[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Newspaper:] Sahar

[Date:] 19 Tir 1335 [10 July 1956]

[Issue No.:] 49

 

Verdict of the Trial of the Convicts in Murder of Baha’is

The Criminal Court did not fear the commotion, tumult and “the takfir [excommunication] stick” and condemned the criminals.

The verdict of the criminal court is ratification of the freedom of opinion.

The courts of justice of Iran do not consider anyone to be madhur al-Dam [one whose killing does not cause retribution or the one whose blood is void].

The national and social growth of Iran is established; “Let the enemy eat his heart out”

After about twenty-two days, the court case of the Yazdi criminals accused of killing seven Baha’is ended yesterday and the accused were served with the judgment at 8:00 p.m. Although this verdict is being objected to by the attorneys of the injured plaintiff, it is clear that the criminal court is not frightened of the tumult, brawl or “club of interdiction”. It has condemned those who participated in the process of fighting and killing, and has sentenced them in accordance with the degree of their responsibility and participation [in the killings].

Therefore, 23 of the accused were acquitted, and the rest were sentenced to terms of from seven months to four years of imprisonment. The headman of the village, Ali-Akbar Tavakkoli, who was apparently one of influential collaborators in this incident, was sentenced to four years of imprisonment.

Attention should be paid to the point that, in principle, the penalty of killing, where the killer is not identifiable and several individuals are participants [in the crime] is called “contaminated killing” and according to the law of general indictment, its sentence is lighter. The judicial experts believe that the court, by taking into consideration the contents of the case and the principles of the laws of indictment, has not been influenced by any external matter and has sentenced the criminals accordingly. The foreign observers attach great importance to the court’s ruling and the court’s maintaining its dignity by not taking into consideration the defence attorney’s debate on victims being madhur al-Dam, and have considered it as a turning point in the Office of Justice Administration. .

The criminal court, by issuing its verdict and sentencing the criminals, has not only showed to the world that freedom of opinion reigns in Iran, but also created for the Iranian courts an international importance and proved the social maturity of the Iranian people in spite of the adverse incitements of the enemies and the external elements.

The immediate order was issued for the release of those acquitted, and those whose terms of detainment were longer than their term of sentence will be released within [the next] two days; the rest will remain in prison until the end of their [sentences]. The public prosecutors will ultimately request a final hearing in relation to those who have been acquitted or whose sentences are short. Those convicted offenders will also appeal, and the final result [depends] upon the deliberation of the Supreme Court.