[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
In the Name of God
Date: 27 Mehr 1392 [19 October 2013]
Respected Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran
With respect, I, Payam Vali, son of Ebadollah, resident of Karaj [redacted], holder of National ID number [redacted], am a Baha’i citizen. Regrettably, for many years, solely because of my family’s and my religious beliefs, we have been repeatedly subjected to discrimination and injustice in the sacred country of Iran. I will explain this further in my appeal. Therefore, I beseech your esteemed highness to issue the necessary orders for a fair review of my appeal, based on your benevolent belief in the equality of rights for minorities and human beings.
- In 1369 [1990/1991], when I was only nine years old and was a mere child, we found the lifeless body of my innocent 12-year-old brother, Afshin Vali, in the Village of Hosseinabad, which is a suburb of Nazarabad. He was killed by prejudiced and ignorant people. Of course, you can investigate this inhumane matter by asking the honourable local people of that village, so that the truth will become clear to Your Highness and you may realize what great injustices my family and I have endured for many years solely because of our religious beliefs.
Even now, you have surely heard about the unfortunate assassination of the innocent Baha’i citizen, a resident of Bandar Abbas, Ataollah Rezvani, who was shot to death in that city two months ago. And, of course, you are aware how such inhumane atrocities can, once again, threaten the lives of the Baha’i citizens, including my life and those of my family members, and give the heedless and ignorant people the impression that they can stray further from the law and attack the lives and property of a group of respected Iranian citizens solely because of their religious beliefs, founded on the false idea that the laws of the country will support them in continuing their inhumane actions.
Therefore, I beseech Your Highness to issue the necessary orders, according to the Constitution of the country, to protect the life and property of Iranian citizens (the Baha’is).
- In my youth, after completing my high school studies, I was faced with the iniquitous and inhumane reality that, solely because of our religious beliefs, my six sisters and brothers and I were not allowed to go to university. Regrettably, they prevented us from continuing our education in the sacred country of Iran in the 21st century. The effects of this action have continued to have a negative effect on my life.
Now, my question for the esteemed authorities of this country is this: Why do they continue to prevent the Iranian Baha’i youth, including me, from continuing our education? Please do provide me with a response to this question.
- In 1387 [2008/2009], in view of having been deprived of studying my favourite subject at the university, and in order to make a living and provide a piously earned piece of bread for my family, being married with children, I turned to the trade of making eyeglasses and began to earn a living in the town of Nazarabad. Unfortunately, that year, despite my having a three-year business licence and a ten-year eyeglass making licence from the relevant trade union since 1381 [2002/2003], as well as holding a professional certificate in eyeglass making from the Ministry of Labour since 1380 [2001/2002], my shop was sealed based on the illegal order of the Nazarabad Security Council by the Public Places Supervision Office. Unfortunately, despite repeated legal appeals to the competent governmental authorities, from the Court of Justice of Nazarabad to the Court of Administrative Justice and the Article 90 Committee, five years have now passed since my business was sealed based solely on my religious beliefs. None of them have defended my citizenship rights with respect to the right to work and earn a living.
In addition, despite the fact that on numerous occasions I have introduced various optometrists, as the technical professional responsible for the eyeglass making, to the Health Department of Nazarabad, thus far the relevant offices have refused to follow the law. Therefore, given that during the last five years I have, for the fifth time, presented a complaint to the Court of Administrative Justice against the Nazarabad Security Council in defence of my rights, and based on the fact that the relevant file number 9209980900013385 is under review at Branch 3 of the Court for Administrative Justice, in view of the documents presented in the aforementioned file at the relevant branch, I request Your Highness to issue the necessary orders to protect my financial and employment rights as an Iranian citizen with equal rights under the country’s constitution.
- Approximately three years ago, owing to my legal pursuit of the basic citizenship rights that had been taken away from me, I was subjected to unfounded allegations by some of the Intelligence agents of Karaj. They pressured me for more than two months to stop making legal appeals for my rights and took me to prison and placed me under mental torture. Ultimately, I was acquitted of the aforementioned trumped-up charges by the Justice Administration of Nazarabad. Subsequently, they went further in their inhumane actions and subjected my father-in-law to mental torture for five months in the Rajaei-Shahr Prison, in order to increase the severe mental pressures on me and my family and somehow cover up their inhumane behaviour. Therefore, I request that you issue the necessary orders for investigations to be made regarding the violations committed by these agents and their illegal assault on my citizenship rights and reputation, as already recounted, such that they would henceforth refrain from such illegal and extra-legal actions, which cause damage to the credibility of government offices, including the Department of Intelligence, in the public’s mind. As you are aware, the continuation of such illegal actions has damaged the reputation of the citizens, including me, and they can have extensive negative and adverse effects on the minds of the generality of the people.
In closing, I invite your attention to the basic rights of the Baha’i citizens, of which you are well aware, as indicated by the supreme leader.
With reliance on item 2, section (J) of letter number 1327, dated 6 Bahman 1369 [26 January 1991], of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution—in which the head of the Office of the Supreme Leader has established the legal and social status of the Baha’is and indicated the need to provide the necessary opportunities for life and basic rights, as is the case with other Iranian citizens, such as the Basij Notebook, passport, burial licence, employment permit, and so on, and as the contents of the aforementioned letter have been approved by the supreme leader—I now beseech Your Highness to accord me citizenship rights as an Iranian Baha’i citizen (with rights equal to other Iranian citizens) at all legal and social levels in the nation, so that the injustice and enmity that have been generated solely due to grave misunderstandings will be prevented, and so that the blood of no other Baha’i citizen will be shed because of such bloodshed’s being lawful [permissible], nor that their life and property will be attacked based on their religious beliefs, which are among the most private rights of every human being, nor that they will be imprisoned or subjected to false accusations and baseless slanders. Every Baha’i citizen, like this humble servant, is a lover of Iran and Iranians, and hopes to walk hand in hand with other Iranians toward advancing the development of Iran. We stand ready to shake hands with anyone who strives to advance and develop the country of Iran. I pray God that you will forever be rewarded with success and stability for the service you have rendered in this regard.
With many thanks,
Your humble servant, Payam Vali
27 Mehr 1392 [19 October 2013]
[Telephone number:] [Redacted]
[Handwritten note on top of the letter]
It has been organized in 3 pages.