Source: Radio JiBi, Published January 18, 2015
Behrad Azargan, a student in the field of Electronic Technology in the Department of Industrial Power at Mulla Sadra Polytechnic Institute of Technology of Ramsar, after passing five semesters, was expelled from the university because he is a Baha’i. In an interview, JiBi Radio examined various angles of this expulsion.
At what point did the university administration become aware that you belong to a religious minority?
According to the university administration, during a review of the student’s files, they realized that in the religion column of the application, I had written “minority” – this is why they immediately called me to the office of the university president and asked me to clarify to which religious minority I belong, and I declared that I am a Baha’i.
When you declared that you were a Baha’i, what was the reaction of the administration towards you?
They were surprised, as if they felt that they should have discovered this matter earlier. Of course, they were just surprised but were not reacting.
How were you expelled, despite the fact that according to you, they were only surprised?
I could not believe that my entire expulsion case just took one hour. Security immediately arrived, and after their own follow-up, they completed my discharge within one hour, and expelled me from that university. I could not believe that after completing five semesters, I was now being expelled because I am a Baha’i.
Did they give you any documents related to your expulsion?
No. When I was leaving the university, they did not let me take any documents with me – they took away all my documents from me except my student Identification Card, which I had previously been given to use at the Division of the Motor Vehicles.
According to the Human Rights division of the Judiciary Branch of Iran, Baha’is have equal rights to education in Iran, and they are allowed to work and study. Are there others besides you who have experienced trouble with respect to the right to an education?
It is not true. Fundamentally, as soon as they find out that you are a Baha’i at the university, they immediately expel you. Even in grade school if they find out that a student is speaking about the Baha’i Faith to other students, the principal will expel the student immediately. I had not even told my own friends that I am a Baha’i, but when the university administration found out, they expelled me. One of my friends, Samin Yazdani, was accepted to the Shahin Shahr college of Architecture, but after passing one term, when they found out he was a Baha’i, he was expelled. The majority of my friends and family who participated in the Nationwide University Entrance Examination either did not get any certification, or they encountered the “incomplete file” issue.
Would you like to go back to the university and start studying again? Have you tried to go back to the university?
At the moment I am not planning to go back to the university, because I think the possibility of getting my rights back would be extremely low.
After the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Supreme Council for the Cultural Revolution, this entity, by a decree, blocked the presence of Baha’i students and faculty at all universities.