[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:] Taraghi

[Date:] 28 Shahrivar 1323 [19 September 1944]

[Issue No.:] 5

[Page:] 6

 

Killing of Baha’is

The incidence of Baha’i killings has intensified in the cities during the recent months and the fire of religious prejudice and long-standing religious hatred, which had been extinguished for some time, has been rekindled. In Kashan, several Baha’i homes have recently been ransacked and set on fire. There are also ongoing anti-Baha’i movements in other provinces, and panic reigns everywhere.

The subject of the Baha’i genocide in Iran is a legacy of the period of Mohammad Shah [Qajar] and Naser al-Din Shah.

The first time that the Baha’is of Iran were severely persecuted and about 350 people were completely annihilated was in 1265 [1848/1849], when Nasser al-Din Shah had just ascended the throne. These people [Baha’is] besieged and defended themselves in Fort Tabarsi of Mazandaran; Mehdi-Gholi Mirza surrounded them and they were completely destroyed. Since then, the killings of Baha’is in Isfahan, Shiraz, and other places have resumed and some of them were in Tehran.  [Mehdi-Gholi Mirza] even crushed [mutilated] two of their leaders with his companions in Hajeb Al-Dowleh Prison with his own hands.

One of the bloodiest Baha’i incidents was the killing in the house of a person by the name of Mirza Ali Akbar outside the City of Arak. The killers were never identified, but the killers acted in a fanatical and cruel manner that has been unparalleled.

[Two Official Stamps of Nasser al-Din Shah]

[Nasser al-Din Shah’s Order to Massacre the Babis]

[Date 29 December 1848, 3 Safar 1265 A.H., 8 Dey 1227]

The most honourable and celebrated Uncle, Mehdi-Qoli Mirza, governor of the border territory of Mazandaran, may you be successful. You should know that the elimination of the disturbance, and the repelling of the corruption and sedition and rebellion and riot of the Babis, who have produced an innovation in the perspicuous Religion and luminous Faith of the Lord of the Prophets, is incumbent upon everyone and is one of the needs of the Faith and the exigencies of religion and the Nation. Nay, extinguishing this fire is dependent upon the endeavours of the distinguished religious leaders and the honourable scholars, in the first place. Next, it rests on the mighty grasp of the devout servants of this everlasting government, and, to sum up, as we decreed during the conversation in our royal presence--when that esteemed Uncle was being dispatched on this mission--that cherished Uncle must show forth utmost support to the noble favoured of the royal court, Abbas-Qoli Khan, the commander servant Larijani, and be careful and watchful so that by the Will of God, the Most Exalted, the sedition and corruption and riot and revolt of this hellish crowd will be totally eradicated from the regions of Mazandaran, and these few individuals will be entirely exterminated, leaving behind no trace; so that all the residents of those regions will be tranquil and free from their wickedness and mischief. Of course, in this regard, you will act and organize [things], as ordered. You must exert yourself in this regard and pay the required attention. Consider it your duty. Written on the third day of the victorious month of Safar, in the year 1265 [29 December 1848].

 

[Handwritten note on the right margin of the top of the page]

It is decreed that the minor disturbance which occurred at Qadi-Kola should be suppressed in the most effective manner. That honourable Uncle should exert the utmost efforts in this regard, and also make proper arrangements for all affairs. Of course, you must act and organize [things], as ordered. Consider this your duty. In the [illegible] month, year 1265 [1848/49]

 

[Handwritten note on the left margin of the top of the page]

[This is correct,] Mehdi-Qoli Mirza, [you] must bestir yourself beyond the ordinary. This is not a trifle; it is a matter of the dignity of the perspicuous Religion and Faith; you must eliminate this unclean, rejected people from the border territory in such a way that no trace of them will be left. Of course, you must exert your utmost effort to strengthen our servant [illegible] to enable him to fulfil this service, as well as future services referred to him. Victorious Safar 1265 [December 1848/January 1849]

 

[Handwritten note in left margin of the page]

Mehdi-Qoli Mirza must show utmost power and strength to Commander Abbas-Qoli Khan, and other servants, so that, God willing, just as we gave oral orders to Abbas-Qoli Khan, he can fulfil this service, and the affairs of those regions will be in perfect order.

But the Case of Shahroud

For some time, the movement of the Baha’i genocide had not taken place as violently as on 17 Mordad [8 August] in Shahroud. The correct and concise case of the Shahroud [killings] is as follows.

On the first day of Sha’ban, coinciding with 31 Tir 1323 [22 June 1944], the people of Shahroud made various statements against the Baha’is.

On Tuesday, 17 Mordad [1323] [8 August 1944], perhaps as a result of the previous preparations, a huge commotion suddenly broke out in the City of Shahroud. All the merchants and people of the bazaar closed their shops, and a crowd of more than 5,000 people attacked Baha’is with sticks, stones, and knives, ransacked [their properties] and tried to kill them. Some Baha’is were forced to seek refuge in the police station, but a sergeant at the police station explicitly stated that these people should be killed. Following the sergeant’s statement, a police officer attacked some refugees with a rifle butt and severely injured them. The attackers ransacked the Baha’i homes and shops, plundering and pillaging all their belongings

Then they besieged Mohammad Jazbani, beat and injured him with sticks and clubs. He wanted to escape but was unable to do so due to the injuries to his leg and foot. For the second time, he was caught by the insurgents. Two Baha’is took him to the office of a nearby physician, who was living on the second floor of that building. But the crowd immediately rushed in and threw him and the doctor from the upper floor on to the street, killing them. After that, they looted and ransacked the shops of Aghazadeh, Mohajerzadeh, Tabatabaie and Azhari, and took all their furniture and property. Furthermore, they attacked the house of Asadollah Naderi, the head of the tobacco company in Shahroud, and then killed him in front of his wife and young children, mutilated him and cut him into pieces. In the meantime, Hedayatollah Azamian was caught by the rioters, who beat him so badly that he was bashed unconscious, and then they stoned him.

Then they entered the house of Hasan Mohajer, who was an old man, and after looting and ransacking all his furniture, they found him on the roof. First, they killed him and then threw him from the roof into the middle of the house with a rope that was tied to his legs. They repeated this process several times and, though his body was nothing more than a lifeless corpse, they cut off one of his arms, nose, eyes and ears.

After that, they attacked, looted and ransacked the houses of Aghazadeh, Tebyani, Jazbani, Khodaie and Boroumand and took all their furniture, but because they themselves were refugees in the police station, they survived.