[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Date: 5 Bahman 1374 [25 January 1996]
The Head of the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The respected and knowledgeable Board of Judges
With the utmost respect and homage to the Supreme Court of Islamic Justice, I inform you of [the following]:
In the matter of case number 70/59/1075, which was later changed to number 2288/74/D, Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd delivered Judgment number 2312/74/D-Z. After said Judgment was served upon the defendant at Yazd’s Central Prison, said Judgment was reviewed by me on 3 Bahman 1374 [23 January 1996] at the Islamic Revolutionary Court. In accordance with my sacred duty as an attorney, since I do not consider the contents of the Judgment are fully in accord with legal standards and [I consider it to be] largely contradictory to the principles and Sharia Law of Islam, I wish to express my objection and appeal said Judgment. I submit to your high judicial authority the reasons why the Judgment under appeal is void and defective, as follows.
- Initially, I inform you that in proceedings section of the Judgment under appeal, it is stated that Mr. Zabih[ollah] Mahrami, who was an employee of the Department of Agriculture of Yazd Province, recanted from Baha’ism and proclaimed his acceptance of the true Faith of Islam in an announcement published in one of the widely distributed newspapers. [It is said] that he personally identified himself as a Baha’i and a Twelver Shia in the identification form he filled out in 1364 [1985/1986] for the Central Department of Agriculture, and that this is the reason he was not expelled from his government job.
With reference to the letters from the Central Department of Intelligence of Yazd Province, it is noted that on 2 Mordad 1374 [24 July 1995] the above-named person was referred to the Central Department of Information by the Head of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd at that time and, after debriefing, was summoned to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd Province on 25 Mordad 1374 [16 August 1995]. He submitted his explanation regarding the completed form and explained his religious affiliation. He stressed his affiliation with the Baha’i sect and claimed that for seven years he sometimes took part in local congregational prayers and was therefore a Muslim during this period, but felt ashamed before his wife and children. He again denied that he had willingly proclaimed his aversion to the perverse Baha’i sect. He said that his reasons were the arrests of the Baha’i leaders in Yazd at the beginning of the Revolution and their execution, his fear in this regard, and his desire to protect his family.
When he was assured that Baha’i individuals would not be bothered, he became a Baha’i once again. In the meetings on 11 Mehr 1374 [3 October 1995], 22 Mehr 1374 [14 October 1995], and 28 Aban 1374 [19 November 1995] he was guided to and shown the “Right Path”, but he did not agree to accept Islam and refused to repent of his apostasy. When, after three consecutive meetings for his guidance, and having given him sufficient time, owing to his obstinacy no result was obtained, the Court -- inspired by Question 10 in the second volume of Miras, p. 366, written by his holiness Imam Khomeini, and also Question 1 in the second volume of Kitabol- Hodod, p. 494 -- ordered him to hire a lawyer. Following the appointment of a lawyer on 12 Dey 1374 [2 January 1996], the Court convened and issued the Judgment under appeal as follows:
Mr. Zabihollah Mahrami, has been charged with recantation of the holy Faith of Islam and choosing the beliefs of the perverse Baha’i sect (national apostasy). Whereas the above-named has explicitly confessed that he joined the perverse Baha’i sect upon the age of maturity, became a Muslim for seven years, and then left [Islam] again to join that sect; whereas he continues to insist on his confused beliefs, despite the efforts of this court to guide him; whereas in three consecutive meetings, he, being of sound mind and body, has willingly and deliberately announced his belief in the principles of Baha’ism, including belief in the prophethood of Mirza Husayn Ali Baha and necessarily the denial of Islam (denying the Khatamiyat of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad son of Abdollah, Peace be upon Him); whereas he has refused to repent and since, according to the investigation of the Central Department of Intelligence, his actions have had destructive consequences, and his second conversion to Baha’ism is a clear and obvious insult to the beliefs of over a billion Muslims; the Court therefore convicts him of apostasy, and, having ascertained how to deal with the An-Nejasat [Impurities], which define the infidel and the apostate, and [having also referred to] Question 10 from the book Al-Mavaris and [Question] 1 and 4 of the Ketabol-Hodod, written by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he is sentenced to execution for his apostasy and also, in accordance with Question 1 of Al-Mavaris, due to the absence of any Muslim heirs of the above-named, the Judgment is made to confiscate all his property and belongings in favour of the Executive Headquarters under the Directive of the Imam.
- Before refuting the accusations recorded in the proceedings of the Judgment under appeal, and demonstrating the legal and canonical invalidity of said Judgment, whether regarding the obtaining of evidence and the conclusions drawn from it, or regarding its procedural and substantial flaws , allow me to say the following in all sincerity and honesty:
Apart from the duties which I have accepted upon becoming an attorney and taking the oath I did on the first day of assuming this sacred occupation, as an Iranian Muslim, [I declare] my unequivocal belief in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, whose appearance at the time of humanity’s ignorance and error brought to the people of the world, from whatever race, language, colour, tribe, or religion, [the principles of] monotheism, justice, good nature, fraternity, equality, the development of human attributes and perfections, and the proclamation of the fact that man is the “representative of God” on earth; and the bright period of Islamic life which opened new windows upon the faces of the people of that time, [guiding them] to honesty, truthfulness, a virtuous life, love for the eternal Creator, and reflection about life after death and the Day of Judgment. It created a great and unparalleled renaissance in the material and spiritual life of humanity to this very day, when over a billion of the people of the earth are following the path of righteousness beneath the rays of divine guidance and the leadership of that Great One, finding the means of closeness to God, and spending their lives in the love of the Eternal One and [in hope] of joining Him.
I also [bear witness] to the truth of the pure and chaste family and Khatamiyat of Prophet, which was the light of guidance to humanity in its dark pathways, and guided man to the highest stations of humanity and the knowledge of the One God, such that millions of Muslims in the world hope for the appearance of the last remnant of the chain of the Imamate, so that he may fill the world with justice and lead the people to the fountain of spirituality and perfection. [I also declare my] firm belief in the dignity, attractive power, and prophetic mission of the system of Islamic justice which has, after many centuries and in the same manner as the sovereignty of the Prophet at the beginning of Islam, has become the harbinger of the pure Islam and responsible for guiding the people to the straight path of the recognition of God and elevating humanity to the become enthusiastic and firm believers in the religion of God and warriors against evil, corruption, injustice, oppression, and pride.
The protection of this manifestation of the sovereignty of Allah – which shoulders the mission of calling the people of the world to the true Faith and to good morals, fraternity, equality, and compassion – its protection from the least blemish or flaw which might mar the face of Islam, falls to me. As a Muslim attorney, I have the duty to defend the proven beauties of this divine religion and am obliged to protect this trust of God against all criticism or accusation, lest, God forbid, the pen or the steps and actions [taken] by other Muslim brothers tarnish this shining mirror of virtue, generosity, and philanthropy. For this reason, because I do not see the Judgment to be following in the direction of the holy and rapturous mission of Islam and the Quran, and because its articles will ultimately have adverse effects on the thoughts and judgment of the people of the world, will sadden and cast doubt [into the hearts] of the lovers of true Islam, and will encourage our enemies to persist in their age-old opposition to Islam and their poisonous propaganda, I therefore submit my procedural and substantial, as well as legal, objections, despite my lack of means and full knowledge of the principles of Islam.
- Procedural objections to the Judgment and to the Court’s conclusion from the contents of the case: the following objections apply to the text of the proceedings recorded in the Judgment, which form the basis of the conclusions drawn by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd and of the Judgment:
- Mr. Zabih[ollah] Mahrami was born of a Baha’i family and was the offspring of the union of Gholam-Reza and Mrs. Saltanat, who were both Baha’is. He was therefore innately born a Baha’i and no reason has been brought forward to show that he accepted this perverse sect after the age of maturity.
- The widely distributed newspaper mentioned in the Judgment was the Kayhan edition of 10 Mordad 1362 [1 August 1983], a copy of which I obtained from the archives of Kayhan and presented to the Court as a defence exhibit to show that there is no evidence of the defendant having approached Kayhan on that date or having gone to the Islamic Revolutionary Court or other authorities in order to publish this announcement. The defendant has repeatedly claimed that he does not know how the announcement was published and there is therefore no evidence of Mr. Mahrami’s recanting from Baha’ism or accepting the true Faith of Islam.
- The identification form of the Central Department of Agriculture apparently consists of 15 pages and is printed. Its blank spaces are filled, and the space for the signature is signed by Mr. Mahrami. He claims that his motive for signing this form was that he feared for his life and for the livelihood of himself and his family, and that he did so only after the execution of a number of Baha’is in Yazd.
- The salary that he received was in payment for his daily work as an agricultural expert (in agricultural equipment). He received this money as salary while he held this job. After that, he has not received a single penny for pension, severance, or retirement, which [remotely] can be labelled as an “unlawful payment or property”.
- Although the defendant tried to express the truth of the matter in all circumstances, his having been summoned to the Revolutionary Court and then delivered to the Department of Intelligence, had caused him a kind of fear [the next line is illegible] and ultimately his statements at this stage are not reliable because of his psychological and physical condition.
- Based on the usual investigation in the case, it cannot be concluded that he was a Muslim because he took part in congregational prayers in his area and at other mosques. According to his own claim, he took part in some of the memorial meetings held by his neighbours [merely] because he was acquainted with them or because he was from Yazd [like them].
- According to the defendant’s own claim, in the seven years referred to in the Judgment, he effectively had no contact with the Baha’i administrative institutions. Nor was he ever an active member of these institutions or this community subsequently, because of his fear. During this time, not only did he not perform the formalities related to entering the Faith of Islam – and there is no evidence presented in this regard – but he also did not uphold Islamic appearances, as was shown during the trial. It is possible that he was considered a Muslim by some, but he never took advantage of this situation and did not even attempt to [use it to] remove the “ban on trade” imposed on him or to lift his house expropriation. [It cannot be said] that he tried to impersonate a Muslim.
- In the meetings convened for the purpose of guiding him [to the right path] and opening his eyes, not only had the legal limit expired, but he also refused to resort to deceit or trickery, but rather told the truth forthrightly and did not act hypocritically.
- Regarding the Khatamíyat of Prophet Muhammad, he did not deny or reject it but merely expressed ignorance. However, he did not deny the principals of Islam.
- Regarding Seyyed or Mirza Ali-Muhammad Bab and Mirza Husayn-Ali, he has been influenced by his family’s teaching and has expressed his belief [in them] without certitude or logical reasoning or any particular fanaticism.
- The investigation of the esteemed Department of Intelligence of Yazd is reliable as the report of Sheriff’s office, [but] does not constitute decisive evidence or proof. Consequently, in some cases, the conclusions drawn by the respected Islamic Revolutionary Court do not correspond with the reality of the statements and claims of the defendant. It is a kind of faulty conclusion based on the defendant’s statements and intentions, particularly because it is clear that the esteemed Court has not favoured my defence statement with sufficient attention. Otherwise it would uphold the appeal in its conclusions
- The respected Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd, ignoring the principles of “the legality of the crime and [its] punishment”, the commission of the crime, and obtaining proof and evidence for the accusations, first summoned the defendant and detained him, and then proceeded to obtain evidence, and then only in the form of interrogation and a report from the Central Department of Intelligence.
- The Islamic Revolutionary Court prosecuted the defendant and eventually issued the Judgment under appeal without reference to Articles 36 and 37 of the Constitution or Articles 2 and 3 of the Islamic penal code, and, as explained, first arrested the accused and eventually entered the judgment with its inherent faults, which is being appealed herewith.
- The respected Court that issued the Judgment was utterly unable to establish a correlation between the accusation and the crime purportedly committed by the defendant, and the laws and provisions of the Constitution. It issued the sentence against the defendant without reliance on the law or consideration of the necessity for congruity between crime and punishment. Nor has it, in its conclusions based on the legal matters on which the Judgment is based, achieved judicial discernment, which topic will be addressed in my substantial objections.
- Finally, after consideration of the situation and the related special circumstances, it appears that the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd has not based the trial on proving that the defendant is a heretic and apostate, whether from a legal or canonical point of view, but has rather based it on [satisfying] the request of the claimant (the Central Department of Intelligence) to convict the defendant and to impose such a heavy sentence on him!
- Substantial legal and canonical objections to the Judgment under appeal. I should first inform you that had the Islamic Revolutionary Court initially favoured the proofs and detailed evidence presented in my defence statement with greater attention, it would not have been necessary at this stage to take the valuable time of the judges of the Supreme Court of the country by having to draw to its attention various principles, proofs, and legal sources. In any case, since the life of a human being, albeit a perverse one, is at stake, I submit the following in accordance with my duties:
- The unchanging, eternal, and binding law for the Muslims of the world is the Quran. None of the other laws, nor even the Traditions about the classification of proofs, can be compared to this Holy Book. In the present circumstances in Muslim Iran, all laws, regulations, and ordinances which contradict or do not accord sufficient attention to the commandments of God and the verses of the Quran are invalid. The spirit governing all the powers of the nation, including the judicial power, is the sovereign law of the Quran.
- None of the laws equal the principles of the Constitution, which is derived from the explicit text of the Quran. The Quran repeatedly and in many verses emphasizes the equality of the rights of peoples and nations, regardless of their colour, race, language, culture, or beliefs. My explanation [of this principle] before the high-ranking judges of the Supreme Court merely repeats what the obvious. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic is based on the Quran, on the freedom and security of each human being, and particularly all of the people of Iran, including non-Muslims. Articles 14, in particular, and Articles 19, 20, 28, 29, 32, and 33 of the Constitution are all concerned with safeguarding the rights of the people of Iran.
- The principle that “crime and punishment should be lawful” dictates that every punishment should be based on the law. Otherwise, judicial security and social justice will be tarnished. The principle that laws should be general and apply to everyone [equally], and the people’s right to benefit from the rights given them by the law, depend on the judicial power’s [exercise of its] duties. Since in general there are no “crimes of belief” in the laws and Constitution of Iran; since Islam is opposed to religious “inquisition” and does not put pressure on anyone because of his beliefs; and since “apostasy” has not been specified [as a crime] in Islamic penal law which defines crimes and their punishments, under Islamic penal law such an act – even if proven – would not be considered a crime. Therefore the prosecution of individuals on the charge of apostasy is contrary to the principle of the necessity for crime and punishment to be based upon the law. Since, according to Article 36 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the sentence must be based on the law, and since Article 166 also stipulates that the sentences of Courts must be based on the provisions of the Constitution, it follows that the sentence pronounced by Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd was issued without due consideration for the above-mentioned principles and requirements and is legally void.
- Close examination of the verses of the Quran and the array of its teachings and laws demonstrates that the effects of the influence of this holy compilation of the Word of God and the undeniable miracle of the Prophet Muhammad can be discerned in the Charter of the United Nations, the “Declaration of Human Rights”, and many other international covenants. Considering that nations and governments are members of the international community and signatories of many of these covenants and agreements and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is prudent to observe these agreements in order to uphold international law and human decency.
- Adherence to the aforementioned principles is inherent in the spirit and letter of Islamic law and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic. In addition, however, the instructions and sayings of the late leader of the Revolution, Imam Khomeini, and those of his worthy successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, emphasize freedom of belief for the people of Iran, adherents of other religions, and those who follow other [non-religious] beliefs, so long as they do not conspire against the holy Regime of the Islamic Republic. In the words of Ayatollah Yazdi, the respected head of the judicial power, at the Friday prayers on 1 Dey 1374 [22 December 1995], “No person in Iran is imprisoned by reason of his beliefs. We do not have even one prisoner in this country who has not committed a crime.” In view of these words, the Islamic Revolutionary Court’s arrest, trial, and conviction of Mr. Zabih[ollah] Mahrami because of his unacceptable beliefs cannot be justified.
- Even in the Quran and the words of the Prophet of Islam, the punishment of infidels and apostates has never been left to the Muslims or even to the person of the Prophet of God. You will surely agree that there is a difference between an infidel who arises to wage war against the army of Islam and Muslims and is killed according to the law of Jihad, and one who is killed by Muslims because of blasphemy or leaving the religion. The punishment of such people is indeed that retribution which has been promised to them by God on the Day of Judgment. The proof of this claim lies in verses 27 and 38 of the Surih of Baghereh [the Cow] and verse 85 of the Surih of Al-i-Imran, which show the fate of those who do mischief in the land or who deny the verses of the Quran.
Here it is necessary that we recognize the meaning of “infidel” and “apostate”, differentiate between the infidel against whom one should fight and the infidel who pays tribute under Islam, and then enumerate the laws applicable to each of them.
According to Question 2447 of Imam Khomeini’s treatise on [Sharia] law, p. 273, in the discussion of laws relating to marriage, the infidel whom one should fight or an apostate is one who denies God and the Prophet. If he should deny some of the religious obligations, which would result in the denial of God and the Prophet, he is an apostate and infidel. Also, infidelity and apostasy consist of turning away from the true Faith of Islam after having believed in “Allah”. This is effected through one’s intentions, words, and deeds. Also, an infidel is one who not only denies God and the Prophet, but also rises in war against Islam and Muslims, or associates with those who do so. In that case, he deserves punishment.
It appears, at least on the surface, that the members of the perverse Baha’i sect believe in the oneness of God and praise the Prophet of Islam as a true Prophet of God. In accordance with their religious beliefs, they avoid politics, political intrigue, and involvement in political factions, and are therefore removed from sedition and conspiracy, which are the manifestations of the verse “sedition is worse than murder”. According to their own claim, they are obedient and faithful to the government and to the Islamic Republic. With the approval of the leader of the Muslims, as long as they [Baha’is] do not commit sedition and do not betray the holy Islamic Regime, they are recognized as being “protected” in accordance with the principle of “protection”, [are given quarter] in an Islamic country and under the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this way, although they profess a perverse and invalid belief, because they are “protected”, they are in effect among the “People of Zemme“ and their lives, property, and dignity are legally safeguarded from attack.
- In jurisprudence, “apostasy” means “turning away”. In the terminology of Islamic scholars of jurisprudence, apostasy can occur only after accepting Islam; it is turning away from Islam. The root of this discussion is found in the Quran in verse 217 of the Surih of Baghereh, where it is said, “And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever - for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally “(the intention is hell and divine retribution). Here, one must differentiate between apostasy and blasphemy, which are the denial of God and the Prophet [on the one hand], and lack of acceptance of Islam or turning away from it [on the other].
- Ayatollah Gilani, the head of the Supreme Court, writes in “Penal Laws in Islam”, quoting from Vasailo-sh-Shia of Ebn-e-Senan who cites Imam Jafar-i-Sadegh, “Whoever doubts God or the prophethood of his Messenger, he is an infidel. Therefore, one who from the beginning of maturity denies or doubts the existence and oneness of God and the prophetic mission of the Prophet of Islam is an infidel. Alternatively, one who sometime after reaching maturity confesses these two principles and then denies some or all of them, or doubts some or all of them, is an infidel who is [in fact] an apostate.”
In view of the foregoing, it is only doubt or denial concerning the existence and oneness of God or the Prophet of Islam – and nothing else – which constitutes infidelity. Now, with attention to the contents of the case assembled against Mr. Mahrami and his own statements, can one find any evidence or proof as to whether he was or was not a follower of Islam in childhood, or turned away from Islam at some point, or whether he was always a follower of the perverse Baha’i sect, or ever denied the existence and oneness of God, based on which one could declare him an infidel or apostate?
Concerning the Baha’is in Iran, regardless of how many they are in number, they are, as explained above, recognized to be “protected” under the protecting shadow of the Islamic Republic: the religious conditions and regulations applying to the People of Zemme and their counterparts could also be related to the Baha’is, with minor differences such as being deprived of some of the social rights are concerned, [however] their lives, their properties, their wives and daughters, and their freedom to observe their religious practices, are protected, [albeit] without being entitled to teach their Faith to others and to Muslims. Therefore, I wish to draw the attention of the esteemed judges of the Supreme Court to the vast issue of International Islamic law, which in practice, was founded upon the texts of the agreements between the Prophet Muhammad and the Christians of the Aqaba tribe, the people of Najran, and the Christians of the land of Sinai, and other non-Muslim tribes. After these agreements, other agreements and contracts were made by the “Religious Guardian” and Islamic authorities in Islamic countries to protect the best interests of the Islamic community, some of which were based on seven conditions and some of which on twelve conditions. According to the teachings of the Quran, both parties are strongly urged to be loyal to these agreements and observe their conditions. Ultimately, individuals, their belongings, their wives and children, and their properties, are respected and protected by Islam; it is forbidden to hurt them in any shape or manner; it is obligatory to associate with them with kindness and affection in a way that is befitting of beloved Islam; it is commendable or rather essential to cooperate with them in goodly deeds, and it is forbidden to prevent them from observing their religious practices.
In view of the fact that, other than in a limited number of cases, the followers of the perverse Baha’i sect have not -given the appearance of, or actually, interfered in political factions nor involved themselves in acts of violence against the Islamic Republic, and have always professed their allegiance to the Iranian Constitution – and since in Islam one is considered innocent until proven guilty – they can be considered among those minorities who have a verbal and written agreement with the Islamic Government and are therefore blessed with the verses of Quran, including verse 7 of Surih At-Tawbah which states “So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]” verse 91 of Surih An-Nahl which states “And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation.” Inasmuch as the expression of servitude and loyalty from their side represents their acceptance of the agreement and the stipulations of the contract, and since the contract becomes binding when accepted by words and statements either verbally or written, the noble authorities of Islam have also made a certain sort of pledge by accepting to “protect” the members of this sect which is according to “O you who have believed, fulfil [all] contracts” or the laws stated in verse 34 of Surih Al-Isra “And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned” and verse 177 of Surih Al-Bagharah “but [true] righteousness is… fulfil their promise when they promise” and finally verse 20 of Ar-Rad confirms “Those who fulfil the covenant of Allah and do not break the contract”. According to the above teachings, it is not befitting for the judicial authorities and respected judges of the Islamic Revolutionary Court not to give due consideration to the wisdom and noble foresight of the leader and the authorities of this blessed Regime, [who assert that] so long as this perverse community is recognized as an Iranian community, its members are scattered throughout Iran, they are not stained with sedition or corruption, they have not manifested any designs of enmity against Islam, Muslims, and the Islamic Regime, they are protected under the Islamic Government.
- Inasmuch as the One True God has stressed in the Quran that religion should not force Islam on non-Muslims, and the Islamic Government has had friendly associations with people of Islamic lands as well the non-Islamic nations in the world over the course of centuries, it seems essential for this government to safeguard minimum human rights and the protection of the lives, properties, and wives and children of these “protected” people regardless of their false beliefs, merely for the sake of Islamic compassion and as proof of the responsibilities of Muslims to obey the laws of the exalted Quran which has been inferred from verses of 2 and 43 of Surih Al-Madah and verse 177 of Al-Bagharah which demonstrate the special attention of dear Islam to the treatment of these type of individuals [citizens] with clear expression [requirement] of [according] “equal treatment” [to these people] as stated in verse 126 of Surih An-Nahl as follow “And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient - it is better for those who are patient.”
Because of the fact that in connection with human relationships and attaining “world cooperation” , Islam and Muslims view the world from the two general principles of “virtue” and “piety”, and not only do they encourage every element [person], in any situation or condition and belonging to any tribe, nation, or race, that can be effective in social, economical, medical, and industrial development and the promotion of peace and cooperation, but they also find it necessary to accept it as [an element of] “world cooperation” in the exaltation of humanity for the attainment of peace and the destruction of enmity and hatred. Accordingly, to tolerate a community, as depraved and misled as it might be, among a community of a billion Muslims, or primarily among a community of tens of millions of Iranians, cannot be considered harmful.
- In light of the contents of this file, the above explanations, and the statements and confessions of Mr. Zabih[ollah] Mahrami throughout the investigation and trial, and considering the fact that his sincere statements never seemed to be in renunciation of God, or, God forbid, in rejection of the Prophet Muhammad, or in opposition to or claiming partnership with God or in belittling or denying the religion of Islam and Muslims, and that his actions and beliefs do not create in one’s mind the illusion of innate or native-bred apostasy, to issue a Judgment against [the accused] based on the contents of the holy book of Tahrirol-Vasileh written by the Imam, on the topic of An-Nejasat [impurities], or on the contents of Al-Mavaris on the topic of laws and apostasy, is not in conformity with the indisputable laws of Islam, meaning the glorious Quran. To generalize these issues, including section four related to apostasy, means applying the principle to all the Baha’is which is against the idea of accepting to “protect” them. Furthermore the accusations made against [Mr. Mahrami] and the punishments determined for him do not carry legal weight. I beseech you to reconsider this case with care and affection and in a manner which is in the best interests of the regime, and to reverse the death sentence for the above reasons and on the basis of “[his] innocence”, and also to reverse the sentence regarding the confiscation of the properties of this poor and ill man, which consist only of his residential home in Yazd, a home which he has not acquired through illegal activities but rather through noble means and hard work.
It is my hope that the learned Mujtahid and the qualified judges of the Supreme Court will bestow their infinite bounties and affection for Islam and the Islamic Regime on the person of Zabih[ollah] Mahrami, his family, and the other misled followers of this perverse sect, so that the illuminating doors of guidance may be opened to these people and that they may one day awaken to the truth and accept the loving arms of Islam and take refuge therein.
With respectful greetings,
Ebrahim Mirani, defence attorney for Mr. Zabih[ollah] Mahrami
The receipt of the money order for 10,000 rials, cost of the appeal, was submitted previously.
 [Khatamiyat: This is an Islamic doctrine that Prophet Mohammad was the last “Messenger of God” and there will be no “Messengers of God”.]
 [Term referring to non-Muslims living in an Islamic state and who are granted legal protection. Under Islamic law, the officially recognized religions are confined to Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.]
 [a Persian translation of the verse is given in the original)
 [Quran 5:1]