[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:]  Shaterol Sho’ara

[Date:] 2 Bahman 1359 [22 January 1981]

[Issue No.:] 106

[Page:] 2

 

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Does the silencing of the press have anything to do with the protest of the Baha’is at the Golestan-e Javid [Baha’i Cemetery]?

[Illegible] our house is situated 10,000 metres from the Baha’i cemetery. The cemetery’s situation is altogether different. To find out more about it, I decided to [illegible] go to the cemetery.

Many cars [were going] towards the Baha’i cemetery and people noticed the luxury cars, and the [illegible] in them were standing in front of the cemetery. Their faces, their cars and their conversations attracted me. It was around 11:30 and the people were coming in, group by group, the fancy cars were getting parked by the street, and the cemetery was filled with the cars.

I started talking with a young man, and I asked, “Is there something going on?” And he said, “They have killed Dr. Hakim.” As soon as he saw my notes he stopped talking. He took my hand, brought me to a few other people, and said, “He is a reporter and would like some information about the death of the professor.” They saw my journalist badge and they [told me] he was a university professor and one of the heads of the Baha’is in Iran. They claimed that he had written many books and had worked hard for the people. They added that [someone had] killed him behind his desk in his office, which was in his house. That is all they said. 

I asked for more information from them but they were stalling and passed me to someone else. He repeated the same things and said that many calls had been made to him [Professor Hakim] [illegible] [threatening to kill him]. After the murder, a phone call was made [in which the caller] said, “You see how we killed that dirty dog. He was one of the biggest…”; the whole population there would repeat the same thing. 

It was around 2:00 in the afternoon, and there were now about 4,000 people there, I was looking at the writing on the flower bouquets, which [numbered] about 100, each of them worth more than 1,000 tumans, trying to find the names of the university professors, but I didn’t find any flower bouquet that said that.  I have to mention that for this ceremony there were three armed police officers from the Hashem Abad police station. Another group of armed officers, headed by brother Mohammadi from the area 10 committee, were there and the brothers from the area 10 committee were searching the flowers thoroughly. [I] also spotted people with ordinary clothing at the event to keep the order, who were from the same committee.  I need to mention that during this event there were phone calls made about [threats to] bomb the event; during these phone calls, the caller would ask people to scatter.

Among the conversations that these groups (Baha’is) were having with each other [I could hear] these:  “They fired me;” “The Baha’is were fired at the beginning of the Revolution;” “So you were fired too? No, I was redeemed;” “Radio Israel apparently talked about this last night;” “Hojabr was really a [illegible] man and it is a pity that he had to leave!”  There were some young guys at this event who were carrying the publication of “Kaar” [work] of the minority; the liberty of this group, some of whom  had been arrested and executed by the firing squad in connection with the recent coup d’état, was extremely obvious. They were announcing that, “The Islamic Republic regime has not yet ‘officially’ announced us as illegal, and we have asked the city council to give us a new cemetery.” One of them said that if the government announced that the Baha’is should identify themselves, [they would] all go and turn [them]selves in without any fear. This person said the total Baha’i population of Iran is 300,000, and another person, by the name of Muharram, said that it was 700,000. These people would give each other signals when I was approaching and would let them know that I was a stranger, and they would then change their conversations.

In answer to one of my questions from them, “Are you willing to have a debate with the government about your issues?” They answered, “No!  We have nothing to do with politics, but I am willing to have a debate about our religion with whoever you want.” I accepted this suggestion since I had insistently earned it and the plan was for this man to have a debate with us about his belief and his religion!  I hope this person prepares himself so a debate can be planned with him very soon!

At the end of this ceremony, there were no slogans shouted and the people who had come with the buses and minibuses were taken back to their destinations, like Qazvin, Tabriz, Esfahan and other [places] north of Tehran.