[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Germany

Tir 1375 [June/July 1996]

 

To the Esteemed Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei

In reference to and following my repeated pleas for justice to the presiding decree of the president of the republic on the following dates: 1361 [1982/83]; 26 Esfand 1368 [17 March 1990]; 8 Dey 1370 [29 December 1991]; 2 Aban 1370 [24 October 1991]; 20 Tir 1371 [11 July 1992]; 31 Shahrivar 1371 [22 September 1992]; 9 Aban 1371 [31 October 1992], etc., the tape recordings of my pleas were made by Mr. Hoseini from the Office of the Supreme Leader.

After constant pursuits and requests, to fulfil my conscious responsibility and to follow your statement on the radio, “Rights are not to be given, they are to be claimed”, I therefore, with utmost urgency, and as the mother and representative of my children, bothered Your Highness and the employees of that office. The great father of Iran, Your Highness, listened to my tape recording and read my letters and forwarded my case to the appropriate department for investigation. This led to a meeting between me and the two respected persons in charge, and they looked at every document, including notices, letters, 13 powers of attorney from my children, which were signed by the embassy of the Islamic Republic and embossed with the seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc., and found me to be in the right. They asked me to go to the passport office and they arranged for me to get a passport, in order to visit my children. Dear Sir, I am extremely grateful and thankful that you responded to the call of an oppressed mother and were the means of her succeeding in seeing her children and their families, after many years of being away and after four years of effort to get a passport. May God recompense you.

Dear Sir, I hereby sincerely state all that has happened to me and my family and present my documented defences, which are an example of numerous events and occurrences inflicted upon the Baha’i community of Iran. I appeal to you to take special notice and kindly issue laws and orders that will confirm and enact the Islamic Republic Constitution (which was approved by the Assembly of Experts, by you and the people of Iran), and to allow the members of the Iranian Baha’i community, who have been born in that sacred land and include honest, righteous and loyal people of this country who have no crime but their heartfelt and spiritual convictions and belief in God and all the divine religions, to enjoy their social, welfare, and religious rights like any other Iranian religious minority. Please let their administration guide, teach and train the community, manifesting the truth of the following sentences, [Bahai Writings][1]. Dear Sir, in this way you will leave a good name and an everlasting impression on the pages of Iranian history and that of the worldwide Baha’i community, and you will, like the sun, illumine the hearts of the Baha’is of Iran and the world, who number around seven million people, with the light of compassion, justice and equity.

Dear Sir, very briefly, my husband, an electrical engineer, Colonel Seyyed Hosein Vahdat Hagh, obtained his higher qualifications from Germany and France. He was also a lecturer in the Army Cadets for some time. Mr. Mesbah (Hasan Mohammadi) from the Anti-Corruption Department, arrested him from the Asan Gas Company and transferred him to the Anti-Corruption Prison, and after five months of imprisonment [he was executed]:

1 – Based on the order issued by the Shari’a judge, Mr. Mehdi Tabatabai, subject: “a spy, due to his firm belief in the…. Baha’i sect and refusal to recant, is sentenced to death”; whereas, in accordance with the law, dated 29 Aban 1358 [20 November 1979], the issuing of an execution order or investigating the file of the employees of the armed forces is under the jurisdiction of the Army’s Revolutionary Court and not the Anti-Corruption Court. (The correct implementation of criminal procedures was not observed). Also, based on the circular issued on behalf of the supreme leader during the president’s term of office, espionage of individuals must be investigated at competent courts. (This was not carried out).

2 – Based on the second judgement from the Supreme Judicial Council, subject: “Seyyed Hosein Vahdat Hagh, Army officer in possession of fictitious medals, managing director of a Baha’i company, one of five members of the technical and vocational committee providing free training for students and sending them to small cities, seemingly the writer and composer of a poem which was found, is sentenced to death, should he refuse to recant” 1360 [1981/82]. Anyway, Dear Leader, taking into account the following [from the Baha’i Writing regarding justice][2], I beg of you to note and consider, what judgement would release and pardon a spy when he recants his faith and heartfelt beliefs? My husband wasn’t even prepared to utter a white lie, as expressed by Haj Mehdi Tabatabai, who told me, “He can tell a white lie and come home.” Are not the life, actions and attitude of a spy full of lies, hypocrisy and deceit? Aren’t those who believe in God, in spiritual realms and in the next world, and who see the result of this mortal life in the afterlife, the ones who sacrifice their lives for their Lord and refuse to speak one word of untruth?

Dear Esteemed Leader, every discerning eye discards the word “spy”. Please look at it with the eye of justice and equity. Are not honest, hardworking individuals encouraged by the Islamic Republic government? Won’t they receive medals and promotions because of their distinguished services to the country and the government? Were my husband’s medals his crime? Is being the director general of Asan Gas Company, which was registered during Islamic Republic towards the end of 1359 [1981] or the beginning of 1360 [1981], where my husband lawfully worked and served, considered a crime? Dear Esteemed Leader of Iranians, Your Highness Mr. Khamenei, what is understood from “technical” and “vocational” that deems it an unforgivable crime deserving execution? Is it a crime to teach technical and vocational skills to the youth and train them for free?

Dear reader, I ask you to see yourself standing in front of the Almighty God and the holy religion of Islam and all the great Prophets, and considering your soul and conscience, and not allow it to occur again. Is not the sale of my children’s only apartment, which the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO) has placed under the guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, which is the treasury of the Islamic Republic and you, the same as the executions, pillaging and violation of the rights of the Baha’is during years past? Why can’t you stop this insignificant amount, in comparison to the flowing wealth of the nation, by issuing a quick order and not making yourself accountable facing Mohammad’s and Imam Ali’s justice? [A poem]

Dear Esteemed Leader, dear reader, could not my children, who possess Iranian passports, who are aware of the 150-year history of their religion, and whose properties were theirs for ten years from 1360 [1981] to 1370 [1991], when there was no mention of them in public notaries, come to Iran and sell their apartments and return abroad? Even if they weren’t permitted to return, couldn’t they return illegally to their place of residence and resume their studies, like many thousands of Iranians? Isn’t the fact that they didn’t come and didn’t sell and remained Iranian citizens by travelling with valid Iranian passports, a proof of their great love for Iran and their hope to return? Dear Esteemed Leader, respected reader, we Baha’is believe that the government of Iran [Baha’i Writings][3].

I am so sorry and I apologize for being unable to control my emotions and for wishing to convey the facts. Let us return to the point.

Dear Esteemed Leader of the Islamic Republic, you and other government officials are aware that at the start of the revolution, in early 1358 [1979], firstly, all the Baha’is employed by the army were dismissed and their retirement pensions were stopped. My husband’s name was on a list of 36 names we received. Further on, all the Baha’is employed by government organizations, ministries, government and semi-government companies, universities, etc., etc., were dismissed. I was one of them, as I was a primary and secondary school maths teacher employed by the Education Department in Tehran and my retirement pension stopped. The National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, whose members have all been kidnapped now and their fate is unknown, instructed the National Vocational and Training Committee to attend to those who were dismissed. The National Vocational and Training Committee, in collaboration with the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, organized courses of three to six months’ duration in various fields of study, such as car mechanics, radio and television repairs, plumbing, electricity, painting, home repairs, etc., and applicants from different cities came to Tehran to learn the above skills. That is when Mr. Mesbah arrested my husband.

Dear Esteemed Leader of the Islamic Republic, what would you and other official national authorities expect the dismissed Baha’is to do in order to earn their living and feed their families, other than learning vocational skills? What could these people do, who, through the teachings of their Faith, had learnt to be honest, righteous, godly, obedient to government and nation, and loyal? Is education and learning in the community considered a crime? Is teaching vocational skills to others for free, considered a crime? Imagine what kind of people the Baha’i youth and the Baha’i community would become if they weren’t educated and trained by this divine administration and if they weren’t taught truthfulness, honesty, righteousness, trustworthiness and obedience to the government and nation, which are the teachings of all the Prophets of God. Was protection and safeguarding of the community, in particular the youth, which was the responsibility of the National and Local Assemblies and their committees, considered a crime punishable by execution, which my husband and around 250 others suffered? Did he have to be executed because he was a member of the vocational and training committee? Is not the sale of my three children’s apartments, or the intention to form a file and confiscate my property (where I reside), at this time, when the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, the head of the National Investigation [Organization], Supreme Judge Nayyeri, the Tehran Revolutionary Public Prosecutor, Mr. Raisi, don’t bother the Baha’is or their properties, everyone says, the same as those executions some years ago? (Enclosed is a copy of the third summons issued in my name).

Dear Esteemed Leader, Mr. Khamenei, respected reader, we believe in these words [Baha’i Writings][4]. Therefore, I implore your consideration and justice.

3 – A third judgement, in regard to the restitution of my properties and that of my family was issued in the year 1361 [1982/83], which was not carried out.

4 – A fourth judgement, number 22794, dated 6 Khordad 1370 [27 May 1991], was issued ten years after my husband’s execution. This judgement had not been seen either by the owners or myself, their representative. Despite my repeated pleas for justice from various authorities, in particular the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s office, this judgement was written based on a template issued from Court number 3, mentioning “the undersigned”; however, none of the Shari’a judges of Court number 3 had signed it. Only Mr. Hosein Nayyeri, the esteemed supreme judge, had signed it, and I am one hundred percent sure that he had signed it amongst other papers, without noting the existing documents in the file. Owing to the volume of his work and various issues to deal with, he certainly had not read the judgement and had not realized that none of the Shari’a judges of Court number 3 had signed it. Evidently, the Shari’a judges, having seen the previous judgements and paperwork, documents and numerous pleas for justice existing in the file, were not prepared, as a matter of conscience, to endorse such a judgement, and didn’t wish to demean and degrade the issuers of the judgements present in the file, either. Why was the execution order carried out at the time in 1360 [1981/82], but the confiscation order, which was not in the file because it was not issued by any authority for any family properties, issued now, ten years after execution? I read that judgement after the disconnection of our thirty-year-old phone connection, which was in my husband’s name and had been disconnected once before by Mr. Khosrow Alavi (or Isa Valizadeh, revolutionary prosecutor of the time in Varamin), a resident of the third level. It was reconnected to our level, since there were no confiscation orders for our family, by orders of Mr. Ramazani, the revolutionary public prosecutor of the time in Tehran. After that I used the phone for more than five years before it was disconnected once again in Khordad of 1371 [May/June 1992] by the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order. I contacted the telecommunication office, followed by the National Registry of Personal status office, owing to numerous threats and annoyances from the agents of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, and submitted a letter and read the above judgement. It said, “Seyyed Hosein Vahdat Hagh was executed in 1360 for his membership in the …. Baha’i sect and all his belongings which have not yet been confiscated, will be seized for restitution of salaries received during his service.” I, his wife, was imprisoned for being a member of the …Baha’i sect, but I was released and my Writ of Non-prosecution was issued. In brief, in front of the names of my three children, they had written that because of [their] membership in the …Baha’i sect and the fact that they lived abroad, that all their properties would be confiscated and if already sold, would be taken back. Anyway, they mentioned the word Baha’i five times and the reason for confiscation as [their] being Baha’i.

Dear Esteemed Leader and respected reader, Mr. Khamenei, in Mr. Mehdi Tabatabai’s judgement, there is mention of execution due to religious belief. There is no mention of confiscation of movable and unmovable properties, either in the judgement itself or in the appeals stage. The only order was appropriation of his properties in return for the salaries received; whereas, in accordance with the supreme leader’s circular, individuals are pardoned and exempt from restitution of salaries received for their past services. I have many times witnessed such exemptions, let alone issuance of such an order for someone who was executed unjustly ten years ago. Moreover, in accordance with the Circular number 1- 2763 of the Supreme Judicial Council, dated 29 Farvardin 1361 [18 April 1982], the debts of individuals must be attended to and repaid. After five years, I received my husband’s will, through the Commission for Article 90, which indicated that my husband had mentioned his debts on the day of his execution, but this was not noted at all. Also, based on the section of the above circular, the necessities of life, such as a reasonable and suitable house for his dependent family, and home furnishings, car, essential necessities of life and tools of the trade must be provided for, up to a reasonable extent. Not only was this not carried out, but his two-bedroom apartment, situated in the basement of the building next to the Amani power house, was seized by Mr. Mesbah, who signed it himself, and I was deprived of its insignificant rent from Farvardin 1361 [March/April 1982] onwards. After ten years they issued a confiscation order for it and they are now intending to sell it. They took carpet, gold, jewellery, silver, electrical appliances, camera, radios and televisions―in brief, anything they needed. For example, they took the family car, used it for six years, and sold it, without any confiscation order, as a car which was disposed of on the side of the street, in the year 1366 [1987/88], when Mr. Alizadeh was in charge.

Dear Esteemed Leader and respected reader, please note that my children had not stood trial in any court; they were never interrogated or judged by Shari’a judges. Copies of their 13 powers of attorney, stamped by the embassy of the Islamic Republic with the embossed seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the marriage certificate of my daughter, who married an Australian citizen in accordance with the country’s current laws and regulations, are in our files. Now, how did they issue Judgement number 22794 – 06 Khordad 1370 [27 May 1991]? How can the agents of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order sell their only residential apartment and use its proceeds in your name and under the guardianship of the Islamic Jurist? How will they answer to Almighty God?

Dear Esteemed Leader, in 1364 [1985/86], Mr. Seyyed Jafar Karimi, head of the High Disciplinary Court of Judges, issued a judgement that my children’s properties would be under the guardianship of the revolutionary prosecutor's office pending their return from abroad (they didn’t determine the time) and in 1361 [1982/83], Mr. Moghtadai, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, wrote in response to Mr. Mesbah’s letter that their properties would be confiscated if his wife and children, meaning myself and my children, had fled; otherwise, no. Now, how can they trample all these verdicts and views? I must say that they have signed without looking at it. Dear Esteemed Leader, what is the value of their three apartments for the Islamic Republic that would be worth making themselves and everyone accountable in the presence of God? Why can’t my children and other Baha’is live in other friendly countries like thousands of other Iranians? Are endeavours towards learning and education in order to advance the higher goals of humanity and studying the sciences in countries which have a friendly cultural, political and trade relationship with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, considered reasons to be fugitives and outside the protection of the Islamic Republic of Iran? All my children have Iranian passports, even the most recent version, where the picture of Imam Khomeini appears on every page, and they travel with them. My daughter, even after 20 years of marriage to a foreigner, still has an Iranian passport and is proud to be an Iranian. How can he consider my children outside the protection of the Islamic Republic of Iran and seize their properties for being Baha’is? Dear Esteemed Leader, can different Shari’a judges issue conflicting judgements for one person or specific individuals? Isn’t the sale of properties and non-compliance of past judgements disrespecting the Shari’a judges and the law?

Dear Sir, you can see that confiscation and intention to sell my children’s properties, for being fugitives and outside the protection of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is far from Islamic justice and equity, and is also against the country’s current regulations. In regard to seizure of movable properties belonging to people abroad, it is against Imam Khomeini’s orders about properties of individuals, because basically, Imam Khomeini’s order, dated 6 Khordad 1368 [27 May 1989] (money and properties of unknown owners, no owners, and inheritance without heirs and Article 49) does not apply to the only apartments belonging to my children and my husband. Therefore, the content of that order is not relevant to our situation. Moreover, we have been the ground landlord since 1330 [1951] and have been residing in this place since 1341 [1962]. Not only has it not been maintained, but it has been destroyed on a daily basis; whereas, Imam Khomeini’s circular and order number 3014?, dated 15 Shahrivar 1362 [6 September 1983], which was approved at meeting 429 on Sunday, 13 Shahrivar 1362 [4 September 1983], says, “In regard to houses and residential units, whose owner or owners are unable to maintain them for reasons such as fleeing or living abroad, if the owner has placed the residential unit at the disposal of close relatives or tenants, it would remain at the disposal of the occupier indefinitely.” Therefore, according to Imam Khomeini’s orders, parents can be responsible for the maintenance of their children’s properties in their absence. Now why have they not been giving me, the mother, permission to do so?

Dear Sir, I heard today that a man called Mr. Amiri had bought from the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Orders, for 12 million tomans, the only apartment belonging to my 33-year-old son, who has a family with two small children, and who has an Iranian birth certificate and a new valid passport adorned with the picture of Imam Khomeini. He has now sold it for 40 million tomans to a man called Mr. Esmaili. We therefore see that esteemed religious and national authorities are accountable in the presence of God in favour of people’s gain and profit. Dear Sir, I appeal to you to assign someone, like those dear sirs who viewed my case with complete justice and equity and as a matter of conscience, and were the means of my getting a passport, to investigate why and how they used the apartment of my son, who is an Iranian in possession of the latest passport, for their own benefit? And if Mr. Fahim’s statement is true, why does one person, Mr. Amiri, [receive a] profit of 27-28 million tomans? Is this act just and equitable?

Dear Esteemed Leader, I do not know to whom and to which authority, apart from the official authorities of my country, to whom I have pleaded for justice repeatedly since 1361 [1982/83], to appeal for justice. I have now written a detailed letter to you and five other authorities. I strongly imagine, and the voice of my conscience indicates that the only explanation is the existence of circulars which instruct the confiscation of the properties of the Baha’is and to not attend to their pleas for justice, which would allow these biases and lack of attention to take place. For the heart’s assurance of that Esteemed Leader and respected readers, I write a few words of Baha’i beliefs. [Baha’i Writings][5]

Dear sirs, I adjure you, have not the Baha’is, during the 17-18 years of revolution, proven the above instructions and matters? Or about the grandeur of Iran [Baha’i Writings] and [Baha’i Writings], have not the Baha’is proven the truth of these words? And during this Islamic Revolution, have they not sacrificed their lives and money, and in this nuclear century of irreligiousness and materialism, have they not welcomed the call of faith with open eyes? Did they not follow in the footsteps of the Martyrs of Karbala and the Disciples of Christ? Christ taught 11 disciples, and Peter, who was His best, denied Him three times the night before and on the day of His martyrdom, and history shows that Christianity spread around the world after 300 years. Dear sir, please admit that the call of God, the divine cause and His confirmations cannot not be resisted. Therefore, Dear Sir, I earnestly appeal to you to consider with equity, justice and compassion the suggestion mentioned at the end of the first page and to issue an emphatic investigation order.

Dear Esteemed Sir, I have lived in Iran from the start of the revolution and have grappled with every difficulty, injury and calamity. My salary was discontinued; my husband was taken away from his workplace and executed in the name of religion; I was evicted twice from my private residential home; I spent day and night in a broken lift and the parking area, during the cold winter of Tehran in 1360 [1982]. I wore my iron shoes and took action, and as a result they gave me back my own apartment and asked me to pay 5,500 tomans monthly as rent (I didn’t have any money so I did not pay). Twice they disconnected my home phone, and after months of running around, the first time it was given back to me by the public prosecutor of the time, Mr. Ramazani, and the second time they sold it. I was imprisoned. I swear to God, if I had taken notes of the dates, you could see that more than half of the years gone by, I slept on the ground, in my day clothing, behind the front door of my apartment, worried and terrified, because I wanted to wake up before the revolutionary guards, who had my house keys, entered my apartment (three revolutionary families and relatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office interrogator occupied two levels of the building). Midnights, they climbed repeatedly up and down the steps leading to the rooftop in order to create terror and anxiety. They made repeated phone calls at midnight, and rang my doorbell in the middle of the night, till one of the youth installed a switch for me to connect and disconnect my doorbell and I disconnected it at night. There was such mayhem, such turmoil, and do you know why? Why? Because I had left the Zoroastrian religion of my forefathers, and in contrast with Zoroastrians, had accepted all the religions and divine Messengers of the past, and have believed in them, which was a condition of entry into the Baha’i Faith. So isn’t it true that I had to endure all these sufferings because I had accepted the religion of Islam, Muhammad and the Imams? So strange! So strange! And now that the passport number [redacted] has been given to me by your orders and I have come to visit my children, they want to make a file for me and take away my apartment and my residence and confiscate it.

Dear Sir, respected reader, please do not imagine that I am ungrateful in the presence of God, because of the sufferings and calamities which I have patiently endured. That is not so, not at all. On the contrary, I am so consciously joyful that I showed steadfastness, patience and endurance. Joyous, because time goes by and I believe, just like you dear sirs, that God has allocated a reward in proportion to every good deed except for patience as He says: “Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” [Quran: Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 10]

Dear Esteemed Leader, I appeal to you to pay special consideration and attention to my letter and answer the following questions to yourself, as a matter of conscience:

1 – Is not the nobility and honour of a person in becoming a source of goodness in the world of existence?

2 – Are not justice and equity two guardians for the protection of man?

3 – Is there a force on earth that can equal in its conquering power the force of justice and wisdom?

4 – Does not the light of justice sanctify the world from tyranny?

5 – Is not the world’s wellbeing and comfort sustained and dependent on reward and punishment, and is there not a Day of Judgement to be rewarded by God?

Dear Sir, Leader of Iran and Iranians, should it be deemed advisable, please organize a meeting of religious scholars and the learned and through a judgement or order rescue the Baha’i community from these injustices and violations, overrule all the judgements issued or forward them to the Supreme Court for application of the provisions of Article 35 of the Criminal Courts 1 and 2 Procedures Act. Make the right, equitable and fair judgement and allow the Baha’is and their community to continue on their path and to guide, train and educate their members, who are obedient and submissive to the government, and leave them to God.

With apologies and most sincere respect,

Pari Vahdat Hagh

[Signature over the name]

Tir 1375 [June/July 1996], from Germany

 

Enclosures

1 – Copy of the request, dated 12 Azar 1371 [3 December 1992]

2 – The third letter or warning to me

3 – My daughter’s marriage certificate

4 – My son’s passport

 

Address

[redacted]

 

[1] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

«بهائی یعنی جامع جمیع کمالات انسانی» و «بهائی را به صفت شناسند نه به اسم و به خُلق پی برند نه به جسم»

 

[2] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

«مقام عدل که اعطاء کل ذی حق حقه است به دو ۲ کلمه معلق و منوط است مجازات و مکافات...» و «عدل و انصاف حیات عالم بشر است»  

[3] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

«در جمیع بسیط زمین محترمترین حکومات خواهد گشت و ایران معمورترین بقاع عالم خواهد شد» و «تهران را افق نور و مطلع عالمیان میدانیم»

[4] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

«علمائی که فی‌الحقیقه به طراز علم و اخلاق مزیّنند، ایشان، بمثابه رأسند از برای هیکل عالم و مانند بصرند از برای امم، لازال هدایت عباد به آن نفوس مقدّسه بوده و هست نسأل الله ان یوفقهم علی ما یحب و یرضی» و «خیمۀ نظم عالم بدو ستون قائم و بر پا مجازات و مکافات» و «طوبی از برای عالِمی که تارکش به تاج عدل مزیّن و هیکلش به طراز انصاف... »

[5] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

 «... که نفسی ابداً در امور حکومت لساناً فعلاً حکایةً روایةً مداخله ننماید و همیشه به دعای خیر در حق اولیاء امور مشغول شوند، زیرا به نص قاطع از مداخله ممنوعند» و نیز «به نصوص قاطعه الهیه ما مأمور به اطاعت حکومت حاضره هستیم و در امور سیاسی ابداً مدخلی نداریم، امور سیاسیه راجع به اولیای امور است چه تعلق به نفوسی دارد که باید در تنظیم حال و تشویق بر اخلاق و کمالات کوشند»