-Hagh, a spy, due to his firm belief in the perverse Baha’i sect and refusal to recant, is sentenced to death”. On 9 Esfand 1360 [28 February 1982], after five months’ imprisonment at the Anti-Corruption prison and the temporary police prison, guilty of an unknown crime, he was executed at the Qasr Prison by three revolutionary guards, by the names of Mesbah and Sahraie (according to their own words with pride) and one other person, and his body was taken away.

3-The second judgement from the Supreme Judiciary Council in respect to my husband is, “Subject Hosein Vahdat-i-Hagh, Army officer in possession of fictitious medals; managing director of a Baha’i company; one of five members of the technical and vocational committee providing free training for the students and sending them to small cities; seemingly the writer and composer of a poem which was found; is sentenced to death, should he refuse to recant.”

4-They did not give me his body, his will, his watch or his clothes. They were afraid to surrender the body of my husband, with whom I had lived for 33 years!! Isn’t this one of their evident oppressions and injustices? It has not been clearly determined where he is buried. Owing to a lot of correspondence, after five years, I received a copy of his will in the post, through the Commission for Article 90, which indicated his debts, which I had to discharge.

5-Having obtained the key to my apartment from my elderly mother, they came to my house 13 times, both before and after my husband’s execution, and took whatever they wished and could, and they abused, assaulted and threatened us with all in their power.

6-In the month of Dey, 1360 [December 1981/January 1982] they took away our family car without any warrant.

7-After our plea for justice to Mr. Rafsanjani, head of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, a second judgement was issued through the Commission for Article 90, ordering the return of some of my belongings, which has not yet been acted upon.

8-They evicted me and my old mother who was in her 80’s from our house twice on a cold winter night in 1360 [1981/1982]. My elderly, ailing mother—with her old hips—went down 68 stairs, with great difficulty, and I had to live for some time in an out-of-order lift and the parking area.

9-By orders of Mr. Bayat, the head of the Commission for Article 90, to whom my husband had pleaded for justice in Anti- Corruption Prison, my apartment door was unsealed and I was given the use of the lounge room. Even the bathroom and toilet were sealed for some time and were only unsealed after pleas for justice.

10- In the morning of 9 Esfand 1360 [28 February 1982], Mr. Mesbah and his associates raided my house and tried to evict me from my lounge room, where I lived. I refused and they assaulted me. They turned a small suitcase and a sack, which held all of my and my mother’s personal belongings, upside down, and took my documents and the house key.

While sitting on the couch, I said with a crazy smile on my face, “I am bravely sitting here; my husband is detained by you and my children are not in Iran, and you have nothing but greed and your intention is to completely confiscate all of our belongings. Then take out your gun and bravely kill me”. At first, they denied having a gun, then Mesbah ordered Sahraie to take his gun out of his revolutionary guard uniform and [he] was playing with it in front of me for about 10 to 15 minutes and confronted me with threats and fake laughs.

Briefly, they then put the gun away and forced me to pack the carpets, which they took away, along with my house keys and documents. On their way out, in the street, they arrested a Baha’i woman and her two young daughters, who were intending to visit me, and took them to prison. I phoned Hoseini, the Anti-Corruption prosecutor, to inform him, and asked him if he had given them permission to threaten and injure me and draw a gun on me. He ordered me to come to his office. I wrote a letter and went there but he didn’t receive me; he asked me to go and see the Sharia judge, Mehdi Tabatabaei. In his room, I saw my husband and a few others. In brief, as a result of my words and proofs and reasoning, Tabatabaei swore by the soul of his mother, who had recently passed away, and by the Holy Quran, and all the religious sanctities, that he would ask for a pardon for my husband. Then there were rumours that he had been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and taken to Evin Prison.

While I was with the Sharia judge, Mesbah and others went to my house and evicted my mother and locked the door. That night, I was left behind my closed door.

At 8:00 p.m., Mesbah and Sahraie and another person took my husband out of the prison and went towards Abbas Abad. They falsely told him his wife was waiting for him. They wanted him to recant. In accordance with the statement of an eyewitness in the van, my husband undid his shirt button and said with a smile, “I will not recant, but will confess to being a Baha’i.” Then they took him to the Qasr Prison and the religious man said to my husband, in front of three police officers (according to the eyewitness), “Your life and death are in your own hands”. My husband asked on what condition; the religious man answered, “Just write here, I am Muslim”. My husband said “I wish I had one hundred thousand heads to sacrifice for my Beloved”. The religious man gave him ten minutes to think and decide. My husband asked for permission to walk in that surrounding [area] and, while walking, in his beautiful, heavenly voice, he chanted an Arabic prayer, which the eyewitness said he didn’t understand. My husband then asked where to go and didn’t let them blindfold him. Three persons shot three bullets each and he was pushing himself to the wall to prevent himself from falling. He fell when blood gushed out of his mouth. The eyewitness went and saw he had a big smile on his face. They then took the body with them. Yes, my dear sir. [Persian verse/poem][7] Was the hypocrisy and deceit on the part of the Sharia judge, Mehdi Tabatabaei, right and necessary?

Dear respected sir, the day after my husband’s martyrdom, the men were at my house and I was in the building of the Anti-Corruption court, and I was lied to. I was told [my husband] had been taken to Evin Prison, and they kept me there until evening. When I was going home, the men were still there, while [my husband’s] body was lying on the ground, then taken to the Coroner’s Office. After that, it is not clear what happened.

Your Highness, the president of the republic, now that you have the top position and the divine responsibility of dealing with very important affairs, can you see the truth of these words: “There can be no doubt whatever that if the daystar of justice, which the clouds of tyranny have obscured, were to shed its light upon men, the face of the earth would be completely transformed?”[8] and these: “Well is it with that learned man whose head is adorned with the crown of justice, and whose body glorieth in the ornament of honesty[9]? Dear sir, respected reader, in Iran, at this juncture in time, more than 200 individuals, and from the year 1266 Hijri [1849/1850] onwards, around 25,000 individuals have sacrificed their sweet lives for this Cause and have shed their blood for the Incomparable Lord. They followed the martyrs of Karbala and did not return alive from the field of sacrifice. Has it not been the case in every religion?

11-Seven months after my eviction from home and five months after my husband’s execution, as ordered by the head of parliament, Mr. Rafsanjani, through the Commission for Article 90, my bedroom doors were unsealed and I could use my clothing. Believe me, I have had to borrow undergarments and coats from a friend.

12-On 12 Ordibehesht 1361 [2 May 1982], Mr. Mesbah and Mr. Rabbani gave me, the mother, the attorney and the owner-occupier of my apartment, a notice to pay 55,000 rials’ rent. After four years of pleading for justice at court and referring them to the Supreme Court of Judges, I was ordered not to pay rent. (Of course, I paid nothing, as I had no way of earning an income).

13- The tenants of my children’s apartments were given custodial notices, copies of which were signed by Mr. Mesbah, stating not to pay rent to me, the mother and my children’s attorney, and instead deposit the rent into the Bank Melli, account 1560. It was not clear in whose name that account was. As far as I know, none of the tenants paid any rent, either to me or to the trust account. We have been the ground landlord since 1326 [1947/1948] (owner for the last 50 years) and have been residing in this place since 1340 [1961/1962]. In the year 1356-57 [1977-78], we renovated the house with our own money, my children’s money and a loan from the bank.

14-A number of times, our house was nearly auctioned by the bank, owing to non-payment of the debt.

15-The Anti-Corruption Department ordered the creation of a file for me and I was interrogated, but Haj Mehdi Tabatabaei did not attend to it. In early 1361 [1982], apparently as a result of some footnotes written and sent to the Anti-Corruption Department, Moammem [wearing turban] Mr. Hoseini, the prosecutor, and Mr. Mesbah, who was the special interrogator for the Baha’is at Branch 42, became aware of my countless pleas for justice to ten official authorities in my country, such as the National Investigation [Organization]. Therefore, Moammem Mr. Hoseini made a file for me by the title of deceit, hypocrisy and lies. I was summoned, and for two days I stayed at the Anti-Corruption Department during the day and went home at night. The reason was that, at that time, Messrs. Soltani and Moammem Karimi from the National Investigation [Organization] were in charge of investigating some cases, such as my husband’s file. On the third day, I was taken, together with my file, and accompanied by revolutionary guards, to the Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office in Abbas Abad. Fortunately, the secretariat, due to the subject of my file, sent me to interrogation Branch 6 of the prosecutor’s office, and not Branch 42, which was especially for the Baha’is. [A tag that said] “Prisoner number 63” was placed on my chest and was placed among the prisoners, and after a complete interrogation, I was released on condition that I should return the next day. Anyway, I was released on 50,000 tumans’ bail and on condition that I not leave Abbas Abad, where I lived. After a while my writ of non-prosecution was issued, but I was not informed.

16-After my husband’s martyrdom, Mesbah told me, “Your properties have not been confiscated, but I will seize them.” I responded that I would promise to plead for justice until the day I die. Mesbah wrote a letter to the Supreme Judiciary Council and received a response from Moammem Mr. Moghtadaie as follows: “Their properties are confiscated if his wife and children are fugitives; otherwise not.”

17- One year after they took our car, we received a warning from the Office of Driving Offences that if we (the owners) didn’t pay our fines, we would be prosecuted, owing to the large number of offences committed. I went to the Office of Driving Offences and told them everything; they agreed to our not paying, and all the offences were erased.

18- One of our tenants, a widow, along with her 14-year old son, who were Muslims, left after being threatened by Mr. Mesbah and his colleagues. Subsequently, he gave the house, free of rent, to Mr. Isa Valizadeh Miankolah, who introduced himself as Khosrow Alavi. He lived in that house for about five years (three months less) and for some years his brother in law, Mr. Javadi, called Torkaman, also lived there. Only God knows what happened to us during that time―how my old mother and I endured days and hours of threatening phone calls, incessant knocking on our door, and sleepless nights. They thought that they could force us to leave with their threats and bad language, not knowing that these oppressions increase our firmness in the Covenant, our steadfastness and our resistance. Moreover, they did not believe in this saying: [Persian verse][10].

19- As a result of the national investigation, Mr. Hojatoleslam Mohaghegh-Damad, the head of investigation, through a few lines in a letter attached to the report of a few pages written by Mr. Soltani and Moammem Karimi, wrote to the Supreme Judicial Council and to Mr. Mehdi Tabatabaei that this family had been treated unjustly, and he requested immediate investigation. However, despite my repeated approaches, it was archived.

20-Mr. Mesbah sent three of his friends, Moammem Barkhordari, in unofficial clothing, a person called Rafat, known as Sahraie, and Mr. Rabbani, to arrest me. After searching my house for three or four hours, they detained me. My elderly mother had become unconscious, but they didn’t allow me to phone anyone to inform them. Only after I was taken to prison, upon my insistence, Mr. Sahraie made a phone call. I was deemed innocent after three months, and following one year of summonses and trials, I was released to go home.

21- The roof and parking area were in need of serious repairs and I had no choice but to repair them, but the neighbours paid nothing towards it.

22- Mr. Alavi once again transferred our phone connection to his house, by contacting the tele-communications company and sending them a letter stamped by the Public Prosecutor’s office, thus changing the owner’s name and level number of our telephone account, which was in my husband’s name and had not been confiscated (the same telephone and number that he had taken to his house, while I was in prison. But after my release, I protested and disconnected it and Mr. Alavi did not pay anything for his four-month use of the phone). It took me three months of contacting the telephone company and six months of contacting the Public Prosecutor’s Office before the phone connection was returned to my level. May God recompense Mr. Hojatoleslam Ramazani, public prosecutor of the time, who issued that order. Alavi did not pay the phone bill and the costs associated with its re-connection, and I had to pay it by instalments.

23- Two levels of the building were occupied by revolutionary guards; one level was occupied by Mr. Valizadeh or Alavi, and the other level was outwardly occupied by the brother of an interrogator from the Public Prosecutor’s Office and then Evin Prison, by the name of Dr. Hamid Ghasemi Montazeri (he was uneducated). That level was the gathering place of bachelors and a centre of ….  The men who had families used to confront Mr. Hamid, but they attacked me. In one night, three groups of armed revolutionary guards came to my home and bothered me for hours with their presence or by ringing my doorbell. The first group, instigated by Mr. Alavi and Javadi, was from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. They entered my level and sat for more than an hour and questioned me.

The second group was from the Drug Control Office in Roumi Bridge, and the third group were friends of Mr. Ghasemi, who were contacted by phone and came from the Central Revolutionary Committee; when they were asked by the two individuals from the first group what brought them there, they responded that Mrs. Vahdat-i-Hagh had phoned them. The fair revolutionary guard from the Public Prosecutor’s Office told them that they were with me just then and that I could not have rung them so quickly. Then they confessed that they were Mr. Ghasemi’s friends. That was a night of commotion and turmoil, but I only let the first group enter my home.

24- After being used for six years, our family car was sold without any notice in the paper, at the Notary Public Office 442, as a car without an owner, disposed of on the side of the street. It was sold to Mr. Shafie, transfer number 93685, and he sold it again three months later in Ardabil. All this while none of our family properties had been confiscated and my pleas for justice were all recorded in the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

25- From the year 1360 [1981/1982] onwards, I was repeatedly contacted by tax officials and [told] to pay renovation charges. I was accountable for my children’s and my husband’s property taxes, while I didn’t receive any rent. The Tax Department did not accept the documents from the Public Prosecutor’s Office that showed custodial ownership. They repeatedly threatened to issue a restraining order for my children, who were living abroad and were owners of the properties, which had been taken from them unfairly and without trial. I went to the Tax Office and submitted more than twenty tax and custodial documents and spoke with the deputy accountant of the Tax Office. They ordered a debt collection in collaboration with the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office. O Lord, I am humbled and grateful at Thy threshold for the patience, steadfastness and endurance you bestowed upon me.

26- Tens of times, from 1 Ordibehesht 1361 [21 April 1982] till Khordad 1370 [May 1991], I was called to the Public Prosecutor’s office either in Shemiran or Abbas Abad to maintain my properties, and tens of times, they approached me at my house with a file. Strangely, no one bothered the tenants who were occupying the properties in custodianship. They only bothered me, the owner and the official attorney of my children. They even interrogated and put me on trial and built a thick file for me. It really makes you wonder and think as to why they have such enmity and hostility towards the Baha’is. We believe in [Persian verse][11] and [Persian verse][12].

27- I requested an appointment, in writing, with the head of the Judiciary, Hojatoleslam Mr. Yazdi. On behalf of him, Mr. Hoseini Elmi received me. After I had made my presentation and complaints, he rejected all these acts and expressed total disbelief. He asked to see the judgement from the Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office, which was then located in one of the Evin buildings. This process took almost one year. After he received and read the judgements and became certain of the truth of my words and writings, he did not receive me anymore. Unfortunately, the judgement has now been archived in the secretariat of the Judiciary, situated at old Pastor Street and Valiasr Street.

28- Some people, in accordance with the law, accepted the power of attorney of my three children, which had the Islamic Republic Embassy stamp and the embossed seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (thirteen official powers of attorney from my three children); however when the time for their application arrived, they asked me to recant, and as I was a Baha’i, they rejected it. How strange indeed.

29- In order to reclaim the salary received during my service (employee of the Department of Education) I was interrogated and put on trial. It took more than four hours, and believe me, I requested to be executed many times. I said “Evin Prison is only a few steps away. Give me peace with one bullet. I am unable to act against humanity and the law.” Anyway, they pardoned me and exempted me from having to return my past salaries. Later on, I heard that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader, had issued an order to exempt the Baha’is from repaying their past salaries. But…

30- The maintenance people from the Public Prosecutor’s Office came to my house many times and verbally summoned me to their office, etc. I didn’t let them in anymore, because I heard from the neighbours that it had been announced on the radio and television that unauthorized individuals had been visiting homes. They intended to summon me by reminding me of my name, details and address, and a number of times they [tried] to scare me by saying they were Public Prosecutor’s Office interrogators. However, I said, “I only recognize interrogators and authorized individuals at their desks at work and will only answer their questions, not other peoples’ questions at home or on the street.” I confess that recently, from 1370-1371 [1991-1992] onwards, I rarely stayed at home. I used to go to my friends’ houses in the morning or spend time in the streets and parks.

31- In the year 1368 [1989/90], my three children were summoned through the court and in the official newspaper, and they were given one month to introduce themselves; otherwise a court order would be issued in their absence. I informed them by phone and reminded them of the restraining order issued by the Tax Office and the Ministry of Finance (as stated by tax officials).

32- One day at 3:00 p.m., I was informed by phone by a neighbour and friend that three individuals, with numerous sets of keys, were trying to unlock the entrance to the building. At that time, the 13- or 14-year-old son of one of the tenants came upstairs and, with red eyes, told me, “My parents are at home but they asked me to tell the revolutionary guards that they are not home. Could you please come?” Yes, the neighbours, who owed money and didn’t want to confront these people, used to look first before opening the door. Anyhow, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a crowd of shop owners from opposite our house, who had come to the street, as well as the revolutionary guards. I shouted, “What are you doing?” One person shouted back, “Why don’t you open the door?” I said, “You didn’t ring my doorbell.” Someone else called my name, and I replied, yes; they had not rung my doorbell. I protested, “Send me a written summons. In the last few months, I have been to Mr. Eshraghi, revolutionary public prosecutor of Tehran, three times. Please summon me and I will be there immediately.”

33- From the year 1370 [1991/1992] onwards, the number of summonses and attendances were increased and I was being summoned through four Revolutionary Foundations and Departments: 1- Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran; 2- Department of Maintenance of Public Prosecutor’s Office’s properties; 3- Martyrs’ Foundation; 4- Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO).

34- The Martyrs’ Foundation contacted me many times at my phone number [redacted] (the phone number which was returned to me by Mr. Ramazani, the public prosecutor of the time). They questioned us and summoned me verbally. However, I didn’t attend, due to the verbal nature of it and past history of nuisance calls. When I was summoned in writing, I went there that same day and from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., I was either being interrogated or was in the waiting room.

35- From mid-1370 [1991/1992] onwards, people from the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO) came to my door a number of times and once summoned me in writing. However, due to illness, I wrote my file number and location and posted it via registered mail and asked them to contact the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office. A few months later, two individuals arrived in a car with the latest technology, driven by a driver. Without introducing themselves, they started to threaten and swear at me. As a result, after a few days, they disconnected my telephone number [redacted], which I had taken back with much difficulty from Mr. Alavi. However, the other telephone numbers in my name, which were used by the tenants in my children’s apartments, who had not paid a cent from the year 1360 [1981] onwards, were not disconnected. I regularly heard from the neighbours that they came on a daily basis and I wasn’t home.

[36 is missing]

37- Many times, they attempted to kidnap me or accidentally hit me, but they didn’t succeed. Once, an invisible hand stopped me and I stood still, then a Paykan car, whose driver was later on forced to introduce himself and said he was an agent from the Execution of Iman Khomeini's Order (EIKO), hit two young people on a motorcycle instead of me. Thank God, it ended well with just minor injuries.

38- I pleaded for justice from tens of different authorities in my country but unfortunately did not receive a response, except recently, from the Commission for Article 90, which responded that they had sent the letter to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and that I should go to Mr. Hojatoleslam Raiesi, the revolutionary prosecutor, or to Mr. Hojatoleslam Hosein Nayyeri, the supreme judge. I did go a number of times but didn’t succeed in attaining their presence.

39- In the year 1360-61 [1981-1982], after the execution order was carried out, Mr. Mesbah wrote a letter to Mr. Moghtadaie, the esteemed head of the Supreme Judicial Council, because there were no confiscation orders issued for my husband and his family by Haj Mehdi Tabatabaei. In response, Mr. Moghtadaie wrote that his properties would be confiscated if his wife and children had fled; otherwise not.

40- Anyway, after the threats of the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO), and going to various offices of the Telecommunications Department numerous times, I became aware of Judgement number 22794, dated 6 Khordad 1370 [27 May 1991], which reclaimed the salaries received during 33 years of the loyal service of my husband, now, ten years after 9 Esfand 1360 [28 February 1982], the time when he was executed and buried for being a Baha’i and not recanting. Therefore, his properties were confiscated, even though the supreme leader, Mr. Khamenei, had exempted the Baha’is from surrendering their past salaries. Against the orders of the Sharia judge, ten years ago, and the order of the supreme leader, they wrote a judgement for someone who had been buried for ten years, and the supreme judge, without studying it, signed it.

41- I went to the National Registry of Personal Status office and read Judgement number 22794, dated 6 Khordad 1370 [27 May 1991]. At the start it mentioned “the undersigned”, however no one from Court number 3 (The issuer of the judgement, system generated) had signed it. There was just one signature at the end of the judgement, and that belonged to Mr. Hosein Nayyeri. Obviously, the esteemed supreme judge, owing to his volume of work, had not read the judgement and had just signed it. Otherwise, if he had seen my pleas for justice and 13 powers of attorney, like the Sharia judges of Court number 3 of the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office had, he wouldn’t have positioned himself accountable in the presence of the Lord of all the worlds.

It is bewildering that my three children had not stood trial in any court; all three of them had been living abroad before the revolution, all possessed Iranian passports and new birth certificates, and I had 13 powers of attorney from them stamped by the embassy of the Islamic Republic with the embossed seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their copies must have been in our files. The above judgement, after naming my three children, states, “According to the mother, they are Baha’is and reside abroad, therefore they are not under the protection of the Islamic Republic and all their properties are confiscated and if any has been sold, it will be taken back”. They changed “born in a Baha’i family” into “Baha’i” and provided the statement of the mother as a proof, and deprived these youth, who had finished their studies with so much difficulty and without receiving any scholarships, of their only future residential apartment.

This is an example of thousands of other recent cases. Isn’t this sentence true: [Persian verse][13]? Wouldn’t these oppressions and injustices raise the Baha’is’ standard of loyalty even higher? Won’t these judgements cause the words of God and the divine teachings to spread throughout the East and the West? We Baha’is may be in material hardship and struggling, but we believe [Persian verse][14].

Anyway, the agents of the Execution of Iman Khomeini's Order (EIKO) under the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, carried out their threats, and in a very short time, transferred my children’s and my husband’s apartments into their own names and seized the 45-year-long ownership of the Vahdat-i-Hagh family, without our consent, awareness or signature, because of our belief in the Baha’i Faith. (We paid for the land in instalments from 1326 [1947/1948]; it came under Vahdat-i-Hagh’s name in 1330 [1951/1952] and we resided in it from 1340 [1961/1962]). In 1371 [1992/1993], its title came into the possession of the Execution of Iman Khomeini's Order (EIKO) under the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.

42- I wrote a plea for justice to the head of the Judicial and Legal Committee of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Mr. Hojatoleslam Baghani, and submitted it through his secretary. After continuous follow up, I succeeded in meeting Mr. Hojatoleslam Ghazipour, the esteemed deputy of the Legal Committee. After hearing and reading about the matter, both gentlemen were surprised and offered their assistance to overrule the judgement, should it be true. Each of them separately and at different times, wrote to the revolutionary public prosecutor, Mr. Mousavi. One letter was sent by the Consultative Assembly, and I attached Mr. Ghazipour’s letter, as per his orders, to two pages of my own description of events and submitted it to the Office of the Revolutionary Prosecutor of the Islamic Republic of Iran and obtained a receipt number. After some time, I realised that Mr. Farkhondeh, the esteemed first secretary of the Office, had written in pencil, with disbelief and amazement, a summary of my plea and had accepted and recommended my request to apply the provisions of Article 35 of the Criminal Courts 1 and 2 Procedures Act. The esteemed revolutionary prosecutor general of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Hojatoleslam Mousavi, ordered Mr. Ebrahimi, the esteemed secretary of the Supreme Court (The Revolutionary Court section) to investigate and process the request and to obtain the files and the judgements. After numerous approaches, I realized the letter and the order for its application had been archived.

After great pursuit, I succeeded in meeting Mr. Hojatoleslam Mousavi. After raising the subject in that private meeting, he said, “We have never killed the Baha’is and never will.” I called on God to be the witness to my words and his, and I read the exact judgements of the Sharia judge, the Supreme Judicial Council, and the judgement issued after ten years. Therefore, he ordered copies of the files and the judgements (from the Revolutionary Public Prosecutor’s Office) and attached his order to a letter that I had submitted. This was his second order in writing and he asked me to wait in the reception area. I was there when Mr. Ebrahimi saw me and became aware of the second order. As soon as Mr. Mousavi came downstairs, Mr. Ebrahimi told him, “I will not retrieve her judgement”, and Mr. Mousavi asked, “Whose?” Mr. Ebrahimi pointed to me. [The] prosecutor general, in response to Mr. Ebrahimi, said “I want the order; it must be investigated.” I went home full of hope, but after a few months, I realized it had been archived again. Anyway, one day in the month of Esfand [February/March], I was summoned by the public prosecutor of Tehran thus, “You are commanded to appear at the Enforcement of Judgements Branch 2 within three days.” On 9Esfand, at 8:00 a.m., I signed [the writ of summon] without reading it.

Coincidentally, that day was the commemoration gathering for my husband’s martyrdom, where prayers were chanted and Writings were read, and the general public and the Baha’is, in groups and carrying flowers, were entering the commemoration meeting from 5:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. During the meeting, one of the Baha’is noticed a change in me and asked the reason for it. I felt obliged to show him the summons. He organized a prayer meeting with the youth, who were serving refreshments, and their families; prayers continued till 1:00 a.m.

The next day, due to a minor illness and mental stress, I wrote a letter to ask for a ten-day extension of time and paid one hundred tomans for express post to deliver the letter to the Enforcement of Judgements Branch 2. I went to the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, too, and after great difficulty, entered the area and the previous room of Mr. Farkhondeh, the first secretary of the esteemed prosecutor. In brief, they did not give me permission to meet him. As I saw two other people meeting him, I asked if I was denied an opportunity to meet him because I was a Baha’i. It was confirmed. Therefore, I daringly opened the door and entered his room, where five people were sitting. One of them was Mr. Ebrahimi. After greetings, I said that Mr. Farkhondeh’s kindness in organizing a meeting for me with the prosecutor, had emboldened me, and I had entered without permission and asked for forgiveness.

I showed them the copy of my summons and said, “I have been summoned to the Enforcement of Judgements Branch 2, whereas they told me years ago that my case was closed. They kill us Baha’is in the name of God and the religion of Islam, and we are killed in His name and for His religion. They imprison us in the name of God and Islam and we accept captivity whole-heartedly in the name of God. And for being Baha’is, we are pillaged in the name of God and religion, and we give our properties and possessions in the name of God and religion. I am unwell today. Last night was [the anniversary of my husband’s [execution] and with the permission and knowledge of the police, people came in groups from 5:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. at night. Prayers and Writings were recited, which shook our bodies, let alone my soul, body and spirit.”

Mr. Farkhondeh said, “From 5 till 11 at night?” I said “No, in fact a few people arrived at 3:00 p.m. but the meeting officially started at 5:00 p.m. In addition, after all the friends left, the youth who were serving refreshments and their families, and another individual who had become aware of my summons, organized a prayer meeting, which lasted until 1:00 a.m.”

The five men present and Mr. Farkhondeh were looking at me wide-eyed. Mr. Farkhondeh took the summons off me and said, “What would you like me to do now?” I said, “Please make a phone call to say that my file is being investigated at the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, and ask them to extend my three-day respite to 10 or 15 days.” He then introduced me to the men, one of whom got up and left after the introductions.

In brief, he organized for me to meet the public prosecutor general the next day. That is when I realized that there was a confidential directive which stated that the provisions of Article 35 of the Criminal Courts 1 and 2 Procedures Act did not apply to the Baha’is. And that was the reason for the public prosecutor general’s order to be archived once again, and he wasn’t informed. O God, how a few fanatical authorities play with the life and belongings of a group of innocent, loyal and righteous people who live in utmost honesty, trustworthiness, unity and harmony!

Anyway, one week after receiving my summons, I went to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in nylon clothing, as I knew the enforcement of judgement was either execution or imprisonment. However, on the contrary, the officer talked to me very politely and guided me to submit a defence. He also told me to write a separate letter for myself and my children in respect to going abroad, and that they would take care of the restraining order. So I went home and wrote both letters and submitted them the next day and obtained a receipt number. What is certain is that the above-mentioned authorities, somehow, showed mercy and overruled the enforcement of the judgement which was mentioned in my summons. May God give them their recompense.

Dear sir, Your Highness the President, respected reader, the Baha’is of the world love and adore the sacred land of Iran and consider it [Persian verse][15]. Dear sir, didn’t we act according to the above-mentioned writing? Is not [Persian verse]?[16]. Our guide and beliefs are as follows [Persian verse][17] and [Persian verse][18] and [Persian verse][19] and [Persian verse][20] and we are directed to [Persian verse][21].

Dear sir, esteemed president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to educate the children, the youth and the Baha’i community to carry out the above commandments and beliefs, do they not need a system and method of spiritual education? The current Baha’i community of Iran, the total number of which ranges between 300,000 and 400,000, do they not have children, marriages, deaths, etc.? Should not the children, pre-youth and youth of this community be educated according to the divine commands? Baha’is prefer to be in accordance with this command [Persian verse].[22]

Dear sir, isn’t the aim of the Heavenly Books and Divine Verses to train people in righteousness, truthfulness and knowledge so that they will become the cause of comfort for themselves and other people? Does not the training and teaching of pre-youth and youth, in accordance with the above-mentioned beliefs and truths, require the right training system? I therefore beg of you and entreat you to allow the Baha’i administration, which is merely taking care of the spiritual, moral and educational facets of the life of the Baha’is, to function in order to observe and bring into action the above-mentioned matters, which are part of our beliefs, and in order to guide and teach the Baha’is. Mention it as separate from the holy religion of Islam and announce it as one of the minorities existing in the country. In this way, the difficulties surrounding honest, obedient, oppressed and loyal Iranians will be eradicated and the worldwide Baha’i community of over six million will be happy and grateful. Moreover, the humanitarian people and followers of human rights will be satisfied, pleased and appreciative and your good name will be eternal and everlasting in the pages of history, for the Baha’is, the world and the philanthropic people around the globe. We believe and are certain that Iran [Persian verse][23].

 

Defence statements – Dear sir, in accordance with the law, dated 29 Aban 1358 [20 November 1979], the issuing of an execution order or investigating the file of the employees of the Armed Forces is under the jurisdiction of the Army’s Revolutionary Court.

  1. Without the correct implementation of criminal procedures, [my husband] was sentenced to death at the Anti-Corruption Court. Also, based on the circular issued on behalf of the supreme leader during the president’s term of office, espionage by individuals must be investigated in competent courts. Moreover, is the punishment of a spy fulfilled by his telling a white lie and recanting his faith?? An individual who sacrifices his life for his belief in these words [Persian verse][24].
  2. The Sharia judge of the Anti-Corruption Court issued my husband’s execution order merely because he didn’t recant the Baha’i Faith, and there is no mention of confiscation of movable and immovable properties, either in the judgement itself or in the appeals stage, which took place after the enforcement of order. The only order was appropriation of his properties in return for the salaries received. This does not appear in the contents of the order. Moreover, in accordance with the supreme leader’s circular, individuals are pardoned and exempt from having to return salaries paid for their past services. Now, what kind of justice and equity allows confiscation of properties ten years after execution, when the only apartment belonging to my husband has been in the custodianship of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and not a cent has been given to us for his debts?
  3. In accordance with Circular number 1/2763 of the Supreme Judicial Council, dated 29 Farvardin 1361 [18 April 1982], in regard to confiscation of properties, there are specific instructions mentioned which indicate that the debts of individuals must be attended to and repaid. Based on the will written at the time of execution of the order, a copy of which exists in file number 12298/25 at the Commission for Article 90, he had and still has a debt. I therefore request investigation, cancellation of the issued judgements and restitution of my husband’s properties and apartment.
  4. 1- Based on the section of the same circular, the Supreme Judicial Council instructs that the life necessities of the convicted person, such as a reasonable and suitable house for his dependent family, and home furnishings, car and essential necessities of life, must be provided for. Then how is it that his only two-bedroom apartment, situated in the basement of the building next to the powerhouse, was confiscated?

2- In accordance with the country’s current regulations, my daughter, as an Iranian with Iranian passport, has married an Australian citizen, after obtaining permission from competent authorities. Sharia criteria require that the wife should reside in the husband’s place of residence. My daughter is not a fugitive and should be eligible for protection by the Islamic Republic of Iran, but a title transfer order has been issued for her only apartment. She has a birth certificate and a new passport and her power of attorney has been approved by the embassy of the Islamic Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which ascertain this claim.

3- Prior to the revolution, my two sons were studying in Germany with Iranian passports and Iranian citizenship. Due to home renovations and the subsequent revolution, and other events associated with my husband’s arrest and martyrdom, I have been incapable of sending them money. They have therefore suffered a lot of hardship while continuing their studies. They are not fugitives and are eligible for protection by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, confiscation of their properties for the above reasons is far from Islamic justice and equity, and is also against the country’s current regulations in regard to seizure of movable properties belonging to people abroad. It is also against Imam Khomeini’s orders about properties of individuals, because basically, Imam Khomeini’s order, dated 6 Khordad 1368 [27 May 1989] (Money and properties of unknown owners, no owners, and inheritance without heirs and Article 49) does not apply to the only apartments belonging to my children and my husband. Therefore, the contents of that order are not relevant to our situation.

Dear sir, the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO) sold the apartment belonging to my son, Seyyed Shahaboddin (A copy of his birth certificate and new passport is forwarded) for 12 million tomans to Mr. Ebrahimi and he immediately sold it for 40 million tomans to Mr. Esmaili. You can see how the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO) is acting for the benefit of others.

Dear sir, the Esteemed President of the Republic, from Ordibehesht 1361 [April/May 1982] onwards, I have pleaded for justice from various authorities in this country, continuously and constantly, in writing and in person. In recent months. I have appealed, for hours, to employees of the Supreme Leader’s Office to enclose my voice recording with my numerous letters and pass them on to the respected supreme leader. Anyway, I was the object of his kindness and my letters were sent to an authority, who, after four or five hours of questioning, directed me to apply for a passport. With their efforts, passport number [redacted] was recently issued in my name and I am currently living in Germany. Dear sir, I appeal to you to please investigate the above matter, considering the above statement and taking into account the laws and regulations and the issued circulars, and to overrule the issued judgements and restitution of properties and to stop enforcement of actions to sell my children’s apartments. I hope that this request is granted, and that appropriate orders, based on Islamic justice and equity, will be issued and the outcome proclaimed.

In advance, I am grateful for that esteemed authority’s consideration.

With most sincere respect,

 

[Signature]

Paridokht Vahdat-i-Hagh

15 Mordad 1376 [6 August 1997]

 

A page is enclosed.

Address [Redacted]

 

[On the margin of the last page]

National Investigation [Organization] file number 400/131/6/61

Anti-Corruption Court file number 4251/60

 

 

[1] [Quran 60:8] https://quran.com/60

[2] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"بسم الله الامنع الاقدس. الهی الهی استغفرک من کل لذة بغیر حبّک و من کل سرورٍبغیر قربک..."

[3] [CLVII: Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah] https://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/PM/pm-157.htmlv

[4] [Quran 2:256] https://quran.com/2

[5] [Baha’u’llah - Tabernacle of Unity - Pages 15-55]

[6] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"عدل و انصاف حیات عالم بشر است"

[7] [The original text is as follows: "او در جهان خاک سر باخت ولی در عالم پاک گردن بر افراخت"]

[8] [Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, No. CXII, page 74] https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/gleanings-writings-bahaullah/6#339100527

[9] [Abdu’l-Baha, A Travellers Narrative, Page 19]

[10] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"از سرشک دیده يتیمان، ستمدیدگان حذر لازم زیرا سیل خیر است و از دود آه مظلومان پرهیز باید زیر شررانگیز است و الله ولی المظلومین"

[11] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"بهترین انسان کسی است که قلوب را بدست آرد و خاطری نیازارد و بدترین نفوس نفسی است که قلوب را مکدّر نماید و سبب حزن مردمان شود"

[12] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"ما نباید خود را به پسندیم بلکه سایرین را بهتر بدانیم حتی نفوسی که مؤمن نیستند زیرا حسن خاتمه مجهول است."

[13] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"امروز نالۀ عدل بلند و حنین انصاف مرتفع، دودِ تیره ستم عالم و امم را احاظه نموده است".

[14] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"در امرالله نَفسِ خرابی سبب آبادی است و حقیقت ذلّت سبب عزّت کبری."

[15] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"افق نور و مطلع فرح عالمیان میدانند و این موطن را پرستش می‌نمایند و در احیاء و تعزیز و ترقّی و ترویج مصالح حقیقیّه این سرزمین منافع و راحت بلکه جان و مال خویش را فدا و نثار کنند."

[16] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"شرافت و مفخرت انسان در آن نیست که بین ملاء امکان منشاء خیری گردد."

[17] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"ای ذبیح نفس ظلم مورث ظهور سطوت و قهر بوده. اگر به بصر حقیقی ملاحظه نمائید جمیع ناس مستحق عذابند چه که به ظلم مشغولند الا من شاء ربّک معذلک باسمه الرحمن الرحیم ناظر و دوست نداشته و ندارد احدی بر نفسی تعرّض نماید ظالمان را به خدا وا گذارند و در شدائد صابر باشند."

[18] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"اگر ظالمی بر شما تعرّض نماید بحبل صبر تمسک نمائید اگر اذيّت کند از او بگذرید بشأنی نزاع و جدال و قتل و غارت و تاراج را نهی فرمودیم که...."

[19] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"احبای الهی باید بدخواه را خیرخواه دانند و اهل شقاق را اهل وفاق شمرند بعید را قریب بینند و دور را نزدیک شمرند یعنی بدشمن نوعی رفتار کنند که سزاوار دوستان است به جفاکاران چنان معامله نمایند که لایق یار خوش رفتار...."

[20] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"... جمیع را خیرخواهیم و از برای کل فوز ابدی جوئیم و آنچه سبب نورانیت عالم انسانی گوئیم باری اهمّ امور در ظهورمکلّم طور اینست که یاران باید بموجب نصایح و وصایای الهی جمیع اقوام و طوائف عالم را مهربانی نمایند بلکه جانفشانی کنند تا این ظلمات ضدّیت و بغضا بنورانیت محبّت رحمانی تبدیل گردد لهذا هر کسی بشما ظلم و جفا کند البتّه مهر و وفا نمائید اذیّت نماید رعایت کنید بدگوئی کند ستایش نمائید تکفیر کند تکریم نمائید طعن و لعن نماید نهایت ملاطفت اجرا دارید و جمیع دوستان الهی را این وصایا و نصایح تبلیغ کنید."

[21] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"... شما باید اهمیّت به این تطاول و عدوان ندهید بالعکس معامله کنید و الفت جوئید و بگوئید ما از نفسی گله نداریم و شکایت نخواهیم و میدانیم که جمیع امور بقدر مقدور است و قضای محتوم ما سبب نبینیم مسبب را نگریم آمرزش طاغیان خواهیم و در درگاه احدیّت شفاعت باغیان جوئیم...."

[22] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"... باید روش و سلوکی نمائید که مانند آفتاب از سایر نفوس ممتاز شوید هر نفسی از شما در هر شهری وارد گردد جمیع اهل شهر گویند که این شخص یقین است که بهائی است زیرا اطوار و حرکات و روش و سلوک و خلق و خوی این شخص از خصائص بهائیانست تا باین مقام نیائید بعهد و پیمان الهی وفا ننموده‌اید زیرا بنصوص قاطعه از جمیع ما میثاق وثیق گرفته که بموجب وصایا و نصائح الهیه و تعالیم ربانیه رفتار نمائیم."

[23] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"... در جمیع بسیط زمین محترمترین حکومات خواهد گشت و ایران معمورترین بقاع عالم خواهد شد..."

[24] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"هر نَفسی را که می‌بینید در امور سیاسی صحبت میدارد بدانید که بهائی نیست این میزان است زیرا اساس امر بهائی الفت بین جمیع ملل و ادیان است و مکالمات سیاسی سبب تفرقه و حصول ضدّیت و تعصب."