Number of Barred Baha’i Students Increases on 2018 National University Entrance Exam

Posted on: September 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A large number of Baha’i students who participated in the 2018 National University Entrance Exam, known as “Konkur,” have had their applications flagged “deficiency on file” on the National Organization for Educational Testing website, a known harbinger of educational aspirations dead in the water.

As an informed source told HRANA, “The ‘deficiency in file’ flag is used on Baha’i citizens to keep them from moving forward in their studies, a practice that’s been prevalent since 2006.”

The barred Baha’i students are Shamim Idelkhani, of Ardebil, ranked #139; Farnia Iliyazadeh of Tehran, studying Mathematics; Parmida Husaynpuli Mamaqani, ranked #4500, studying Mathematics; Sarvin Azarshab of Tehran, studying business, ranked #19000; Parand Mithaqi; Shahrzad Tirgar; and Melina Qavaminik, from Tehran, studying mathematics, ranked #10545.

Yesterday, HRANA reported on a number of Baha’is at the same impasse: Tarannum Mu’tamedi Broujerdi from Shahin Shahr of Isfahan, Faran Abbaspouli Mamaghani from Tehran, Sahand Ghaemi from Shahin Shahr of Isfahan, Vahid Sadeghi Sisan, and Shaghayegh Ghassemi.

In direct violation of the law, Baha’is are prevented from pursuing degrees or employment in government offices, per under-the-table directives from the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. Every year, a new cohort of Baha’is is barred in this way from the university enrollment process.

Since the 1979 revolution, the office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran has repeatedly protested the Iranian government’s animosity towards its Baha’i population, particular in preventing these citizens from furthering their studies. According to the Rapporteur, such directives demonstrate a blatant disregard of multiple international treaties.

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice, be it individually, in groups, in public, or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. However, Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not acknowledge the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Students Protest Elimination of Fixed Exchange Rate

Posted on: September 3rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- A group of students assembled on September 1st, 2018, in front of Iran’s Central Bank on Mirdamad Street in Tehran to protest a decision that would deny access to foreign currencies at a special exchange rate.

A memorandum issued by Iran’s Central Bank that aims to eliminate a lower exchange rate fixed for students and certain importers by September 21 has caused discontent among many Iranians. If the decision in the memorandum holds, many students, including those studying abroad, will have to pay more than double the rate they have been paying for foreign currencies.

The Iranian authorities have historically offered limited quantities of foreign currencies, most notably the American dollar, at a rate less than half of the current market exchange rate.

The Central Bank recently announced that the lower exchange rate will remain in effect for eligible consumers until the end of the year. After that–and unless the decision is overturned–they will be at the mercy of the open market’s steeper prices.

The Iranian currency, known as the rial or toman, has lost more than half of its value since April 2018 alone.

Baha’i Student Expelled from University for Her Religious Beliefs

Posted on: August 19th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Romina Asgari, who was enrolled in a Master’s program in Tehran’s Islamic Azad University (IAU) (1), has been expelled for her Baha’i faith. She was enrolled for four semesters before being barred from continuing her education.

In a letter by the IAU, the reason for her expulsion was cited as “non-conforming social behaviour and attempts to disturb the country’s security, peace and order”. However, Ms Asgari was reportedly absent from the University for the past six months and had been on academic leave for one semester.

Contrary to the letter of the law (2) , the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council (3) has adopted a policy that bars members of the Baha’i religious minority group from university education and employment in public services. Every year, many reports are published about Baha’i students who have been barred from university. The ban includes students who have been accepted to university but have not yet started the school year.

UN special rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Iran have continuously protested against the Iranian authorities’ anti-Baha’i policies and practices – in particular barring Baha’i students from university education – and deemed these practices as instances of the Iranian authorities violating their international commitments.

Based on unofficial reports, there are 300,000 members of the Baha’i faith in Iran, but lack of recognition of their religion by Iran’s constitution has been used as justification for the systematic denial of their rights. Systematic infringements on the rights of Baha’is contravenes Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (4) and Article 18 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (5) , both of which guarantee the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

—–

(1) Islamic Azad University is a network of universities established after the 1979 revolution with branches all across Iran. Unlike Iranian public universities, they charge, at times hefty, tuition fees, and they impose much stricter disciplinary and Islamic dress code. However, they provide access to university education in remote areas. It is governed by a board of trustees who have been taken over recently by hardliners close to Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.

(2) Iran’s constitution does not recognize Baha’i followers as religious minorities, but articles of the Constitution guarantee the right to association for everyone.

(3) The Council was founded in 1984 on the order of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, to ensure Islamization of universities, survey academia to ensure their allegiance to the regime and their adherence to Islamic values.

(4) http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
(5) https://www.ohchr.org/…/professionalint…/pages/ccpr.aspx

Three Student Activists Sentenced to Imprisonment

Posted on: May 11th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Mohsen Haghshenas, student of Stage Designing at Tehran University, was convicted by Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of gathering and collusion with the intention of committing a crime against the security of the country and disturbing public order by taking part in illegal gatherings, to two years imprisonment. Leila Hossein Zadeh and Sina Rabiei, two other student activists, were sentenced to eight years imprisonment in total and a ban on leaving the country.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Mohsen Haghshenas was sentenced to two years imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court. (more…)

A Student Arrested in Tehran

Posted on: May 10th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Banafsheh Cheraghi, student of social sciences at Tehran University, was arrested at her house and taken to an unknown location by security forces on March 5, 2018.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Banafsheh Cheraghi, student of social sciences at Tehran University, was arrested on March 5, 2018. (more…)

Two Student Activists Arrested and Summoned to the Court

Posted on: April 28th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Parisa Rafiee, a student activist and student of fine arts in Tehran University, was arrested by security forces in front of the Qods door of Tehran University. At the same time, Mikael Gholirad, a student who had been detained some months ago and released on the bail, showed up at Branch 1171 of Tehran Revolutionary Court to defend himself of disrupting public order and participating in illegal gatherings.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Parisa Rafieei, a union activist and student of fine arts in the University of Tehran, was arrested by security forces in the afternoon of February 25. (more…)

Pedram Pazireh Released on the Bail

Posted on: April 26th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Pedram Pazireh, the vice president of the Tehran University Union Council, who had been re-arrested after referring to the Branch 4 of the Moghadas court, to complete the investigations of the case on Friday February 19, was released on the bail.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Pedram Pazireh, the Vice-President of Tehran University Union Council, was released on the bail on Wednesday, February 21. (more…)

3 Political Prisoners Released in Hamedan and Tehran

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Majid Rahmat Abadi and Farshid Tajmiri, two students who had been detained in the recent protests, were released on the bail from Hamedan Prison. Ali Shariati, political prisoner, was also released on parole after serving three years of his 5-year imprisonment.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), two arrested students, in the recent protests were released from Hamedan Prison on the bail. (more…)

Two Detained Students Transferred to Orumieh Prison

Posted on: April 4th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Ebrahim Moradi and Matin Khaledi are two students who were arrested in January protests and transferred to the Orumieh prison after completing the interrogation process. They have been charged with spreading propaganda against the regime and are currently being held at the Youth Ward of the Central Prison of Orumieh.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Ebrahim Moradi and Matin Khaledi are two students who were arrested in late December last year. (more…)

Fifty Detainees of Recent Protests Transferred to Zahedan Prison

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018

HRANA News Agency – At least 50 detainees of recent protests were transferred to Zahedan prison from a security agency detention center, allegedly belonging to the Intelligence Ministry, and then were transferred to the security detention center after being fingerprinted on January 10, 2018.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), at least 50 detainees were transferred to Zahedan prison in order to be fingerprinted and then were transferred to the Intelligence Ministry after being fingerprinted on January 10, 2018. (more…)