[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:]

[Date:] 19 Tir 1325 [10 July 1946]

 

Have the thieves engaged in terrorism and murder? Shahidzadeh was not drowned; he was murdered by blows!

Does Dr. Shahkar hate the Baha’is?!

The chief of police of Shahi is also that of Shahroud!

It was 10:30 a.m. when Mr. Shahidzadeh, Dr. Aliabadi, Dr. Arma [Arna] and Mr. Radpour [Dadpour] went swimming at the Babolsar beach. A few steps forward, Mr. Sobhani, the vice president of Behshar Factory, started talking to the other three. Mr. Shahidzadeh, who was a good swimmer, went ahead alone. Ten minutes later, his friends noticed that he was missing. Their search for him was of no avail, so, they sent divers into the sea. The divers retrieved the young man’s floating body. A burial certificate was issued right away with the cause of death determined as drowning. Dr. Bassary, however, rejected this and insisted on a medical examination. It became clear that he [Mr. Shahidzadeh] had not been drowned, but murdered by blows to the left side of his torso. His body was transferred to Tehran and an autopsy was performed in Hospital Number 1.

 Result:

1. Cause of death was not drowning, since there was no water in his stomach;

2. A small amount of water in the lungs of the victim showed that he had taken a few breaths in the water;

3. Many bruises on the left side of his torso, ribs 5-10, indicated that he had been hit two or more times with an object made of iron. The victim had lost consciousness and floated face down on the water, thus breathing in some water, which entered into his lungs, and he died;

4. After 30 hours, no other bruises, except those on the right side, were found on the body, whereas the body of a drowned person would have changed colour to purple after a few hours…

Criminal Evidence:

1. In a cable to the Ministry of Interior, the governor of Mazandaran stated that from

Mr. Shahidzadeh’s actions he appeared to be a Baha’i;

2. Eight days before [the incident], a riot had been about to form in Shahi, similar to the one in Shahrud, which Mr. Shahidzadeh had prevented;

3. It is noteworthy that the chief of police in Shahi was also chief of police in Shahroud at the time of the incident.

This murder, therefore, was most likely provoked by religious zeal, but the underlying instigators were the thieves and opportunists of Shahi Factory! His enemies had committed this ugly crime. 

Moreover, according to confidential information, some time ago, a person by the name of Niroumand Shahmirzadi had approached Shahidzadeh and asked why his business had not been dealt with, his having paid five hundred thousand rials! Shahidzaded had indicated that he had no knowledge of it. Later it was revealed that one of the senior staff at Bank-e Sanati had taken five hundred thousand rials [bribe] in his [Shahidzadeh’s] name.

Dr. Shahkar is also mentioned in this incident.

Shahidzadeh, whose father had been martyred for freedom, was born in Quchan in 1289 [1910]. He was among the first group of students sent to Europe. He had a diploma in mining engineering from Paris. For some time, he taught at the technical college, and according to experts, the majority of the mines in Iran were discovered by him. Shahidzadeh was one of our best engineers. He was considered to be of the same calibre as Mr. Arjomand.

Mr. Shahidzadeh was the president of the Shahi factory which produced canned goods, canvas sacks and did thread spinning. In a short time, he transformed the monthly deficit of 350,000 tomans into a monthly profit of 250 tomans.

Mr. Ali-Akbar Sobhani…

During his time, the production of thread by the Shahi Factory had exceeded the production level at the time of the late shah. He had unprecedented powers, the right to buy without tender or bidding, to employ and promote more staff. Perhaps one of the reasons for his murder was his unlimited power.

In any event, Shahidzadeh’s death was not accidental. It was certainly intentional and requires further investigation. 

At the time of his death Shahidzadeh, had nothing but 15,000 tomans’ debt. Was this his reward for having served the country for 15 years? ….

Not long ago Shahidzadeh’s younger brother was run over by a car driven by the chief editor of one of the newspapers, and he died. The other two brothers, in utmost magnanimity, waived his blood money. Now, of the three young and educated brothers, there is only one left…. Abbas Shahidzadeh, engineer, president of the Shahi Factory, was drowned in Babolsar shore on Friday, 12 Tir [3 July] at 10:30 a.m.

Many of the inhabitants of cities in Mazarndaran, especially the civil servants, look forward to Fridays to go to the Babolsar beach and enjoy this only pleasure in the hot days of the Mazandaran summer. We had also gone with our friends to swim. There was a big crowd at the beach. Although it had been sunny most of the week, that day it was cloudy and the sea was rough. But people who could not be easily persuaded to forgo their fun, especially because it was the anniversary of the birth of the 12th Imam, were busy swimming. We, too, had taken off our clothes and were having fun. Close to us, a young man was rescued from drowning. He was taken to town in our car, which was close by at the beach. My friends and I were waiting at the beach for them to return. Another car passed by with its passengers waving at us, they were Mr. Shahidzadeh, Dr. Aliabadi, Dr. Arna [Arma], Mr. Dadpour [Radpour] and their wives, going swimming from their residence in Babolsar. They waved at us, and passed by, and eventually settled at the end of the section where umbrellas had been put out. My friends and I decided to walk over and greet them, but by the time we reached there they had already gone into the sea. I handed my sunglasses to our driver and went into the water with my friend. Thirty metres from the shoreline we caught up with Dr. Aliabadi, Dr. Arna and Mr. Radpour. Because we did not see Shahidzadeh, we asked about him. We all looked around and could not see Shahidzadeh close by. Automatically, we called his name. But the vigorous waves and the sound of the sea would not allow our voices to carry—possibly Shahidzadeh was calling out as well. We immediately came out of the water and began looking for him. I was looking on the beach, a diver was sent into the sea to look for him, and another friend went on top of the car to look around. All of a sudden, he saw a head moving up and down on the waves. He immediately drew the attention of the diver to it and he went in that direction. It did not take long for the diver to reach to him. We also rushed towards the sea, but the rough waves would not allow us to go in. It took the diver only a few minutes to pull him out. I did not have the strength to go close, but others went, and people gathered to help. We went to town for treatment, but unfortunately, it was all too late for any effort. The violent waves of the sea had taken away one of the most prominant scientists of our country (a country that does not value the minds of its educated people; a country that does not, in the least, value the life of its people; a country that has left its affairs to whatever comes; a country whose animals have more freedom than its human population.) His body was taken to the health centre in town, and after the legal procedures with the presence of the governor and other senior authorities, it was carried to Tehran at 6:00 p.m.

There is no lifeguard, no rescue boat, no source of information regarding the condition of the sea and no limit in the sea for swimming. The irresponsible and uncaring officials in this country will put a security guard for a half of a ruined building, but no protection for the lives of the people.

After Shahidzadeh’s death all kinds of orders came for people’s safety, but that did not last long.

Engineer Ali Akbar Sobhani….

There was a memorial service for Engineer Shahidzadeh at the Motamed Hospital yesterday at 5:00 p.m. That is the health care centre for the industrial and mining banks. Mr. Asadi escorted the procession to the burial place.

Mr. Shahidzadeh was one of the most hardworking, capable and experienced engineers. He had completed his education at Ecole des Mines in France. He was the president of the canvas sacks and thread spinning factories in Shahi. Two days ago he was drowned in the sea at the beach of Babolsar.

His death was suspicious, so his body was transferred to Tehran for autopsy. It seems that they found some bruises on his body, as well.

We express our condolences to his family…