[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

26/9/1318 [18 December 1939]

 

The Respected Members of the Cabinet, may its glory continue,

 

This humble person, Farajollah Olfati, as I was present at the wedding of Ali-Agha Owsat-Qorveh and signed the deed of marriage as a witness, [I am being] prosecuted by the local court and the Justice Department of Kurdistan. Although the Justice Department of Kurdistan legally cleared me and other witnesses of any wrongdoing, the public prosecutor appealed and was not satisfied with the financial losses which befell me and other destitute people. On 22/7/ [1318] [15 October 1939], we went to the court of appeal in Kermanshah. After questions, we were told that the decision of the court would be given to us by the Justice Department of Kurdistan. Although they have not yet delivered the decision of the court, the [financial] losses which I bore for two appearances in Kurdistan and Kermanshah are huge for a farmer [like me]. The respected authorities are clearly aware that we, the Baha’is, according to our religion, are obedient to the [laws] of the government and the country and never waver, even to the slightest, because we consider that a big sin. But as marriage is a [matter of] conscience, every religion and [each person] is free to follow their own beliefs and to register their deeds [of marriage].

 

However, there is discrimination against the Baha’is and the authorities refuse to register Baha’i marriages. Later, they start criticizing and causing problems for them. Is getting married a crime or is being a witness to a marriage an offence? I am pleading for justice from that great Cabinet to order that the relevant departments not bring excuses, and that the Baha’is who wish to get married should not be considered as criminals, as we have to act according to our own beliefs. In this matter, [the notion] that Baha’is should [get married according to the traditions] of other religions in [their] Notary Public Offices, is against the Baha’i beliefs. Is it fair that the Baha’i youth be deprived of the benefit of marriage?  If they do get married they will be considered guilty. I suffered losses just for being a witness. I have a son who is doing compulsory military service. His time of service will be finished soon and he wants to get married. I don’t know what my responsibility is and what I should do. I am hoping for the attention of that respected Cabinet for the removal of difficulties, [so that] when all the members of our beloved country are benefiting from justice, defenceless people such as us can benefit from it, too.

 

With deepest respect, humble Farajollah Olfati

 

 

[Stamped: Received in the Office of the Prime Minister]

Number: 109

Date: 4/9/1318 [26 November 1936]

[Handwritten Note] The head of office of Cabinet, please file it