[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran]
[Date:] 18 Sultan 104 – 15 Bahman 1326 [5 February 1948]
Honourable Prime Minister, Mr Hakimi,
The description of recent sad events ascribed to the Baha’is in many areas of our revered nation of Iran, has unfortunately resulted in the beating, injuring, murdering, and plundering of a [number of Baha’is], to which we have dutifully referred in our previous correspondences and in the light of which we have pleaded for justice. Recently, there have been some other events that are worthy of the attention of the esteemed authorities. These are as follows:
Close to two thousand of the inhabitants of the city of Rafsanjan [in the Province of] Kerman, attacked the house of a 95-year old Baha’i by the name of Molla-Ali Kafi, and forced a clerical turban on his head, then [forced] him to the mosque and asked him to insult and curse the Baha’i Holy figures. However when the aged man declined to comply with their wish, uproar and chaos ensued and finally, as a result of the intervention of the local authorities, Sheikh Mahmoud, who was the instigator of this riot was [forced to] move out of town and was sent to Qom. His removal has decreased the intensity of the unrest among the people to a certain degree, yet sanctions on any trade by the Baha’is and the debarment of them from selling food continue to date.
In Rey Lane in Golpaygan, the inhabitants rioted against a few Baha’is in the lanes and the bazaar, injuring two individuals, whilst also insulting and reviling the Baha’i Holy Figures.
In Miandoab, after beating and injuring and the Baha’is and pillaging their properties, martial law was declared and, as a result, the situation calmed down to a certain degree, but sanctions against the Baha’is are continuing. If, however, martial law is lifted, there is a danger that the instigators and fanatics will once again start their cruel activities act aggressively against Baha’is.
The most surprising incident happened when the Governor of Maragheh, Mr Mohammad-Reza Kousar, the former governor of Shahroud, was transferred to Banab only a few days before the tragic events that took place in that town, causing the murder of three Baha’is,. There, he gave money to the clergy and encouraged them to incite riots and actions against Baha’is, and consequently a riot started in Banab.
In Bandar Jaz, some of the Muslims [fanatics] set the door of the house of one of the Baha’is on fire. They also forced a Baha’i teacher to move out of the town. The school-headmaster also advised the other Baha’i teacher to abstain from attending classes for few days.
On the 27 of Dey [18 of January 1948] the District Head of Bostanabad in the region of Azarbaijan, accompanied by the head of the Gendarmerie, Officer Ghazi Vakili as well as four gendarmes and three employees of the District government, along with two or three other people, all went the village of Seysan in the proximity of Bostanabad. Upon their arrival they arrested the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, interrogating them, and told them emphatically that the Baha’i teachers should not teach the Baha’i children. They also told them that the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly would be banished from Seysan. On their leaving the town, the local District Head stressed that “you must not under any circumstances attempt to defend yourselves [lodge complaints] even though you were to lose all your rights, because your case is very serious, and the people around you are prone to agitation and the Baha’is are therefore being besieged. They can accuse and denounce you, as they like.”
According to recent information from Ardestan, the inhabitants’ transgressions against Baha’is has become unbearably severe and the perpetrators have been engaging in their subversive action for over two months. They incite people against the Baha’is, to the point that no transactions are made with them [the Baha’is] in the food market. They even prevented [the Baha’is] from buying bread. Late at night they demolish the walls of the Baha’i-owned properties and cut down their trees. From the rooftops, they swear at them. Frail and sick Baha’is are prohibited from buying medicine. They destroy the water springs that pass through Baha’i-owned properties. The dire condition of the Baha’is seems to be heading along a tragically calamitous path towards even more grievous events.
As you can observe, in most cases the authorities also join forces with the perpetrators and offenders and those who have been encouraged by anti- Baha’i groups and, in yet other instances, they become the prime culprits who urge and persuade the people to engage in these wrongdoings. Such subversive actions are not only contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and the government’s policies but lead to the disturbance of peace and order, which are the duty of every member of the administration to uphold. On the other hand, the esteemed nation of Iran and noble Iranians become defamed and disgraced in the view of the public in all the civilized countries of the world.
We beseech you, Your Honour, in the name of law and order and for the protection of the prestige and respect of our beloved homeland, to issue orders aimed at bringing an end to these atrocities. In this century of light and in an epoch of the progress of sciences and knowledge, where the nations of the world are proud of humanity and civilization and demonstrate their attachment to the principles of democracy and liberty, a group of fanatics and inciters of mischief should disengage themselves from shedding blood, killing their fellow citizens, and plundering the possessions of a group of compatriots, so that law and order may prevail in our beloved country and the civilized people of the world will not look down upon our nation.
Chairperson of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran,
[Signature, Shoa Alai]
Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, Ali-Akbar Furutan,
[Stamp: The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, Year 91 (1934)]
[Handwritten Note:] All the necessary information was conveyed to Major General Ala’i. No action is required, Archive it. 18 Bahman 1326 [8 February 1948]