The Universal House of Justice
To selected National Spiritual Assemblies
We are instructed to convey to you the following disturbing news which was just received from the friends in Iran.
During the past few weeks, Iranian Islamic revolutionary institutions in Yazd, Tehran, and Isfahan have confiscated a considerable number of private homes and other property belonging to Bahá’ís. The Bahá’ís concerned are neither prominent believers nor were they engaged in Bahá’í administrative activities.
The friends in Iran explained that, in Yazd, these confiscations are based on a religious edict issued to the Judiciary by the late Áyatu’lláh Ṣadúqí, former Imam of Yazd, on the strength of which the members of the Imam Khomeini Foundation are seizing the homes of Bahá’ís and are harassing the occupants. The late Áyatu’lláh, in turn, had taken this action on the instigation of a certain Mr. Kashmírí, who had played an active role in the oppression of the Bahá’ís in Yazd and was keenly interested in their properties. The details are as follows.
In Yazd, 11 families are presently affected by such confiscations. Mr. Dáryúsh Dahmúbidí’s family, residing in Taft, was already forcefully evicted and their house with all its furnishings was taken over by the Imam Khomeini Foundation.
The families of 10 other Bahá’ís named below were served notice by the Islamic revolutionary institutions to vacate their homes and hand them over to the Government. Although, due to their protestations and appeals to higher authorities, their evacuation has not yet taken place, they are under severe pressure to relinquish their homes.
In Tehran, three cases were reported, as follows:
Mrs. Mihrangíz Rawḥání, who had been dismissed from her position as midwife at the Public Health Department, was served an order by the Islamic Revolutionary Court that her house was confiscated. As a result of her appeals, no action has been taken yet by the Court, but the case is not resolved.
A complex consisting of a large shop and 10 apartments, as well as a two-storey residential building, belonging to Mr. Qudratu’lláh Ḥishmatí were occupied by members of the Imam Khomeini Foundation against the will of the owner, in this case without any official order from the judicial authorities. Unfortunately, his appeals and complaints to the authorities have not succeeded in restoring the property to him so far.
Mrs. Mawhibatí was forcefully evicted from her home after being served an order by the Attorney-General that her house was confiscated.
In Isfahan, the following cases were reported:
Mrs. Bádkúbi’í had donated a two-storey building to a Bahá’í institution before the Islamic Revolution, retaining tenancy for life in one apartment while renting out the other as her only source of income. Although, according to Islamic and civil law, she is entitled to occupy the building for life and no one has the right to eject her from it, she has been pressured to vacate the house, and the authorities have already compelled the tenant of the other apartment to leave the premises as well.
Perhaps the most tragic case is that of Mr. Aḥmad Ishráqí, resident of Isfahan, who is over 80 years of age. In mid-September 1992, several Government officers invaded his home and took away all his books, numbering several thousand volumes. They ejected him from his home and took possession of the building. Mr. Ishráqí was not able to take anything with him and is now dependent on his friends. No appeal or complaint has been entertained by the authorities concerning his case.
Furthermore, officers of the Attorney-General of Isfahan have entered eight Bahá’í homes during the past two weeks, taking away books, household items, radios, television sets, recorders, cameras, and cash. The Bahá’í owners have lodged complaints with the judicial authorities, but without any result so far.
The Universal House of Justice is concerned that this sudden intensification of actions against the Bahá’ís, taken almost simultaneously in different centers in Iran, may signal the beginning of a new phase in the persecution of the sorely tried friends in the Cradle of the Faith.…