[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
The Bill of Indictment Defence
In the Name of the Almighty God
To the esteemed head of the Central Islamic Republic Court
In response to the Bill of Indictment issued against me, Seyyed Agha Bozorg Alavian, I respectfully covey the following preliminary explanations:
1-The Baha’i World Centre has been established in Haifa for eighty years, and after [the first] fifty years it was placed under the control of Zionist occupied lands. The Baha’i community has no relationship with the Zionist government, and I have never had, nor will I ever have, any association with any Israeli individual.
2-I am a Baha’i and was born and bred in a Baha’i family.
3-Every Baha’i individual is bound to accept Islam and to believe in Muhammad, (PBUH), the Holy Quran and the Pure Imams (PBUT); otherwise he won’t be a Baha’i.
4-According to the Baha’i teachings, no one has the right to interfere or participate in any political party or gathering, and considering one of the main principles, being a Baha’i is determined by the absence of interference in political affairs. That is why I have never been a member of any political party; therefore, the accusation of association with Zionism or espionage against me is not valid and I swear by the Almighty God that I am free and innocent of such a crime.
Now below, I briefly present my defence, which was conveyed in detail during interrogation, in regard to the charges written in the Bill of Indictment issued against me by the Central Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office:
A-In the year 1359 [1980/1981], I was elected by the Baha’i community of Tehran as a member of the Spiritual Assembly of Tehran, and was arrested shortly after. This Assembly is not the command centre of the Baha’i community but serves to satisfy the needs and attend to the personal affairs of the members of this community. The report, which was pointed out in the Bill of Indictment about the activities of Tehran Assembly in regard to the House of Justice, refers to a time when I was not a member of the Assembly, and I have no information about this report. Certainly, the contents of this report include nothing but spiritual matters; this report is forwarded to the House of Justice, which is the world centre of the Baha’i community and has no connection with the Government of Israel. As mentioned at the start, this centre in Haifa was established at a time when this region was known as Sham [Levant].
B-My relationship with the House of Justice member Borrah Kavelin was as follows. Around 12 years ago, he married an Iranian lady by the name of Flore Taheri in Haifa, and they travelled to Iran after their marriage. Since Mrs. Taheri was a family friend, they were once invited to my house for dinner. I spoke to him for a total of half an hour through his wife, who was translating. This conversation was limited to common courtesies, but he never resided in my house. By the same token, ten years ago when I went to Haifa for pilgrimage, he invited me for a meal because of his wife. We stayed there for a few days and together with the rest of our group we visited the historic places and premises and returned to Iran at the appointed time.
C-On the interrogation sheet it is written that obeying the directives of the House of Justice is binding. Obviously, these directives have a spiritual aspect to them and are announced to the Baha’is by the National Assembly. So far, the directives given have only been recommendations to observe philanthropic principles and to love humankind. Moreover, whoever is released from prison usually recounts the situation, if asked by those close to him/her, and my statements after release from prison would be about nothing but my prison memories.
D-In the Constitution, there is no prohibition on having meetings such as Spiritual Assembly. In addition, the National Assembly has constantly been in contact with the authorities of the Islamic Republic, and has not received any orders in regard to illegality of the Assembly meetings, which attend to spiritual matters only. Also, just one meeting took place in my house during the short time that I was an Assembly member.
1-In regard to financial assistance to the Baha’i community, mentioned in the Bill of Indictment, I economized in my living expenses and contributed my savings. For instance, I contributed towards the building of a place of worship and praise of God, which is not a crime. These sums of money were given to the Assembly in Tehran and I didn’t send any foreign currency to Israel. Moreover, I travelled to Japan through a travel agent and participated at a conference in the city of Sapporo. This conference was a demonstration of the unity of mankind and equality of human beings irrespective of skin colour, race or nationality, which is, in reality, indicative of condemning the racist ideology of Zionism. Therefore, these meetings are in no way linked with the Zionist designs, and not only did this conference not aim to strengthen the anti-Islamic culture, but it was a medium for the expansion and promotion of the holy religion of Islam.
2-Lately, I was a member of the board of directors of the Omana Company, and when necessary I was invited by the managing director to participate in the board meetings. This company belongs to the Baha’i community, represented by the National Assembly. The company’s assets include the holy and historic places, the Baha’i cemeteries and Assembly offices, and its duty is to maintain these places and secure their expenses. The shares that are registered in the names of the members of the board of directors are notional and, in fact, belong to the Baha’i community. I strongly deny the creation of 2,000 espionage centres of activity by the Omana Company, which is mentioned in the Bill of Indictment, because, as I said at the start, Baha’is do not even interfere in political matters; how much less in espionage.
3-In regard to my being the managing director and shareholder of a building company and being occupied with development affairs, which is mentioned in the Bill of Indictment, it is an act which is not a crime. After the Revolution, this company was given new projects by the government of the Islamic Republic because of its righteous and ethical practices and reconstruction activities, and this company is occupied with this undertaking in a befitting manner. The work of this company is approved by the Islamic Republic and is regularly invited to work towards implementing the nation’s development projects.
Finally, in view of the above explanations and taking into account the prohibition of interference in political matters, as explained in the beginning, I consider myself acquitted of the charge of Zionist activities. I have not undertaken and will never undertake any anti-Islamic acts and have always endeavoured and will continue to do so to promote the interests of the Islamic Republic.
Considering the above, I do not see myself deserving of imprisonment and confiscation of properties, and I let the judgement be contingent upon the decision of the esteemed court.