Sen's daily

January 18, 2017

Six Bahai students expelled in Rudehen


Bahai News (Persian), January 17, 2017.

On December 31, 2016, six students were expelled from the Islamic Free University in Ruhdehen (Roodehen), because of their Bahai beliefs. After confirming their identity (as enrolled students), Sana Hourbakht (ثنا هوربخت), Janahgir Hedayati (جهانگیر هدایتی) and four others who have not given permission to use their names found they were blocked from the student’s part of the university web site and, after various efforts to follow up on this, found that their expulsion was directly related to the head of the University’s security department.

Sana Hourbakht sat the national University Entrance examination in the previous academic year, and was faced with the “incomplete file” excuse that is used to bar Bahai students from universities, but he was nevertheless able to enroll at the Free University to study architectural engineering. But on December 28 he, like the other five Bahai students at the university, found his personal page had been blocked and that he no longer had user access as a student.

Janahgir Hedayati was in his fifth semester of a degree in Computers and Applications, and just two weeks before his expulsion the Chancellor of the Free University had awarded him a wall plaque (pictured above) in recognition of his academic excellence. He too sat the national University Entrance examinations and received only the result “file incomplete,” but was able to enroll at the university as a “free” student, without UE results.

The other expelled students likewise had given their religion as “Bahai” on enrolling, and found they were expelled when they were blocked from the university web site. There is no evidence of who took the decision or blocked their accounts, but only university officials have that access to the web site. When they followed up, the Chancellor’s office told them to go to the Security Department [which is an arm of the Ministry of Intelligence, not controlled by the University ~ Sen]. when they went to the Security Department, their mobile phones were confiscated [to prevent them recording the interview ?] and the Head of Security told them “do not come to the University, you know why you have been expelled.” From the University Administration they learned that the officials there had no idea why they had been expelled, only that there was a red star beside their names in the list of students. The officials said to ask the Security Office what it meant.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

January 17, 2017

Bahai student expelled in Shiraz


Bahai News (Persian), January 15, 2017.

Dorna Esmaili (درنا اسماعیلی), a student in the 7th semester of a degree in Graphic Design at the Eram non-profit private university in Shiraz, has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. On January 8, during the end of term examinations, an examination official contacted her to say that the National Organisation for Educational Testing had said she was not eligible for examinations. When she asked the reason, she was told to contact Mr. Nourbaksh (آقاي نور بخش), at the head office of NOET in Tehran. When she asked the Chancellor of the University why she was expelled, he said she contact NOET. She did so, travelling to Tehran to see Mr. Nourbaksh, he said he had been contacted by the Ministry of Intelligence, and was not responsible for the decision.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

January 15, 2017

Bahai student expelled in Isfahan


Bahai News (Persian), January 16, 2017.

Ma’ideh As-sadat Hosseini-rad (مایده السادات حسینی راد), a Bahai from Isfahan, has been expelled from university because of her Bahai beliefs. She was not given any documentation of her expulsion, or evidence of the grades she had achieved.

Following the national university entrance examinations she was excluded from study, with the excuse of “incomplete file,” but she was able to resolve that issue (the details are not specified) through contact with the National Organisation for Educational Testing, allowing her to enrol at the Technical University of Isfahan to study mathematics and statistics. But following the examinations at the end of the first semester she was excluded from the University’s web site and contacted to say that the National Organisation had not confirmed her eligibility to enrol, and she should go to the Organisation with any questions. When she did go to the Organisation, accompanied by her mother, for an interview with the head of student selections. He said the issue was a long-standing one, and that he was a supporter of the Bahais, to which Miss Hosseini-rad replied that there had been no improvement in the situation for Bahais over the years. He said the fault lay with the Ministry of Intelligence, not the Ministry of Science and Technology.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

January 12, 2017

Another student expelled in Shiraz


HRANA, January 12, 2017.

Nazanin Niku-seresht ( نازنین نیکو سرشت), a student of English Literature at the Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences, Shiraz University, has been expelled after two and a half months of study because of her Bahai beliefs. On December 28, 2016, when she checked the University web site to see her grades, she found the list was blank. When she enquired at the Faculty, she was told the University’s central administration had sent a letter saying her university studies had been stopped. The letter was signed by Dr. Muhammad-`Ali Masnadi Shiraz (محمدعلی مسندی شیراز), the head of educational affairs at the University. University officials said the decision was made by the Lecturer and Student Selection Committee in Tehran on December 12, and covered the expulsion of six students [for various reasons]. She was told she would have to contact the Committee for further details, but was not allowed a copy of the letter.

Mrs. Niku-seresht was one of the 129 Bahai university applicants who were rejected this academic year, with the excuse “incomplete file.” But she enquired about the nature of the “incomplete file,” and in the meantime was able to enroll and begin studies. Her further enquiries to the national body responsible for the university entrance requirements received not answer. But when she looked at Shiraz University, where she had applied, she found her name on the list of new students. She chose her courses and was given a student number and ID card.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

December 28, 2016

Bahai student expelled in Yazd


Iran Press Watch, November 29, 2016.

Raha Sedaqat (رها صداقت), a Bahai from Yazd, has been expelled from university because of her religion.

According to reports and Raha herself: “After participating in my college entry exam, I was told my academic record had deficiencies, like other Bahai students. However, a few days later, I received a message from the State University of Yazd to register, and so I began my studies at Yazd University, until the day I went for my midterm exams and was unable to find my name or seat number in the student roster. The next day, when I inquired about this, I was told that they had received an urgent and confidential letter from the national University Assessment authorities for my immediate expulsion, as well as three other students. At the end of the meeting, they took my student ID and expelled me.”

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

Expulsion of Bahai High School student


Iran Press Watch, December 5, 2016.

Bardia Rouhu’l-Fada (بردیا روح الفدا), a 15-year-old Bahai boy, has been expelled from Komayl boys high school in Rasht because of his belief in the Bahai Faith. [It would appear that this happened early in September, during the re-enrollment process. Secondary education in Iran is divided into 3 years of lower secondary school followed by up to 3 years of upper secondary schooling, beginning at about 15 years. The school (incorrectly identified in one report) appears to be an orthodox religious school, the Dabirestan Shahid Komayl ~Sen] Two other high schools in Rasht also refused to register him. He is currently being home-schooled.

A source close to his family stated that: “Bardia’s father was asked by the Principal of the high school to fill out the registration form again. When he came to the religion section of the form, the Principal asked him not to mention that he is a Bahai, although Bardia’s father had previously mentioned that his son is a Bahai. The Principal told him that this high school is one of the exemplary public schools, and so he had to expel his son.”

His father then went to the Education Department, but officials there refused to give him a document that would state that being a Bahai was the reason for his son’s expulsion. According to this source, “Sanayeh Poushesh High School told his father that they did not have room for his son; Mulla Sadra and Shahid Raja’i High Schools recommended that his father not state that he is a Bahai. Contesting this, Bardia’s father said, “You mean I have to lie?” And they replied, “Yes, you have to lie. Otherwise, your son cannot continue his education.”

After Bardia was expelled from high school, his classmates were upset about his expulsion, and they gave him a standing ovation as he was leaving the school.

Within the past month, more than two thousand Bahai citizens have written to Hasan Rohani, and have asked for the improvement of educational conditions for the Bahais in Iran. From the Islamic Revolution in Iran to date, more than one hundred thousand Bahais have been prevented from continuing their education in Universities and Technical Institutes (Tertiary education). In recent years, a number of Bahais or those born into Bahai families have also been denied education in elementary, middle school and high school. This has been based on a Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution dated February 25, 1991, under which Bahais are excluded from tertiary education or employment in government bodies. According to this text, “The government’s dealings with them must be such that their progress and development are blocked.” “They can be enrolled in schools provided they have not identified themselves as Bahais. Preferably, they should be enrolled in schools which have a strong and imposing religious ideology.

The last two clauses are contradictory: Bahai children are required to identify themselves so that they can be directed to enrol especially in schools that emphasise religious orthodoxy, but having identified themselves as Bahais they should be excluded from school! This appears to be the issue here: in accordance with government policy the Bahai family has registered with an orthodox religious school, but these are just the schools that do not want Bahai students.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

December 27, 2016

Student couple expelled from university for Bahai beliefs


Bahai News (Persian), December 23, 2016.

Azadeh Dhulfaqari (آزاده ذوالفقاری) and Masoud Qadirzadeh (مسعود قدیرزاده), a young Bahai couple studying in Yazd, have been expelled from the Payam-e Nour University because of their religious beliefs. On November 14, 2016, they enrolled in courses on medical engineering and accounting. Some time later, after they had chosen their units and paid the fees, it was noticed that the registration form, which they had not filled in themselves, said that they were Muslims. When they went to the University Rector [to correct this], the Rector consulted with the University’s security department [answering to the Ministry of Intelligence], and they were expelled.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

November 15, 2016

Bahai student Danial Kheradmand expelled from university


Iran Press Watch, November 12, 2016.

Danial Kheradmand (دانیال خردمند), a Bahai from Tehran, secured admission to the University of Sari on 10 September 2016 to study accounting. Classes began on the first of October. In the first week of November his name was removed from the student list because of his Bahai beliefs. After following up the case with the university administration, he was told that the university was asked to stop cooperating with him.

During the current year at least 129 Bahai students, after successfully passing the University Entrance Exam (Concours) in 2016, were prevented from continuing their education because they believe in the Bahai Faith. Some were allowed to commence their studies, but after being identified as Bahais they were expelled from their universities. [I have been unable to keep pace, on Sen’s Daily, with the reports of these expulsions and exclusions.]

The exclusion of Bahais from higher education is based on a document, dated the 2nd of February 1991, approved by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. This document states that Bahais are not permitted to work in any government establishment, or to continue their education in higher institutions of learning.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

October 11, 2016

129 Bahai students barred from higher education

Iran Press Watch, October 9, 2016.

In a continuation of the pattern of previous years, at least 129 Bahai students (as of September 18) have been denied the right to register at a university in Iran using the excuse of “incomplete file”. These are students who have gained adequate grades in the national University Entrance examination; it does not include those barred from sitting the examination, for example by not sending them exam registration cards, or who were given no grades when they did sit. It includes Bahai students who have been excluded in previous years, and sit the examination again. (Because of this, the figure cannot be used to guess the size of the Bahai community in Iran ~Sen) The Iran Press Watch article includes a review of the ways Bahais have been excluded from Higher Education since 1979.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

May 20, 2016

Two Bahai students expelled and two businesses closed in Kashan

Bahai News (Persian), May 18, 2016.

Mahsa Elahian (مهسا الهیان), a Bahai student in the third semester of a degree in English language and literature, has been expelled from the Payem-e Nour University in Kashan. University officials asked her why she had listed her religion as “other” in the application forms, to which she replied that her religion was not one of those mentioned in the form. She was then expelled.

On April 25, another Bahai student, Laden Foroughi (لادن فروغی) was also expelled because of his religious beliefs. He was expelled from the Payam-e Nour campus at Natanz, about an hour south of Kashan, where he was studying Accounting.

On May 10, the optician’s shop of Behman Elahian (بهمن الهیان) in Kashan was closed by local authorities, because he had no business licence and was a Bahai. The optician’s shop of Arash Dhabiheyan (آرش ذبیحیان) was closed for the same reasons on May 17.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

February 25, 2016

Another Bahai student expelled in Miandoab


Bahai News, February 24, 2016.

Arezu Iqani-Qajalu (آرزو ایقانی قجلو ), a Bahai student entering the last semester of a degree in Islamic Law and Jurisprudence at the Payam-e Nour University in Miandoab, has been expelled because of her Bahai beliefs. At the time when students select their courses for their graduation semester, they receive an overview of their status. In her case it read, “barred from tertiary education.” Arzu Iqani received a law degree from the Bahai Open University (BIHE) three years earlier.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

 

January 21, 2016

Three more Bahai students expelled


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), reports from January 13, 17 and 22.

Bahai News in Persian has reported three further expulsions of Bahai students from tertiary institutions in Iran, because of their religious beliefs. The first relates the expulsion of Mahnush Shafi`ei-Mehr (مهنوش شفیعی مهر) from the University of Samangan campus in Amol County (Mazandaran Province). The University of Samangan or Samangan Institute is a private non-profit tertiary institution. Mrs Shafi`ei-Mehr had studied Business Administration for two years, and gained a “Foundation degree,” preparatory to a Bachelor’s degree. This degree was declared void because of her Bahai beliefs. [January 27: Iran Press Watch has a fuller report.]

A second report, dated January 17, relates the expulsion of Maqsud Anvari (مقصود انوری) from the University of Shahid Bahonar in Kerman because of his Bahai beliefs. When he enrolled at the University he listed his religion as “other” [because Bahai was not given as an option] but later he was required to fill in various forms by hand, and he wrote that he was a Bahai. He had completed one semester of studies in Information Technology when he was expelled.

The third report is of the expulsion of Mehrdad Dhehni-Miandoab (مهرداد ذهنی میاندوآب) from the Payam-Nur University in Miandoab, before he had actually begun lessons. He had enrolled for a course in Industrial Engineering.

January 27: Iran Press Watch also has a report of the expulsion of Mina Mohammadi (مینا محمدی), a resident of Birjand, South Khorasan province. She was expelled in November 2015. This expulsion was not reported on Sen’s Daily at the time.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

 

January 12, 2016

Another Bahai student expelled in Tehran


Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), January 13, 2016.

Elham Pakru Miandavab (الهام پاکرو میاندوآب) has been expelled from the Mallard Campus of the Azad University in Tehran because of her Bahai beliefs. She had begun a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. She was summoned to the University’s security office and told she had no right to tertiary education, because she is a Bahai. She was also excluded from a private educational initiative known as “The network era” because of her religious beliefs.

Reports coming to Bahai News indicate that a number of Bahai students have been allowed to register at a university [and pay the first installment of the fees ~Sen], only to be expelled once they have been identified.

January 26: Iran Press Watch has a fuller report of this expulsion.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

 

December 31, 2015

Fu’ad Moqaddam transferred to hospital


Bahai News (Persian, facebook), December 31, 2015.

Dr. Fu’ad Moqaddam (فواد مقدم) a 63-year-old physician and one of the former administrators of the Bahai online university (BIHE) in Isfahan, was again taken from prison to hospital, about two weeks ago, and is still in hospital. In July this year he was taken to hospital for treatment for heart disease, but it would appear he was later returned to prison, since the latest report states that he has been hospitalized again. He was arrested in May, 2011, and sentenced to five years in prison for his educational activities. He is serving his term at Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, near Tehran.

The BIHE is a distance-learning institute which serves students who are excluded from tertiary study in Iran, because they are Bahais.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

November 28, 2015

Student expelled from Shiraz University for Bahai beliefs

Bahai News (Persian, Facebook)

Matin Nuwah-nejad ( متین نوح نژاد), a Bahai who has completed the first semester of study at Shiraz University, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. He was studying Mathematics and Applications. Under a 1991 policy approved by the Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council (ISRCC), Bahais “must be expelled from universities, either in the admission process or during the course of their studies, once it becomes known that they are Bahais.”

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

October 17, 2015

Baha’i student expelled from school for not participating in Islamic Friday congregational prayers

Iran Press Watch, October 16, 2015.

Parsa Hemmat (پارسا همت), a Bahai school pupil from Isfahan, has been prevented from continuing his education because he did not attend the Muslim congregational prayer in his school. He was in his second year of high school. Informed sources said, “this Bahai citizen did not show up at the prayer room because of his religious beliefs; he announced that he did not find it necessary to participate in the congregational prayer because he is not a Muslim. He has been expelled from school for the same reason.”

Persian report (Bahai News)
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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

May 15, 2015

Another Bahai student expelled from university


Farzan Faramarzi blog, May 14, 2015.

Samim Dukuhaki (صمیم دوکوهکی), a Bahai student of music at the Beyda campus of the Azad University, was expelled from the University on March 1, 2015 because of his religious beliefs. He had completed one semester of study. The campus is in Fars Province.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

February 11, 2015

Court rejects complaint of several Bahai students

HRANA, February 10, 2015.

Following the announcement of results from Iran’s national secondary school graduation exam for this academic year, many Bahai youth who achieved good marks, sufficient for entry even to the best of the state-controlled universities, found they were rejected from university due to “defects in the file.” Some of these students filed a legal complaint, which after overcoming various obstacles was actually received and considered by Branch One of the Administrative Court. This court deals with complaints, grievances and protests lodged against officers or government entities, or challenges to government regulations. The Bahai students’ complaint was however rejected. The court, which is reported to have been headed by the President of the Administrative Courts for all of Iran, based its ruling on a decree of the Council for the Cultural Revolution, issued shortly after the 1979 Revolution, which bars Bahais from higher education in government-run institutions. The court did not provide any written decision to the students or their lawyer, and the court records do not contain any mention of the fact that the complainants were Bahais, but rather refer to the general conditions of admission.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the Human Rights Council of the Judiciary, has publicly stated that “The authorities have never discriminated against the followers of the Bahai Faith merely based on being Bahais, as they believe that based on the Iranian Constitution every individual has the same rights and cannot be deprived of constitutional rights.” Nevertheless, hundreds of Bahai students have been barred from entering universities in Iran, or expelled from university when their religious beliefs became known. Moreover the Bahai Open University (BIHE), established to offer education to those excluded from government-supervised institutions, has been raided and closed down, and its administrators and teachers have been imprisoned.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

January 19, 2015

Bahai student expelled from Technical University in Ramsar

Fariba Kamalabadi” (public figure Facebook page), January 19, 2015.

On January 11, Bahrad Adhargan (بهراد آذرگان), a student of Electrical Engineering at the Mulla Sadra Technical University in Ramsar, in the Mazandaran province of Iran, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. However he was able to study for five semesters. Apparently it took this long for the university administration to notice that in his application form, following the question “Religion?” he had written “Of course.” The university then summoned him to the office of the Chancellor, to ask what he meant, and what religion he followed. Mr Adhargan said that he was a Bahai. They were surprised, and within the hour Mr. Adhargan had been expelled, without any documentation of the reason, or any academic records showing his results over five semesters.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

January 12, 2015

Bahai student expelled from the University of Mazandaran

HRANA, January 12, 2015.

Noura Mesami (نورا مسمی), a Bahai student of software engineering at the University of Mazandaran, has been expelled from the university at the end of her first semester of studies. She had honestly stated her religion as “Bahai” in her application, and was excluded from the end of term examinations.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

January 3, 2015

Several Bahais arrested in Abadeh

HRANA, January 2, 2015.

On December 29, 2014, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested Farshid Rastegar (فرشید رستگار) and a number of Bahai students who had gathered in his home in Abadeh, a town approximately halfway between Isfahan and Shiraz. As in other recent cases, the agents posed as postmen to gain entry to the house, and they did not have a search warrant or arrest warrants. They searched the house, and arrested Mr. Rastegar and the others present, who were all students of the Bahai Open University (BIHE). Mr. Rastegar has been helping students in the Abadeh area who are studying at the Bahai Open University, an institution designed to offer tertiary courses in certain subject to students who are excluded from licenced universities in Iran because of their religious beliefs. The youth who were arrested on December 29 were released next day, but Mr. Rastegar was held for two days, and was questioned mainly about the Bahai Open University.

Abadeh was the scene of large-scale raids on Bahai homes, and threats to the safety of Bahais, reported on this blog in October 2013.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

November 8, 2014

Bahai student expelled in Miandoab

Jabari-Adhar
Campaign to stop harassment of Bahai citizens (facebook), November 9, 2014,

On October 7, a Bahai student whose name is variously given as Faran or Farab Jabari Adhar (فاراب( فاران) جباری آذر) was told verbally that he had been expelled from the Miandoab campus of the Payam-e Nour University because of his Bahai beliefs. He had completed four semesters of a degree in hydraulic and soil engineering. His family’s efforts to obtain written evidence of his expulsion have been fruitless, although there was a verbal announcement that his expulsion was on account of his being a Bahai.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

September 25, 2014

Iranian MP abuses a group of Bahai students


Taghato, September 24, 2014.

Ali Reza Mahjoub (علی‌رضا محجوب)[*], an Iranian Member of Parliament who has been reelected several terms for the ‘reformist’ faction, insulted a number of the Bahai students who have been excluded from tertiary education, who were visiting him in his office. He called them terrorists and gunmen and expelled them from his office. One of the students, the 18-year-old Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh (روحیه صفاجو), described the meeting on her facebook page on September 23. She writes that as the meeting began, one of the eight Bahai students greeted Mr. Mahjoub, saying “Salam.” He did not respond with Salam [as both social norms and religious teachings require], but rather asked “Has Bahaism become a religion?” [In this context, ‘Bahaism’ is not intentionally insulting ~Sen]
Mrs. Sefajuh responded on behalf of the eight students, “We are not talking about religion, we have come to say that we are Iranians and we have a right to education. I was expelled, and now my daughter is not even accepted at university.”
Mr. Mahjoub, who had closed his eyes, answered, “Don’t change the subject. Give me an answer. Is Bahaism a religion?”
Mrs. Sefajuh replied, “Yes, Bahaism is a religion.”
Mr. Mahjoub raised his voice and began insulting the things Bahais hold dear, and would not allow any of those present to speak. However Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh asked quietly if she could speak for a few moments, which only elicited a louder and even more angry reaction. Mr. Mahjoub said “All you try to achieve is terrorism [the word is also used in Iran for assassins], you’re all getting your pistols.” To Miss Sefajuh he shouted, “Get out, get out!”
Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh replied, “I won’t go. My own father has not shouted at me, these eighteen years. What right do you have to shout at me?”
Mrs. Sefajuh continued her account of the meeting, writing that ‘Mr. Mahjoub began shouting again, saying “What business do you have with me? What is it you want ?” I said very quickly, “This does have to do with you. You expelled my father, my mother was not even allowed to sit [the University Entrance exam], so here I am.” Mr. Mahjoub shouted, “Is that my fault? Get out!”
Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh began to cry, and they left Mr. Mahjoub’s office.

About two weeks ago, 360 Bahais who were excluded from tertiary education in previous years wrote an open letter to President Rouhani, reminding him of his campaign promises regarding civil rights, and said that the way examination results had been withheld from a large number of Bahai university candidates was a sign of his reluctance to admit Bahai students to universities.

[* Mr. Mahjoub was the only reformist MP to be relected in the Tehran district in the 2012 elections, when there was a strong swing to conservative candidates. He is active in labour market affairs and heads the “Worker’s House.” He has opposed subsidy reforms.]

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


September 13, 2014

Numerous excluded students give the lie to Larijani

MJLarijani
Editorial, September 13, 2014.

This year, as in previous years, Bahai high school graduates who have achieved the necessary passes in Iran’s nationwide university entrance examinations are being refused entry to universities across the country because of their religious beliefs. However this year they are being excluded without documentation: their educational records have the message “write to PO Box so-and-so” or “refer to PO Box so-and-so” in place of examination grades. This phrase, inserted in their educational records, amounts to a coded message for educational institution, which will be understood as saying, “this is a Bahai, do not admit him or her.” An example of this was given on this blog on August 4. A similar procedure has been followed where a student who is already enrolled becomes a Bahai or is discovered to be a Bahai: they are told to make enquiries at an office, where they are informed verbally that they have been expelled because they are Bahais. The example of Yalda Na’imeyan ( یلدا نعیمیان) was reported on this blog on September 7

Another innovation this year is that Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the Human Rights Council of the Judiciary, has publicly stated that “The authorities have never discriminated against the followers of the Baha’i faith merely based on being Bahais, as they believe that based on the Iranian Constitution every individual has the same rights and cannot be deprived of constitutional rights.” “Those who claim to have been deprived of studying at university due to being a Bahai” should “send your documentation for follow-up.” (Translated by Iran Press Watch) Any Bahai who did have such documentation, from previous years when expulsions were sometimes announced in writing, would be very foolish to send it to the “Human Rights Council.” That would be inviting a prison term. Resilient as always, the Bahai students and human rights organisations have been documenting and publishing the stories of individual Bahai students, providing irrefutable evidence for those able to access human rights web sites that Mr. Larijani is lying. They may not say “lying” in as many words (Bahais generally are polite to a fault), but that’s what it amounts to. There are too many stories for me to translate them all, but I am collecting the names and photographs below: click on the photograph for the source in Persian.

Anahita Etahadi
(آناهیتا اتحادی)

Noura Sabet
(نورا ثابت)

Tara Houshmand
(تارا هوشمند)

Shadi Shirazi
(شادان شیرازی)

Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh (روحیه صفاجو)

Ruhiyyeh Sefajuh
(روحیه صفاجو)


Dorsa Dehqani (درسا دهقانی)

Dorsa Dehqani
(درسا دهقانی)

Nilofar Mazidi( نیلوفر مزیدی)

Nilofar Mazidi
( نیلوفر مزیدی)

Sarmad Shadabi
(سرمد شادابی)

 

Dr. Mohammad Maleki (محمد ملکی), former president of the University of Tehran, and Muhammad Nourizad (seated) meet some of the excluded students (photo Radio Yek Jahan)

Dr. Mohammad Maleki (محمد ملکی), former President of the University of Tehran, and Muhammad Nourizad (محمد نوری‌زاد, seated 3rd from right) meet some of the excluded students (photo Radio Yek Jahan)

 

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

September 6, 2014

Bahai student expelled from university in Miandoab


PCED (facebook page), September 7, 2014.

Yalda Na’imeyan ( یلدا نعیمیان), a student at the Payam-e Nur University in Miandoab, has been expelled from the university after five semesters of study because of her Bahai beliefs. Her expulsion took place on May 17, 2014, but has only just been reported. Her efforts to obtain a written statement of the reasons for her expulsion have been fruitless. The University branch in Miandoab referred her to the head office in Tehran. She could not obtain a written statement there either. However a worker at the head office in Tehran told her that the head of the Payame-e Nur University of Azarbayjan province expelled her because of her Bahai beliefs.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


August 18, 2014

Bahai war veteran unable to enrol children at school in Shiraz

Martyr-Khonsari-Shiraz
HRANA, August 18, 2014.

The administration at the government-run Martyr Khonsari secondary school in Shiraz has refused to enrol the children of Behrouz Farzandi Ardekani (بهروز فرزندی اردکانی) because the family are Bahais. Mr. Ardekani is a war veteran who has been classified as having more than 25% disability. Their actions are in contravention of explicit legislation regarding civil rights, the right to education and the ban on investigating people’s religious beliefs.

Moreover, Mr. Ardekani provided a copy of an official letter stating that Iran’s Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa stating the Bahai ex-POWs and disabled veterans are entitled to the rights of other veterans and ex-POWs. Nevertheless, the school administration and the Department of Education have continued to refuse to enrol the children of this Bahai family. Numerous Bahai youth have also been denied entry to tertiary education in Iran, or have been expelled when their religious beliefs were discovered.

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August 5, 2014

Bahai university candidates again denied results

HRANA, August 4, 2014.

As in previous years, numerous Bahais who sat Iran’s university entrance examinations this year have been denied their examination results, and are therefore excluded from tertiary education. In previous years, Bahai school-leavers have found the cryptic “application incomplete” on their university entrance results. This year, the Bahai students have received the message “write to PO Box so-and-so” or “refer to PO Box so-and-so” in place of examination grades. This phrase, inserted in their educational records, amounts to a coded message for educational institution, which will be understood as saying, “this is a Bahai, do not admit him or her.”

click the pen

See also:
A note from the heart … translation by Iran Press Watch


Although President Rouhani of Iran promised, before his election, to address the exclusion of some citizens from tertiary education, there are no signs of any progress. It should be borne in mind that many of the senior staff at the Ministry of Science and the Organisation for Educational Assessment were appointed under President Ahmadinejad.

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August 3, 2014

Iqan Shahidi granted a 6-day furlough


HRANA, July 29, 2014.

Iqan Shahidi ( ایقان شهیدی ), a Bahai active in the struggle for equal educational opportunities who is serving a 5-year sentence as a prisoner of conscience in Raja’i Shahr prison, near Tehran, has been granted six days of leave from prison, beginning on July 28.

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June 24, 2014

Leva Khanjani free


HRANA, June 24, 2014

Leva Khanjani ( لواء خانجانی ), a Bahai excluded from tertiary education, has been freed from Evin prison after serving most of a two-year sentence. She was arrested on January 3, 2010, along with her husband Babak Mobasher, on the pretext that they had participated in street protests following the 2009 elections. She began serving her sentence in Evin Prison, in Tehran, on August 25, 2012. Leva Khanjani is granddaughter of Jamaleddin Khanjani (جمالدین خانجانی), one of seven Bahai facilitators (Yaran) who were sentenced to 20 years in prison after their May 2008 arrest. Her brother Fu’ad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی) was sentenced to four years in prison by Tehran Revolutionary Court on January 17, 2012. Both Jamaleddin and Fu’ad Khanjani are now serving their sentences inside Raja’i Shahr Prison.

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May 18, 2014

Fu’ad Khanjani and Kamran Rahimiyan barred from meeting imprisoned relatives


HRANA, May 18, 2014

Prison officials have prevented Kamran Rahimiyan ( کامران رحیمیان ) and Fu’ad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), two Bahai prisoners in Raja’i Shahr prison, from meeting members of their families who are imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison. Yesterday (May 17) it was announced that the two prisoners would be taken to Evin prison, but the visit was later denied on the basis that they refused to wear the standard prison uniform. Kamran Rahimiyan and his wife Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) are both serving 4-year prison sentences for their work as teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE). She is held in Evin prison. The couple have a son, Artin (آرتین). Fu’ad Khanjani, who was a student of industrial management in Isfahan until his expulsion, is also serving a 4-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, while his sister Leava Khanjani ( لواء خانجانی ) is serving a 2-year sentence in Evin prison.

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April 27, 2014

Interview with an expelled Bahai student gives insight into expulsions, the BIHE, and studying abroad

Iran Rights, March 26, 2014

Iran Rights has published a report on two interviews with Parham Aqdassi, which I warmly recommend to readers. Mr. Aqdassi was a nuclear physics student at Hamedan’s Bu Ali Sina University from late September, 2006, when he was one of the first Bahai students to be allowed to enter a university. He was expelled on December 24, 2006, when he refused to renounce his Bahai beliefs. This was in accordance with the Cultural Revolution High Council’s directive of February 25, 1991, Article 3, which states that Bahai students are banned from pursuing higher education. Many students staged a sit-in protest. Mr Aqdassi went on to study and graduate from the BIHE, the Bahai Open University, which provides limited university-level education for students barred from studying at other tertiary institutions. He describes his studies there, the attacks on the BIHE institutions by security forces, and his decision to travel to Texas to take a Master’s course.

The full report in English is online here.

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April 11, 2014

Another Bahai student expelled from Birjand University


HRANA, April 10, 2014

Mazyar Malaki (مازیار ملاکی), a student studying machine manufacturing at Birjand University, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. He was summoned by the University’s security office and asked to sign a statement that he would not participate in Bahai activities or follow the directions of the Universal House of Justice. When he refused to sign this, he was told that he was barred from the university until further notice, and that the final decision would be communicated to him.

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March 15, 2014

Student expelled from Mazandaran University for being a Bahai


HRANA, March 12, 2014

Setayash Asadi (ستایش اسدی), a Bahai studying Tourism Management at the Babolsar campus of the University of Mazandaran, has been expelled because of her religious beliefs. She was admitted in the current academic year, and expelled in the middle of the second semester, after gaining 19 university credits. A HRANA reporter was told that, after her student web page was closed, she was referred to the Office of Education and told that “religious minorities are not entitled to tertiary education.”

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February 11, 2014

Emanullah Mostaqim returns to prison


HRANA, February 11, 2014

Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran who is serving a 5-year prison sentence for his educational activities, returned to Raja’i Shahr prison on February 10. He had been held for one month in a therapeutic centre, followed by a one-week medical furlough, which was not extended although his condition had not improved. He suffers from a heart disorder which doctors have said is getting worse, to the extent that prison conditions are a danger to him. The Bahai Open University provides tertiary training to students who have been expelled or barred from Iranian universities because of their religious beliefs.

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December 1, 2013

Leva Khanjani returns to Evin Prison


HRANA, November 30, 2013

Leva Khanjani ( لواء خانجانی ), who has been on furlough from Evin Prison since July 10, 2013 (her release escaped the attention of Sen’s Daily), has returned to prison to resume serving her two-year sentence. Leva Khanjani is a student excluded from education because of her Bahai beliefs. She was arrested on January 3, 2010, along with her husband Babak Mobasher, on the pretext that they had participated in street protests following the 2009 elections.

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November 27, 2013

Bahai student expelled in Shiraz


PCED, November 27, 2013

Azita Momtaz ( آزیتا ممتاز ) a student of Industrial Management at Zand University in Shiraz has been expelled for her Bahai beliefs, after gaining 92 study credits. The university authorities stated that her expulsion had been ordered by the Ministry of Intelligence and “the powers that be.” She has also been denied all forms of certification for the results of her three years of study, and for her preparatory studies. Following the election of President Rouhani, the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology announced that students who have been expelled from the country’s universities in recent years could be reinstated, none of the Bahai students who have been expelled, or barred from beginning with the excuse that their files were incomplete, have had their rights reinstated.

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November 12, 2013

Three arrests in Mashhad in August, no news since

HRANA, August 14, 2013

On August 13, 2013, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence made three arrests which went unreported on Sen’s Daily. The agents raided the home of Fataneh Nabilzadeh-Saraf in Mashhad, where a number of young Bahais who have been barred from higher education were receiving instruction in preparation for classes from the Bahai Open University (BIHE). They arrested Mrs. Nabilzadeh along with Peyman Saraf and Dianne Timuri ( پیمان صراف و دایان تیموری ). I have found no reports of what has happened to them since.

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September 23, 2013

Former Rector of Tehran University apologises

dr_maleki
Enqalab-e Islami, September 25, 2013 (updated)

Dr. Muhammad Maleki ( محمد ملکی ), the former Rector of Tehran University, has met with one of the Bahai students excluded from tertiary education in Iran, and apologized to her. He was accompanied by film director Mohammad Nourizad, who has reported the meeting. The gesture has implications that are wider than Dr. Maleki’s rejection of religious discrimination in education, as he went to the home of one of the Bahai students, drank tea with her, and allowed himself to be photographed giving her a (chaste) kiss. He has also posted this photograph and an account of the meeting on his facebook page. This amounts to a forthright rejection of the belief that Bahais are unclean, which, with the beliefs that Bahais practice incest and are agents of foreign powers, is one of the three pillars of anti-Bahaism in the Middle East. This follows the earlier visit of Mr. Nourizad to the home of the Rahimiyan family, where he ate fruit handed to him by a Bahai, and kissed the feet of a Bahai child.

Dr. Maleki, met with Taraneh Ta’efi ( ترانه ی طائفی ), a 17-year-old Bahai student who has been excluded from tertiary education with the “incomplete file” excuse. He asked her where her mother was, and she told him her mother was serving five and a half years in prison, for having taught psychology in the Bahai Open University (BIHE), and had been denied any prison furlough. In his astonishment, Dr. Maleki jumped from his seat and embraced her, kissing her head, with tears in his eyes. [The injustices suffered by Bahais and other minorities in Iran are not reported in the Iranian media, and blocking of the internet makes it difficult for people in Iran to obtain objective news ~ Sen] He then apologized to her, on behalf of all those who did not understand [the Bahai Faith] and who in their ignorance impose limitations on the Bahais. He asked her to tell her mother, “The first Rector of Tehran University, now aged 81, came to our home and bowed in recognition of the injustice we and others like us have suffered.

Mr. Nourizad and Dr. Maleki then went to the home of Afaq [Rahimian] whose husband was executed by the post-revolutionary regime, while her two sons and daughter-in-law are now in prison for teaching psychology at the Bahai Open University. [This must refer to Keyvan and Kamran Rahimian ( کامران رحیمیان : کیوان رحیمیان ) and Faran Hesami (فاران حسامی )]. Dr. Maleki shook hands with her and said, “Madame, I am an academic, a Muslim, a Shiah, and I swear by God that studying and teaching are not a crime for any human being, because Islam teaches that everyone should be learning, from the cradle to the grave. It is a religious duty.”

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September 12, 2013

Bahai students in Iran again excluded from university entrance exam

Daneshjoo News, September 11, 2013

As the results of this year’s University Entrance examinations in Iran are announced on the web site of the Assessment Department, many Bahai aspirants are finding the error message “incomplete file.” An example is Faraz Rouhani ( فراز روحانی ). HRANA reports that be participated in the University Entrance examination this year, and got as far as the first stage of admission to a study programme, but on September 11, as he was entering his personal data in the site of the Department of Assessments, he was confronted with the error message “file incomplete.” For the past seven years, the “incomplete file” error message has been used to exclude known Bahai students from entering a university. However Ja`far Towfiqi (جعفر توفیقی), who was Minister of Science in President Khatami’s cabinet from 2003 to 2005. and who has been serving as acting Minister of Science, Research and Technology since August 17, 2013, has recently announced a programme of improvements and political opening for the universities. He has said that those excluded from education in recent years and who feel their rights have been infringed should take their cases to the Ministry of Science. President Rouhani has also promised, during the Presidential elections, that the problem of some people being excluded from higher education would be solved. The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, on the other hand, has stated that only Muslims, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians are entitled to higher education.

PCED, September 13

The author and film maker Muhammad Nourizad ( محمد نوری زاد ), who was once a writer for the hard-line Keyhan newspaper, has written a letter protesting the exclusion of Bahai students using the “incomplete file” ruse. He states that an official from the Ministry of Science had told him that the Ministry of Intelligence had recently caused the exclusion of about 30 eligible Bahai students.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.

July 11, 2013

Bahai student expelled in Shiraz


HRANA, July 10

Aida Bandi (آیدا بندی ), a Bahai in the second semester of a degree in English language and literature at the Payam-e Nour University in Shiraz, has been barred from continuing her studies. University officials told her she should either become a Muslim, or continue her studies outside the country like the other Bahais.

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June 19, 2013

New Zealand “Supreme Commitment Award” for the prisoner Aziz Samandari


Dominion Post, June 17

Azizullah Samandari ( عزیز‌الله سمندری ), a 40 year-old Baha’i IT specialist who is serving a 5-year prison sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, has been selected for the New Zealand Parliament’s “Supreme Commitment Award.” Mr. Samandari took part in the 2010 Global Enterprise Experience (GEE), which is supported by Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He received the award in absentia at Parliament last week. The charges against him included communicating with foreigners, a possible reference to his participation in the competition. However the only question he was asked at his trial was whether he belonged to the Baha’i community. (more…)

Kamran Rahimiyan and Foad Khanjani meet family in Evin prison

HRANA, June 18

Kamran Rahimiyan ( کامران رحیمیان ) and Fu’ad Khanjani (فواد خانجانی), two Bahai prisoners in Raja’i Shahr prison, near Tehran, have been allowed to meet family members who are imprisoned in Evin prison in Tehran. Kamran Rahimiyan and his wife
Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) are both serving 4-year prison sentences for their work as teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE). On June 17 Mr. Rahimiyan was moved to Evin prison and was allowed to see his wife. It is six months since the couple last met. The couple have a son, Artin (آرتین), who is four years old, and has been badly affected by the imprisonment of his parents.

Fu’ad Khanjani, who was a student of industrial management in Isfahan until his expulsion, is also serving a 4-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr prison, while his sister Leava Khanjani ( لواء خانجانی ) is serving a 2-year sentence in Evin prison. Mr. Khanjani was transfered to Evin prison to meet his sister. They last met briefly in prison on December 4, 2012.

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However Farzad Madadzadeh (فرزاد مددزاده) and Muhammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi(محمد بنازاده امیرخیزی), two political prisoners held in Raja’i Shahr, who have a sisters in Evin prison, have not been permitted to meet them for some time.

June 12, 2013

Overview of Iranian Bahai university students’ attendance and expulsion

IOPHR, June 12, 2013

A report from a students’ rights group in Iran presents a useful overview of how, for a period, some Bahai students came to be at university there, despite a government policy to hamper the development of the community by limiting Bahais’ rights to employment and education, and of how they have been expelled. The report also covers restrictions on the right of women to education, and the expulsion of “starred” (outspoken) students. As regards the Bahais it says: (more…)

May 31, 2013

Emanullah Mostaqim transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison


HRANA, May 31

On the evening of May 30, Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, was transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison in Kharaj, near Tehran. He reported to Evin prison in Tehran on May 20, to begin serving his 5-year sentence for “membership of the Bahai community” and supporting the University. He has recently had open heart surgery, and suffers from diabetes.

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May 21, 2013

Emanullah Mostaqim begins his 5-year sentence


Yaran Iran (facebook group), May 20

Emanullah Mostaqim ( امان‌الله مستقیم ), one of the staff of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, reported to Evin prison in Tehran on May 20, to begin serving his 5-year sentence for “membership of the Bahai community” and supporting the University. He has recently had open heart surgery, and suffers from diabetes. His doctors have said that prison conditions will be difficult and perhaps dangerous for him.

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May 18, 2013

Iranian prisoners of conscience protest the detention of BIHE staff

HRANA, May 17

On the second anniversary of the arrest and detention of a number of teachers and administrators in the Bahai Open University (BIHE), 12 prisoners of conscience in one wing of Raja’i Shahr prison have signed an open letter addressed to their compatriots, protesting the imprisonment of Bahais “whose only crime was spreading knowledge and science.”

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May 11, 2013

Fu’ad Moqaddam begins 5-year sentence


Yaran Iran (facebook group), May 11

Dr. Fu’ad Moqaddam ( فواد مقدم ), a Bahai from Isfahan and one of the teachers of the Bahai online university, the BIHE, began his 5-year sentence at Evin Prison in Tehran this morning. He was arrested in Isfahan in May 2012 in the course of the raids that targeted the BIHE, and was tried on June 23. One of the charges against him was “membership of the Bahai community.” He was freed on bail on June 15, 2012.

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April 24, 2013

Bahai student expelled from Shiraz Technical University

PCED, April 23

Navid Keyhanirad ( نوید کیهانی راد ), a Bahai student doing an Master’s degree in software engineering at the Sharif Technical University of Shiraz, has been expelled because of his religion, although he was one of the top postgraduate students. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree at Shiraz TU in June 2012) [It would appear that the ban on Bahais entering higher education in Iran, is not always considered to apply to technical studies at a lower level ~Sen].

As he was the top student, he should have been able to gain a place at Sharif University (in Tehran). But officials prevented him sitting the entrance examination, so he continued his studies in Shiraz. He was able to enroll there without sitting the entrance examination because there is a quota for top students. In December 2012, at the end of the first term, the university security office summoned him and questioned him about his Bahai beliefs. They told him that he would be barred from the university, beginning on the following day. He was however treated with respect by the university’s guards, because the saw that in filling in the application form he had told the truth [That he was doing advanced studies, not lower-level technical studies]. He was not given copies of his qualifications.

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April 22, 2013

Student expelled from UTech in Tehran

HRANA, February 27

Panidh Fazl `Ali ( پانید فضل علی ), a Bahai student of Industrial Engineering, has been expelled from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran. He discovered he had been expelled on February 23, when he accessed the university’s web site. Next day he went to the University’s office of educational administration, where he was informed verbally that he had been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs, that the decision had been made by the national body overseeing educational assessments (the Sanjesh), and that no written evidence of the expulsion would be given. He was in term 6 of the programme, and had excellent grades.

(This is old news, which I somehow overlooked at the time. But this blog is not here simply to keep readers up to date with Bahai news. One small thing we can do for prisoners of conscience and those who suffer discrimination because of their race, religion or sexual orientation, is to let their stories be heard. And let their persecutors know, that the things they do are noted. ~Sen)

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February 17, 2013

Two Bahai students expelled in Kharameh

HRANA, February 15

Sepideh Vaziri-Pourhaqiqi and Samir Golshan ( سپیده وزیری پورحقیقی و سمیر گلشن ) have been expelled from the Kharameh campus of Payam-e Nour University because of their Bahai beliefs. They were in the fourth semester of studies in Agricultural Engineering.

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January 28, 2013

Bahai school student expelled in Isfahan

Bahai News Service (Persian), January 14

Recently a school in Isfahan added the category “Bahai” to the recognized religions on its registration form. When Ruya Eshraqi ( رؤیا اشراقی ) entered her religion as “Bahai,” she was immediately expelled, and has twice applied to be re-enrolled without success. [The event is not dated in this report, and the Bahai News Service can be as much as a year behind events. The school year in Iran begins in late September. There have been several other incidents in Isfahan in which Bahai school students have been expelled, in some cases being reinstated later. ~ Sen]

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January 27, 2013

Two brothers expelled from Tabari University in Babol


PCED, January 27

Sama and Sirus Sabeti ( سما و سیروس ثابتی ) have been expelled from Tabari University in Babol, because of their Bahai beliefs. Sama was in the third semester of a course in Civil Engineering, and Sirus in the 7th semester of a course in architecture. They were instructed by telephone to go to the University security office on January 10. When they did so, they were told they were barred from University buildings. They were put in telephone contact with the head of security at the university, who told them they had been expelled because of their Bahai beliefs. They returned to the university some time later to get a transcript of their results. After several attempts they were told that expelled students would not be issued with transcripts. Two other Bahai students, Shekufeh Derakhshaniyan ( شکوفه درخشانیان ) and Milad Samimi Darzi ( میلاد صمیمی درزی ) have also been expelled in the course of January.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


January 14, 2013

Not one but two Bahai students expelled from Tabari University


PCED, January 14

Shekufeh Derakhshaniyan ( شکوفه درخشانیان ), a student in the seventh semester of a Bachelor’s degree in interior design at Tabari University in Babol was expelled on January 5, because of her Bahai beliefs. As previously reported, a fellow-student, Milad Samimi Darzi ( میلاد صمیمی درزی ), who was in the fifth semester of the same course, was expelled on the same day. Shekufeh Derakhshaniyan received a summons from the head of university security on January 1, and when she went to the education department on January 5, she was informed that in accordance with a letter that the university had received, she and her cousin Milad Samimi Darzi were being expelled because of their Bahai beliefs, and that no written evidence of their expulsion would be provided, and their study results would not bear the university’s stamp or signature. She had been recognized as an outstanding student, with the highest grades among her fellow-students.

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January 9, 2013

Bahai student expelled in Babol


HRANA, January 8

Milad Samimi Darzi ( میلاد صمیمی درزی ), who was in the fifth semester of a degree in interior design at Tabari University in the city of Babol (formerly known as Barforush), in Mazandaran province, has been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. On January 1, he was summoned to the university’s security office where his student card was taken from him, and he was barred from the university premises. On January 5, two days before the end of term examinations, he was again summoned to the university security office where, after two hours of waiting in the vestibule, his expulsion from the university was communicated to him verbally. When he insisted on a more official statement and explanation, officials told him it was due to his bad attitude, and he was denied permission even to say farewell to his classmates. When he asked for the copies of his results, officials told him the pages would not have the stamp or signature of the university.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


January 4, 2013

Bahai student expelled in Tehran


PCED, January 1

Mithaq Imam Verdi ( میثاق امام وردی ) a Bahai student of Computer Science at the K.N.Toosi University of Technology in Tehran, has been expelled because of his “adherence to the Bahai Faith.” About two weeks before the final examinations of his first Bachelor’s year, he was summoned to the University’s security office, and was later told indirectly that he had been expelled. Only after he had gone to the university’s Director of Security was he told that he had been expelled because of his Bahai beliefs. However staff at the University’s central office described this as “bizarre and illogical.”

[Iran’s official propaganda denies that Iran operates an apartheid system. In November 2011, the head of Iran’s judiciary, Mohammad Javad Larijani, claimed you can find Bahai’s in universities as students as teachers. There are more than 300 Baha’i students in universities. They are professors. They are very affluent people; they have big factories and companies.” Thus the staff of the university office may have been genuinely unaware of the policy to deny Bahais access to tertiary education.]

Two years ago, Mithaq’s sister, Mina Imam Verdi ( مینا امام وردی ), was expelled for the same reason from Zanjan University, where she was in the third semester of a degree in agriculture.

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November 30, 2012

Egypt to exclude Bahais from education

Muslim network for Bahai rights, November 30

On November 30th, Egypt’s Minister of Education, Ibramim Ghanem, gave an interview to the Egyptian newspaper al-Sabah. In the context of a discussion of Egypt’s changing education policy, one question affirmed the long-standing legacy of marginalized minority religions such as the Baha’i faith across Egyptian society. The newspaper asked, “What is the position of the ministry regarding the right of Baha’is to enroll their children in school?” His response was: “State law in accordance with government procedures only recognizes three religions, and the Baha’i faith is not among them. Thus their children do not have the right to register in government schools.”

Full story (in English)

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November 16, 2012

Another student expelled in Qazvin

Personal communication, November 16

A reliable source in Iran reports that another Bahai student has been expelled from one of Qazvin’s universities. This time it is Sepehr Hasim ( سپهر حصیم ), a student of computer science at the Shahid Baba’i University. He was summoned to the security office by telephone, on October 28 (thus, before the other 3 Bahai students whose expulsions were reported recently). When he made enquiries regarding his status with the Vice-Chancellor, on the same day, he was told the decision to expel him had been made by the national office of evaluations of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. This office is responsible for entrance examinations and other qualifications, and for determining degree equivalencies. When he asked for the reason, university officials told him they had no information, and he was referred from office to office until someone at the Department of Education eventually gave him his expulsion order. It stated that the security office had determined that he was a Bahai. Mr. Hasim had achieved a high (entrance examination) score and was accepted to study at the Islamic Azad University, a chain of privately run universities with 400 branches across Iran, but since this university refuses to accept Bahai students, he had enrolled at the government-run institution in Qazvin.

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November 14, 2012

Two more students expelled in Qazvin


PCED, November 13

Nova Hamidi and Mona Ashrafi ( نوا حمیدی و مونا اشرفی ), who had been studying computer science at at Imam Khomeini International Technical University in Qazvin, have been barred from further study because of their Bahai beliefs. They began their studies in 2011. When they were summoned by telephone and presented themselves the university’s security office, they were told that questions of religious belief would be dealt with by the central security office since officers from the Ministry of Intelligence would be questioning them about their religious beliefs, and their further study would depend on their signing a promise. They were presented with a text saying:

“I promise that, so long as I am at the university, I will not pay any attention to messages from the Universal House of Justice and will have no links with them, or those linked to them, and that I will put the regulations and principles of the regime and of the university before any instructions from the House of Justice.”

When the students refused to sign this they were asked to sign a second text saying “I testify that I am only obedient to the House of Justice which is free of error.”

Since they refused to sign these statements, they were expelled, without being given any evidence of their expulsion. This [along with the case of Tanin Torabi reported here on November 10] represents a new way of building a case against Bahai students.

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


November 11, 2012

Bahai student expelled in Qazvin


HRANA, November 10

Tanin Torabi ( طنین ترابی ), a Bahai student in the third semester of a course in English translation at Imam Khomeini International University in Qazvin, has been barred from further study because of her religious beliefs. She was summoned to the University’s security office on October 28. Security officers asked her to promise that, so long as she was at the University, she would pay no attention to messages from the Universal House of Justice, and have no links to the House of Justice and its associated institutions, and would put principles and regulations of the regime and the university before any instructions from the House of Justice. Since she was not willing to sign this promise, she was expelled on the spot, without being given any documentation of her expulsion.

Editorial comment
: This report is very interesting, since the anxiety of these University officials focuses on obedience to a foreign institution rather than on heresy. This suggests the possibility that Bahais might be allowed to study at university, if the authorities can be made aware of the principle that:

“they [the Bahais] will, unhesitatingly, subordinate the operation of [Bahai] laws and … principles to the requirements and legal enactments of their respective governments.
(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 66)

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November 8, 2012

Another Bahai student expelled from university

HRANA, November 7

Farid Muhammadzadeh ( فرید محمد‌ز اده), a Master’s student at the University of Isfahan, was expelled because on November 4, because of his Bahai beliefs. He is a student of theoretical physics, and had successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree at Isfahan University. Because of his high grades, he was admitted to the Master’s course in fundamental physics without having to take the admissions examination. At the time he was told that he had been expelled, he had completed all the requirements for a Master’s degree except for his dissertation. He was allowed 10 days to lodge an objection [which he has done], but has not received any reply. An unusual aspect of this expulsions is that the University of Isfahan originally sent him a letter of disenrollment two years ago, and after that, accepted his enrollment [in the Master’s course].

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September 5, 2012

Keyvan Rahimiyan to begin his 5-year sentence


PCED, September 5

Keyvan Rahimiyan ( کیوان رحیمیان ), a Bahai from Tehran and one of the teachers at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) in Iran, has been informed by telephone that he will begin serving his 5-year sentence, in Tehran’s Evin Prison, within 12 days. The judgement of the court of review, regarding his sentence, has not yet been communicated to him. He has been charged with collaborating with the Bahai Open University.

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September 1, 2012

Leva Khanjani begins 2-year sentence

Persian Icons, August 27

Leva Khanjani, a Bahai citizen banned from continuing her education, appeared at Tehran’s Evin Prison on Saturday, August 25, 2012 to begin serving her two-year prison term.

Leva Khanjani and her husband, Babak Mobasher, were first arrested on January 3, 2010 and were later transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison. The couple was released on bail on March 1, 2010. The Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced the couple to two years in prison on September 29, 2010. Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court under Judge Movahed later upheld the sentence.

Today’s featured link (click the pen): A Baha’i litmus test for Egypt by Dwight Bashir – lists and refutes Islamists’ myths about the Bahais in Egypt


Leva Khanjani is granddaughter of Jamaleddin Khanjani, one of seven Bahai leaders who were sentenced to 20 years in prison after their May 2008 arrest. She is also sister of Foad Khanjani, who was sentenced to four years in prison by Tehran Revolutionary Court on January 17, 2012. Both Jamaleddin and Foad Khanjani are now serving their sentences inside Rajaee Shahr Prison.

Leva Khanjani’s father, Alaeddin Khanjani was also arrested by security forces on February 10, 2010 and was released on bail on March 16, 2010.

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July 28, 2012

Security forces try to arrest Bashir Ehsani


Khabar Navard, July 28

At dawn on July 25, security agents raided the home of Bashir Ehsani ( بشیر احسانی ) in Tehran and sought to arrest him, but he was not at home. Bashir Ehsani is an activist in for the rights of children, and against discrimination in education, and one of the members of the PCED (whose web site today has the text and translation of a heart-rending account of the visit of 2-year old Artin to his mother Faran Hesami ( فاران حسامی ) in Evin prison).

Bashir Ehsani had been sentenced to 2 years in prison, suspended for five years. This is the second time in a month that security forces have come to his house to arrest him. He was first arrested on February 10, 2010, along with his mother and several other Bahais, following the Ashura protests of 2009, which the regime tried to blame on a Bahai conspiracy. He was held in solitary confinement in Evin prison and interrogated for 27 days before being released on bail, and since then has been repeatedly summoned for interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence.

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July 22, 2012

Aziz Samandari begins his 5-year sentence


Iran Press Watch, July 21

Aziz Samandari, a 40 year-old Baha’i IT specialist, was arrested on 7 July 2012 in his home in Tehran, to begin serving his 5-year prison sentence, in Evin prison. he was sentenced in October 2011 after a 10-minute trial, in which the only question he was asked was whether he belonged to the Baha’i community. The very short judgment – which was read out but not handed over – speaks of his “active membership in the misguided Baha’i sect” and his association with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education.

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July 19, 2012

Sara Mahbubi begins her sentence


PCED, July 19

Sara Mahbubi ( سارا محبوبی ), a Bahai student excluded from higher education, reported to Sari Prison this morning to begin serving a 10-month sentence. This will be her third period of imprisonment. The first began on June 14, 2010, when she was called to the Ministry of Intelligence building in Sari and held for 24 days before being freed on bail. On July 21, 2011, she was again arrested and held for 17 before being freed on bail. Her brother Wasal Mahbubi ( وصال محبوبی ) was also imprisoned for a time last year.

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July 14, 2012

Fu’ad Moqaddam and Emanullah Mostaqim sentenced: 5 years


PCED, July 14

Fu’ad Moqaddam and Emanullah Mostaqim ( فواد مقدم و امان‌الله مستقیم ), two of those arrested in the course of raids and closure of the Bahai Open University (BIHE) have been sentenced in Tehran to five years in prison. Fu’ad Moqaddam, from Shiraz, was tried on June 23, while Emanullah Mostaqim was tried on June 30. One of the charges against them was “membership of the Bahai community.” They were arrested on May 22, 2011, and freed on bail on June 15 and June 28 respectively.

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July 10, 2012

Two Bahai students arrested in Tehran


PCED, July 10

Mi`ad Afshar (میعاد افشار), a Bahai studying development at the Bahai Open University (BIHE) and his brother Mithaq Afshar ( میثاق افشار ), a member of the PCED (an organisation that protests discrimination in higher education in Iran), were arrested when a large number of security agents raided their home in Tehran on the morning of July 9. The security forces searched their home and took all their personal possessions away. A court official at Evin Prison said that Mi`ad Afshar has been transferred to Bandar Abbas, which is apparently his home town. In March this year he was summoned to the “news” office (a euphemism for Iran’s secret service) in Bandar Abbas and threatened with arrest. On July 3, plain clothes agents appeared at his home (in Tehran) and searched his belongings, and showed a summons calling his brother Mithaq Afshar to appear in court at Evin Prison on July 8. Mithaq Afshar was recently expelled from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran (see the report on this blog, July 5)

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July 1, 2012

Farhad Sadeqi granted leave for medical care

HRANA, July 1

Farhad Sadeqi ( فرهاد صدقی ), one of the imprisoned teachers from the Bahai Open University (BIHE), was granted medical leave beginning yesterday (June 30). He is serving a 4-year sentence in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj (near Tehran).

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Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


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