[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:] Iran Times (Printed in U.S.A.)
[Date:] 25 Ordibehesht 1360 [15 May 1981]
[Issue No.:] 495
A Baha’i Was Tried in the Revolutionary Court on Charges of Believing in the Baha’i Faith
The Regime’s Newspapers Introduced Him as the Head of the Baha’i Assembly in Karaj
Possession of Music Tapes Was Among His Charges
Tehran – Iran Times News Agency: Farhang Mavaddat, who was introduced by the newspapers of the Islamic Republic as the head of the Baha’i Assembly in Karaj, was tried in the Central Islamic Revolutionary Court for allegedly promoting the Baha’i Faith, according to these sources.
The Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided over by Hojatoleslam Mohammadi Gilani, sentenced him to life imprisonment in the following sentence:
The Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided over by Hojatoleslam Mohammadi Gilani, described the charges against Farhang Mavaddat as follows:
- Intellectual and financial support of the Baha’i Faith and engaging in Baha’i propaganda to mislead thought;
- Performing very effective activities in the Baha’i Assembly of Karaj as the chairman of the Assembly, for ten years;
- Participating in the publication of a provocative and counter-revolutionary magazine against the Islamic Republic;
- Keeping tapes that are immoral and un-Islamic.
According to the Ettelaat Newspaper, which is run by the Foundation for the Oppressed of the Islamic Republic, during the court hearing, the religious judge instructed the accused and told him that he would not be tried solely on charges of being a Baha’i. [He said,] “It is my right to ask you to study other schools of thought as well.”
The defendant told the court that his children were studying in Austria and the United States and that his wife, a customs officer, had been fired. He denied the allegation [that he had produced] a publication against the regime and that he had tapes that were immoral. He said, “I must say that you can examine them right here, and if there is any sound in these tapes other than classical Iranian music, execute me.”
On the orders of a member of the court of law, about the charge of financial and intellectual support of the Baha’is, he stated, “Since we needed money to maintain the cemeteries and houses of the Baha’i community, we asked people for financial help. Regarding the ethics classes for children, I have to say that, of course, there were classes, but participation in these classes was limited to my children and their friends. In these classes, no other conversations were held, except [about] guidance and moral refinement.”
At this court hearing, the final verdict was not announced, and the court entered consultation to issue a final verdict, the results of which were not published in the newspapers of the Islamic Republic.
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, several Baha’is have been sentenced to death in various cities for their Baha’i faith. And several leaders of the Baha’i National Assembly, according to Baha’i sources at the United Nations, have disappeared in Iran.