22 Iranian Baha’is Were Denied Higher Education in September

Posted on: September 22nd, 2019

At least 22 Baha’i students have reportedly been denied entry to universities in Iran despite successfully passing the national admissions test. These Baha’i applicants received a short message with the content: “Dear applicant, there is a flaw in your dossier. Please contact the Response Unit of the Appraisal Agency” when checking their test results online. Last year, at least 58 Baha’i students received the same message. Since 2006, this message has been used to inform several Baha’i students about rejection of their applications.

The 22 Baha’i students who have successfully passed the university entrance exam in 2019 but have been banned from higher education are identified by the Human Rights Activists News Agency as the following (name, city):

Seraj Safaryan (Sari), Tara Ehsan (Karaj), Rojin Kasiri (Karaj), Shamim Idelkhani (Ardabil), Sahand Shirazi (Tehran), Mahtab Khadem (Tehran), Armaghan Enayati (Semnan), Siavash Baloch Gherai (Mashhad), Shailin Aghili (Karaj), Negar Ighani (Shiraz), Rojan Ehsani (Kashan), Ghazal Allahverdi Gorji (Sari), Taranom Kamali (Shiraz), Negin Foroughi (Tehran), Dorsa Mostafavi (Tehran), Aria Ehsani (Karaj), Behzad Yazdani (Sari), Sholeh Movafaghi Eyvali (Sari), Mahsa Forouhari (Karaj), Vafa Nobakht (Sari), Aylar Roshan Nahad (Isfahan), and Noorieh Ferdosian (Isfahan)

Denying Baha’i students’ entry to universities in Iran is not an unprecedented matter. They have been systematically denied access to higher education by the Iranian government. Even dozens of Baha’is who have successfully passed the national examinations and other hurdles to continue their education at the university level have been forced to drop out, even several years into their programs.

Although unofficial sources estimate the Baha’i population of Iran at more than 300,000, Iran’s Constitution officially recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. The Baha’i faith is not acknowledged as an official religion by the Iranian government. As a result, the rights of Baha’is in Iran are systematically violated. Over the years, the government used various tactics at different stages of university admission process including application, entrance examination and enrollment, to exclude Baha’is from education at colleges and universities. From a small number of Baha’i students who have been able to register and start their studies at universities, the majority have been expelled at some point before graduation

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 29, 2019

Posted on: January 29th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 29th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than nine protests were organized across the country. The truck drivers in Tehran, preschool teachers in Bagh-e Malek in Khuzestan province, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Mashhad and Rasht, several people with law degree in Tehran, the residents of Jalalabad, the truck drivers of Bojnourd Cement, the students of Academy of Gondishapur in Ahvaz, and the flood victims in Rafi city in Khuzestan province have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) The security forces on Tuesday, arrested Saeed Sadeghifar in Ardabil. His and four other Turkic minority rights activists’ court was on January 24, on the charge of “establishing illegal groups with the intention to disturbing national security”.

(3) Jafar Azimzadeh and Parvin Mohammadi the leading member and the vice president of the Free Union of Workers in Iran , were arrested for unknown reasons. Their whereabouts are still unknown. Moreover, Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsanirad have been acquitted of charges of “acting against national security” in June 2018. In 2016 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison over charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security through organizing an illegal group’.

(4) Mohammad Khanifar, a Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Company worker, was released on 500 million [approximately 50 thousand USD] bail. He was arrested on Sunday by the intelligence agents in Shush.

(5) Sunni Friday Prayer Leader, Molavi Mohammad Hossein Gorgij, was summoned and interrogated in the Special Clerical Court for seven hours on Monday. In July, he was banned from traveling when he was going to visit Iranshahr Friday prayer Leader about rapes of women in Iranshahr.

(6) Hadi Salehpour, a 29-year-old resident of Ahvaz, was arrested and transferred to the intelligence office detention center in Ahvaz, one and a half month ago. His condition is unknown.

(7) Alireza Moinian’s request of furlough was denied. He was serving his eight months sentence since December and legally, he should have been granted furlough on bail.

(8) A school vehicle crashed into a pickup truck which injured five students in Babolsar, Mazandaran province. They were transferred to the hospital in Babol.

(9) A school vehicle rolled over in Kabudarahang, Hamadan province. Two of the seven students on-board were injured and transferred to the hospital.

(10) Natural gas leakage, poisoned 25 students in a girls’ elementary school in Bam, Kerman province.  A classroom heater’s gas leakage severely poisoned nine of the students. They were transferred to the hospital.

(11) The workers of Zarabad municipality in Sistan and Baluchestan province, have at least seven months unpaid wages.

(12) Mahmoud Naji ended his hunger strike after prison officials promise to fulfill his demands regarding his parole request. He went on a hunger strike for the same cause earlier on December 11, 2018 and ended it on December 25.

(13) Sina Moloudian, a Christian converted, was arrested by security forces in Isfahan and was transferred to an unknown place. His house was searched, and his belongings was confiscated.

(14) Namegh Deldel, a Sunni prisoner of conscience was returned to Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj from the intelligence detention center in Sanandaj. He is serving his sentence of six-year prison term, on the national security related charges.

(15) Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, the lawyer of two detained environmentalists reported that his clients were summoned to the court again. Five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”. The environmentalists who were arrested last year are Houman Jokar, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi, Taher Ghadirian, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, Morad Tahbaz, Hasan Zareh, Aref Zareh, Morteza Aryanejad, Alireza Farhadzadeh, and Kavous Seyed Emami. Seyed Emami, an environmentalist and professor, was arrested as part of this crackdown and reportedly died in detention under unknown circumstances two weeks after his arrest.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 19, 2019

Posted on: January 19th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 19th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) Two Baha’i citizens, Kimia Mostafavi and Kiana Rezvani, have been arrested in Kerman. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

(2) A landmine explosion injured Hadid Babajani, a 19-year-old Kulbar (Kurdish back carrier), in Ravansar city in the Kermanshah province.

(3) Two workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (NSIG) in Ahvaz, Karim Sayahi and Tarogh Khalafi, were released after two months. More than 43 workers of NSIG have been arrested on December 16, 2018.

(4) A student transporting vehicle crashed leaving four students injured in Tehran. Similar incidents had happened in Qaleh Ganj and Ekhtiarabad in Kerman province on January 15 and 16.

(5) A Baha’i owned-business in Birjand was reopened. Farshid Deymi’s store was sealed off by judicial authorities order last year. Apparently, the Baha’i owned-businesses were shut down because they were closed for Bahai religious holidays.

(6) Two detained labor activists, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Arsham Rezaei have their bonds set at 200 million Toman [approximately 20 thousand USD] each. Ebrahimzadeh was arrested last month and he had been released from prison last year after finishing his seven years sentence.

(7) Masoud Shamsnejad, a lawyer and professor, was arrested and transferred to Urmia prison while the security guards raided his home and confiscated his belongings. He was accused of “propaganda against the state” due to being a lawyer of his clients.

(8) A worker died of electrocution in Tehran and another worker fatally fell in Zahedan, because of negligence in the oversight of safety conditions.

(9) Four employees of a news website, Sunni News, were summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Zahedan. Sunni News discusses the Sunni Islam beliefs and rituals with respect to the other religions.

(10) The workers of Khuzestan Pipe Industrial Company have more than 15 months unpaid wages and 11 months unpaid insurance fee owed by the employer.

(11) Two environmentalists have been arrested in Sanandaj city in Kurdistan province. Edris Mohammadi and Avat Karami were arrested for an unknown reason and their whereabouts are still unknown.

(12) More than three protests were organized in Iran on January 19, 2019. Municipality workers in Borujerd, several people in Sistan and Baluchestan, and the workers of Ahvaz inter-city rail, have held separate protests to demand their requests.