[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
The Honourable Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr. Zavareh
14 Esfand 1358 [4 March 1980]
The Honourable Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr. Etminan
The Honourable Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr. Mir-Salim
Respectfully, we would like to inform you that the only religious minority in Iran that believes in the sacred religion of Islam and the Holy Quran and acknowledges the station of His Holiness Mohammad (PBUH) and His Holy Family, is the Baha’i community. From the beginning of the Islamic Revolution they have repeatedly expressed their sincere obedience and proved it in action. During the last year, they have faced restrictions the likes of which have rarely been seen in the recent history of humanity.
Please see below [some descriptions] of the oppressions received. We hope that, with the help of divine confirmations, Your Honours, and other esteemed guardians, the rights of these wronged ones will be restored, and justice will replace the prejudices.
- The Holy Places of this community which are of significant spiritual value, have all been confiscated. The sacred House of the His Holiness the Bab in Shiraz, which is not only respected and held sacred with utmost love and spiritual attachments by the Baha’is of Iran, but also by people of over 102,000 spots in countries and tribes from all over the world, has been ruthlessly demolished.
- Numerous [Baha’i] individuals are imprisoned in Evin Prison. Some, like Mr. Mohammad Sheikh Movahhed, Dr. Alimorad Davoudi, philosophy professor of Tehran University, and Mr. Rouhi Rowshani, have disappeared completely. Even the Office of the Prosecutor claims to have no knowledge of their arrest. Another group is being prosecuted and deprived of all human rights and legal securities. Direct contact with the revolutionary prosecutor shows that he is unaware of these oppressions; apparently, oppositional groups that are working against the interests of the Islamic Revolution are responsible.
- In spite of the far-reaching kindness and favour of the spiritual leader of the nation, who has repeatedly recommended justice for all segments of society, and in spite of the articles of the ratified Constitution in which the rights of all citizens of this land have been guaranteed, expulsion of the Baha’i civil servants from various ministries continues.
- With the unjustified confiscation of the Omana Company, which was looking after the properties of this community, Misaghieh Hospital and all other public properties of Baha’is have been occupied unjustly, in addition to the above-mentioned places. The Baha’i cemeteries have been particularly subject to grievous conditions in some places, which is painful for anyone to hear about. The deplorable conditions of those families, who are holding the bodies of their loved ones, will deeply affect every human conscience.
- The unreasonable confiscation of this community’s institutions in Tehran has caused the misunderstanding in some places that even the charitable donations of the Baha’i community members, which are contributed to help the poor and needy, can be subject to transgression. For example, in Yazd, the Mostazafan Foundation has demanded more than five hundred thousand tumans from the charitable funds of the city’s Baha’is. Since they did not have such a sum of cash, they were forced to give post-dated cheques. In Shiraz some items were donated for their sacred House but were returned to the donors following the demolition of the House. Then the donors were pressured and persecuted, even though [those items] were absolutely not part of the belongings of the confiscated Omana Company. In some places, even the ambulances that carry deceased Baha’is have been confiscated.
At this time, when the sounds of justice and freedom have been proclaimed in this country, the [members of the] Baha’i community of Iran, who love this land and sincerely pray for the success of the country’s officials in management and promotion of the nation, are certain that if the authorities comply with the pure mind and kind heart of the esteemed spiritual leader of Iran, there would not be any reason for the continuation of such severe oppression against the defenceless Baha’is.
We sincerely thank Your Honour for paying attention to the difficulties of this spiritual community and beseech the Threshold of the One True God for your continuous success and confirmation.
On behalf of the Baha’is of Iran
Dr. Hosein Naji