[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Date: 1 Tir 1369 - [22 June 1990]
As I have previously informed you, I, Mohammad-Ali Khanipour, was born in a fanatical Muslim family in Rudsar and then became a Baha'i. After twenty years of sincere service in the education department, I was dismissed from my job because of being a Baha'i. At the time when the shops owned by the Baha'is of Tonekabon and the area were closed down, I was selling items on the streets. On 11 Dey 1366 [1 January 1988], I was identified and arrested by the revolutionary guards in Tonekabon. I was beaten up. The items which I was selling were partly used by them and some were sent to the front/border.
As a result of the repeated hardships imposed upon me, verdicts were issued from the authorities such as the military court of Sari which has a branch in Chalus, regarding a payment/refund of the furniture which was taken away. Whenever I went to the relevant offices and showed them the copy of the verdict of the court, I was refused the payment through the objection of the Imam Jomeh of Tonekabon. In actual fact, the issued court verdicts were vetoed by the Imam Jomeh through his influence and power.
I did not give up, and was not afraid of their threats. By trusting in God, I sent written appeals to the ministry of home affairs and the municipality of Sari. I finally received a notice dated 20 Farvardin 1369 [9 April 1990] from the penal court of Tonekabon. At the same time, I met with the judicial vice president of the revolutionary court of Tonekabon, in Salmanshahr. He very humbly apologized to me and said that the Imam Jomeh has sent me the sum of 6 thousand tumans, for me to consent. As I wished the matter to be brought up in the penal court and to be reflected in my file, I did not accept. I attended the penal court on the assigned date and briefly explained the situation to the judge. He was deeply moved. The defendant and the actual guilty one was also present in court and was very humble. In the court room, there were 8 non-Baha'is, who also had a complaint about the revolutionary guards and who had also been beaten up. The defendant stated that the items were not worth more than 6 thousand tumans, and that they had brought someone from the Bazaar to evaluate the prices. The judge said that a bazari would not make a mistake in pricing items, and that I should consent to that amount. In reply I said, it is obvious that I have been treated unjustly, and surely those who have shown such unkindness would not set just prices. I added that under such circumstances I have hardly been able to prove my point, now how would I want to ask for more than my right. This reply was accepted by the court. He told the defendant that my right is more than 6 thousand tumans and that he will have to pay it. He replied that it should be referred to the Imam Jomeh. They phoned the Imam Jomeh and he refused to pay more than 6 thousand tumans. At this time, the respected judge said, it has now become clear and evident that your right is more than 6 thousand tumans. Please leave the rest to God and consent to this.
It should be added that the Imam Jomeh of Tonekabon consented to pay this amount through the continuous persistence of the military court, which was very hard and unbearable for him. What the Judge told me in respect to leaving it to God, .meant a lot to me, and the desired result was achieved. The reason being that three years ago, I was arrested and beaten up because of being a Baha'i and guilty of not worshipping God. After three years of appealing, my belief in the One True God was confirmed by the judge in the presence of others. The undesirable atmosphere had been uplifted. I accepted his request and this appeal ended in a desirable manner.