[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]
[Adapted from website:] Shia News Agency
[Date:] 1 Bahman 1387 [20 January 2009]
Report on Baha’i activities in Shiraz
According to the Shia News Agency, quoted from Bulletin News, for the past few months, the City of Mehdiabad, Shiraz, has witnessed the movement of members of a so-called non-governmental organization under the auspices of UNICEF, who were carrying out the Baha’i propaganda.
These [were] individuals, who, in the form of social and religious education as well as through the distribution of food and other items needed by the children of the region, were indirectly promoting the Baha’i religion, and they even held several celebrations in this area.
With the expansion of the group’s activities, the security and law enforcement forces arrested the leaders of this group, and during the interrogations, their main intentions and the fact behind their organized activities became clear.
Eventually, the court sentenced three of their leaders to four years in prison, and the remaining individuals, which numbered about 50 people, to three months to one year in imprisonment.
It is important to note that the families of these people tried to get the sentences of their children lowered by attending the office of the Friday prayer leader of Shiraz (Ayatollah Haeri), claiming their innocence Their plea was strongly supported with wide coverage by the media opposed to the regime, and in this way, they have caused another problem by creating obstruction.
The text of the letter from the legal advisor of the Friday prayer leader of Shiraz to him is as follows:
In the Name of God
The blessed and esteemed representative of the supreme leader in Fars Province and the esteemed Friday prayer leader of Shiraz
Peace be upon you
Greetings! Respectfully, I would like to inform Your Honour that my report dated 27 Khordad 1387 [16 June 2008], regarding the case of the Baha’i defendants (Mehdiabad township of Shiraz), has been misused, and even some members of the Baha’i sect have misused the document as evidence of their oppression on the internet and in the international communities, so I would like to make the following points:
- Before any of your comments and completion of the investigation, my draft and initial report should not have been misused.
- Out of 10 stages of investigation into this case, only two stages have been done, which is incomplete, and the rest are being processed.
- This illegal group, under the guise of deception and under the cover of charitable activities, and without declaring their affiliation with the Baha’i sect to the people of the region, began to gather uninformed children and adolescents and provide the grounds for their affection.
- While the Baha’i organization’s misuse of incomplete investigation is strongly condemned, the results of the next stages of the investigation are in progress and will continue at your discretion; step by step, as in the past, they will be brought to your attention.
11 Aban 1387 [1 November 2008]