[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:] Vaghaye-e Ettefaghieh – in eight pages
[Date:] Thursday, 10 Dhu’l-Qade 1268 [4 Shahrivar 1231] [26 August 1852]
[Issue No.:] 82
[Pages:] 1, 2 and 3
State News of the Guarded Royal Kingdom
Tehran Government House
Given that last week the truth of the events had not become clearly known, the ill-intentions of the few thugs that had made an attempt on the blessed life of His Majesty the King were reported summarily. The details of the incident are that a group of cruel, miserable and faithless individuals, who are the followers of [redacted] Seyyed Ali Mohammad Bab, who had invented in the past years a religion other than what God has revealed, and who ultimately received his retribution, thought of accessing the government, given that they could not prove the righteousness of their religion based on religious facts or the laws of the nations, and if they were to reveal anything they would have exposed its falsehood, as it was seen in some of their books and became evident in their writings and laws that were found, which are all pure and sheer blasphemy. They thought that by causing subversion in the government and creating chaos they could perhaps claim their false religion through the ravaging, looting and plundering of people’s properties.
A group of desolate fools, ruled over by Mulla Sheikh Ali Torshizi, who claimed to be the representative of the deceased Bab, and who had bestowed upon himself the title of Hazrat-e Azim, had gathered around himself a group of ignorant, ignoble followers of the [redacted] Bab as their leader. He had deceived some deluded thugs, hoodlums and hooligans, including one Haji Soleiman Khan, son of the late Yahya Khan Tabrizi. They gathered at the house of that evil [man] for a secret festivity to plot an attempt against the blessed life of His Majesty the King.
Twelve volunteers were chosen from among them, each armed with weapons such as qama, pistol and knife, to go to Niavaran and wait for any possible opportunity to harm the king. The rest waited, prepared, in the home of Soleiman Khan to emerge as soon the plot was carried out, to loot and plunder the belongings of the Muslims and shed their blood under the pretence of their Bahiat religion. And so it was that on Sunday, 28 Shawwal, as His Majesty the King set out for hunting on his horse, those miserable creatures fearlessly and audaciously attacked the king and discharged their pistols, a few bullets from which ended up scratching the blessed stature of the king. However, [some] subjects, such as Asadullah Khan, the head of royal stables, Mostowfi-ul Mamalek, chancellor of the realm, and Nezam-ul Mulk, His Majesty’s guard, and other eminent escorts, arrested two of those cruel brutes, and one, hit by stick, stone and blade amid the struggle was sent to hell. The two who were arrested alive turned out to be followers of the [redacted] Bab, upon him be curse and torment.
Following the incident, the king abandoned his plan to proceed towards the hunting grounds, and upon his wish, the senior officials began the enquiry and investigation led by Ajudan Bashi, Hajeb-ul Dowleh, sheriff and the chief of the township, who were ordered to find the leaders of that group. Finally, on the last day of the month, Saheb-ul Dowleh and the royal footmen astutely discovered their location to be in the home of the depraved Soleiman Khan, where they had assembled. The local chief and some others were notified of their whereabouts, went to the house, and arrested Soleiman Khan and twelve of the thugs, but the rest fled. Following the arrest of the twelve, the names of their other friends were revealed, and each day, Ajudan Bashi, the sheriff and his footmen arrested and brought in three, four or five more of them. Each of them who was brought in would appear before the government officials in public in the presence of their other friends to prove their guilt by testifying.
Among the outstanding services rendered by Hajeb-ul Dowleh to the religion and the government was the capturing of a certain Mullah Sheikh Ali, who was always in hiding and would not show himself to anyone. He had fled from the city and was hiding in one of the villages in Shemiran with a few of his friends when Hajeb-ul Dowleh sent after him and had him arrested and brought in. The prime minister specifically summoned him for investigation and enquiry into the matter, and his friends who had been previously arrested were also brought in. There, in that gathering, by his testimony, they determined that the main instigator of that heinous act had been that ill-fated man. It also became evident that the one by the name of Mohammad Sadegh, who had initially audaciously approached the king on horseback with his pistol, was [Mulla Shaikh Ali]’s servant and that he had provided the weapons to him.
Those arrested from this perverse and cruel group numbered thirty-two; as to the rest of them, it never came to light whether, in fact, there were any other co-conspirators. If, in fact, there were others, they did not divulge any information about them; perhaps they fled to and disappeared in distant lands. Among them was one Mirza Hussein Ali Nuri, who had fled to Zargandeh, where His Eminence the Ambassador Extraordinary of Russia was [staying]. As soon as the ambassador learned that [Mirza Hussein Ali Nuri] was a member of that misled group, he immediately barred [him], following the protocol of the two countries’ agreement. The embassy personnel captured him and sent him to the government officials. The king and senior officials appreciated his wisdom abundantly, and the prime minister rewarded his envoys accordingly.
Aside from its religious falsehood and fabricated claim, this group’s audacity in harming the public, shedding blood, looting, and committing other offences prompted the majority of people, including the ulama, the learned, the court’s subjects, high and low, honest and dishonest, old and young, friend and stranger, to deem the killing of these corrupt ill-destined people essential. Six individuals among them, including Mirza Hussein Qomi, who was not quite innocent, were kept for interrogation; Mirza Hussein Ali Nuri, Mirza Suleiman Gholi and Mirza Mahmoud, his nephew, along with Agha Abdollah, son of Mohammad Jafar, and Mirza Javad Khorasani, whose conspiracy in this incident could not be established by the investigation, were ordered by the king to be imprisoned for life. As to the rest, the following is an account of how they received their punishments from the multitudes of people—the ulama, the learned, the court’s subjects, merchants, and shopkeepers—who divided them among themselves to impose on them the fate they deserved.
- Mulla Sheikh Ali, who was the leader of this perverse group, considering himself the Bab’s special representative, and calling himself Hazrat-e Azim, and who was the source of this great sedition and its main culprit, received his retribution by the ulama and the learned, who deemed his death sentence necessary by the order of blessed Sharia.
- Seyyed Hasan Khorasani, a thug and a follower of that religion, was murdered by knives, bullets, and swords of the princes.
- Mullah Zein-al Abedin Yazdi, was first shot with a pistol by Mostowfi-ul Mamalek, out of his religious zeal and support for the government, and subsequently cut into pieces by the knives and qamas of the other senior officials.
- Mullah Hussein Khorasani was shot successively with pistols by Mirza Kazem Khan Nezam-ul Mulk and Mirza Said Khan, the first deputy foreign minister, followed by both attacking him with stone, qama, knife and dagger.
- When Mirza Abdul-Wahab Shirazi—known as Kazemeini, who was in Kazemein for a while and had set up a major riot through the machinations of this same religion—was brought forth, one of the trusted and credible ulama testified that in Kazemein he had repeatedly invited Mirza Abdul-Wahab in the evenings, but he had refused and talked nonsense and uttered irrelevant arguments. He was one of the twelve that had gone to Niavaran and committed the heinous act. Jafar Gholi Khan, the prime minister’s brother, and his sons, Zulfaghar Khan, Musa Khan, and Mirza Ali Khan, along with other relatives, cousins, gunmen and their servants, shot him [Mirza Abdul-Wahab Shirazi] with pistols and guns and mutilated his body with swords and qamas, thus causing him his deserved demise.
- As for Mullah Fathollah Qomi, father of Mullah Ali Sahhaf, whose bullets had scratched His Majesty’s royal stature, his body was planted with lighted candles and Hajeb-ul Dowleh shot him where he had inflicted injury upon His Majesty the King. He immediately fell, and other subjects attacked him with qamas and a rain of stones.
- Sheikh Abbas Tehrani was sent to hell with pistol and sword by the khans and senior officials of the shah’s court.
- Mohammad Bagher Najafabadi, who was one of the twelve and had himself admitted to being a part of the revolts of the perverse Babi sect, was killed by the qamas, knives and daggers of the royal servants and insiders.
- Mohammad Taghi Shirazi initially had his feet shod by horseshoe by the head of the royal stable and other servants, and then sent to join his friends [killed] by clubs, spikes, qamas and knives.
- Mohammad Najafabadi was bludgeoned to death by ax, mace and other weapons in Niavaran and sent to the recesses of hell by Ishik Aghasi Bashi, the royal court’s head of external affairs, and the head crier, the head torturer and a number of military officers.
- Mirza Mohammad Neirizi, who was involved in all the Babi revolts in Neyriz, Zanjan and Mazandaran, and still carried on his body the traces of many scars from these battles, received a barrage of bullets fired by the royal head guard, military officers, and other guardsmen, and was then levelled to dust with stones and wooden sticks.
- As for Mohammad Ali Najafabadi, the artillerymen first removed one of his eyes and then inserted artillery in his body and ignited him.
- Haji Soleiman Khan, son of Yahya Khan Tabrizi, mentioned earlier, along with Haji Ghasem Neirizi, Seyyed Yahya’s heir, were taken to town by the head guard Agha Hassan, who inserted lit candles into their flesh and made them walk through the bazaars and the alleys, preceded by minstrels and drummers while the assembled crowds were prevented from throwing stones at them, so that they could be taken outside the city gate of Shahzadeh Abdul-Azim, where their executioners sawed their bodies into four pieces and suspended each from the four gates.
- Seyyed Hassan Yazdi was killed with the swords of guards, colonels and heads of the army.
- Agha Mehdi Kashi, one of the twelve, was killed by the qamas and knives of the royal guards.
- The body of Sadegh Zanjani, Mulla Sheikh Ali’s servant, who had been killed first by the king’s escort, was divided into halves and suspended from the city gates.
- Mirza Nabi Damavandi of Tehran was finished by the swords and spearheads of the associates of Dar ul-Funun School.
- Mirza Rafi Nuri was killed with pistols and machetes by the cavalry.
- Mirza Mahmoud Qazvini was first targeted by the armoury guards and then mutilated with machetes.
- The body of Hussein Milani of Osku, who was titled by those infidels as Imam Hamam Aba Abdollah-ul Hosein, was reticulated with spearheads until he was transported to hell.
- Mulla Abdul-Karim Qazvini was brought to his knees and met his death by the blows of machetes by the royal artillerymen.
- Lotfali Shirazi was sent to join his allies by the use of daggers, knives, wooden sticks and stones by the king’s chief attendant.
- Najaf Khamsih was surrounded by the townspeople and beaten to death with wooden sticks, stones, knives, daggers and qamas.
- Haji Mirza Jani, a merchant from Kashan, who was an apostate, and who had repeatedly repented and been freed, was sent to hell by means of various weapons by Agha Mehdi, a senior merchant, and a group of other merchants.
- Hasan Khamsih was murdered by Nasrollah Khan and other royal servants.
- Mohammad Bagher Qahpayeh became prey to the swords of the Qajar men and sent to his demise.