[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:] Ettelaat

[Date:] Thursday, 17 Aban 1363 - 8 November 1984

[Issue No:] 17445

[Page:] 3

 

During the Commemoration of “Javad Gerami”, Writer and Journalist of the Ettelaat Newspaper

Fakhrod-din Hejazi: Why do the Newspapers Self-Censor Themselves?!

…We held a press conference in Turkey. I told the present journalists there, “In Iran, your next door neighbour, tens of civilians were killed or injured by rockets, and hundreds of houses and schools were destroyed, and yet you do not write anything about it! Here is Istanbul, which once was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The Islamic government of the region that you have now turned it into a museum and it is called the Mosque of Hagia Sophia! I also realized that at the exam for enrolling at university, you expelled a girl who was wearing the Islamic hijab! Why do you not write about these issues?

Some journalists snarled and complained and left the conference. One of those who remained said, “We gave them Chelo Kebab [treated them well] just to keep them from writing against Iran’s regime and now you have ruined the whole plan.” I said, “The pen that is bribed with a meal is worthless.”

Likewise, we had a similar press conference in India. Some journalists repeatedly questioned us over the situation of the Baha’is. I responded, “Why are you worried about a political band whose Hoveyda was the prime minister, whose Hojabr (Yazdani) had the country’s economy in his grasp, and whose Sabeti was the head of the intelligence bureau (known as SAVAK)?” They were asking about the hypocrites who are in jail and were executed. I replied them, “Do you know how many of our authorities, people and forces were killed and burned by these individuals? How many of the Muslim people in India have you yourselves slain?”

A journalist approached me and mentioned that the Iraqi embassy paid us 1,000 rupees monthly so that we would write in their favour. He said that: “You should pay us, too, that we write editorials in [your] favour. I told them, “We do not need mercenary journalists”….