[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 va Jahan

[Date:] 16 - 23 Khordad 1362 [6 -13 June 1983]

[Issue No.:] 144

[Page:] 13

 

Notes of the week

Amongst the Layers of Newspapers

Farshad Bahrami

The destiny of the Baha’is is not separate from the destiny of the rest of the Iranian people.

On Sunday, 1 Khordad [1362] [22 May 1983], Mr. Reagan asked all the leaders of the world to make efforts to stop the killing of the Baha’is by the Iranian regime. The words of Mr. Reagan, were spoken in commemoration of one-hundred-forty years since the foundation of the Baha’i Faith and the execution of one-hundred-fifty of its members in Iran. Mr. Reagan mentioned that these people have not killed anyone nor planned to overthrow the Iranian government.

In a statement published by the Iranian Baha’i community on 1 Tir 1358 [22 June 1979], with the title of “Dear Compatriots,” it is reported that, “In the villages, and even in some cities, Baha’i homes were attacked. With terrorisation, intimidation, threats to the honour, assault and insult, they have been forced to recant their faith. In some places, the Baha’is’ dead bodies were exhumed and burnt by setting them on fire.  In some places they did not even have mercy on the animals belonging to the Baha’is, and animals were burnt alive. In many places they looted and stole their livestock. A large number of Baha’i students, as a result of their religion, were expelled and deprived of education. Many innocent people were taken to the courts and were put in prisons. In Kata and Boyer-Ahmad, two thousand Baha’is were expelled from their towns, villages and their ancestral estates. Armed people, in different parts of the country, attacked the offices, institutions and gathering places of the Baha’i community and took away all documents, papers, archive materials, books and publications belonging to this minority. Not only were the rights of those who were alive taken away from them, but also the rights of those who were dead. It is not clear where the Baha’is who leave this mortal life should be buried.”

Azadegan newspaper, dated 27 Shahrivar [18 September] last year, published the history of the establishment of the “Anti-Baha’i Association”. The reality is that one of main principles of Iran’s new religious movement has been opposition to the Baha’is. According to the article in this newspaper, the Association guided its members to attend the Baha’i gatherings to collect sufficient information from inside the Baha’i community and assemblies, so that after Khomeini’s occupation of power they could stretch their hands out for the lives, possessions and freedom of these people.

Every day in the newspapers in Tehran, photos are printed of those who, for the sake of saving their lives, insult and abuse the mentioned sect and denounce it.

What attracts attention in Mr. Reagan’s speech is that it seems that Baha’is are the only group whose members are being killed in Iran with no valid reason. Figaro magazine, dated 24 Ordibehesht, writes, “From four years ago until now, more than 200,000 people were killed in Iran”.

The week that records broke was from the third to the seventh of Bahman last year [23-27 January 1983], when 1,800 were killed by machine guns. In addition, 150,000 political prisoners are in prisons. One million Iranians, particularly the experts have escaped from the country. Another figure that should be added is the forgotten war in the West, which until now has left 300,000 dead.

Is it Mr. Reagan’s opinion that all of those killed were people who were trying to overthrow the regime?  Does Mr. Reagan ignore the stoning of women, execution of the children and addicts, and the pressures on and persecution of other religious groups and races?           

The truth is that the destiny of Iranian Baha’is is not separate from the other groups of people. If Baha’is have accepted “Those who are on power are right” and Khomeini's government as firm and lawful….

                                                                                                                                  

Continuation of page 15

[Unfinished document]