Sara Panahi and Navid Moghaddam have been expelled from the Payam-e Nour University’s campus in Urmia because of their belief in the Baha’i Faith. Miss Panahi was in the fifth term of a degree in Persian Literature, and Mr. Moghaddam was in the fifth term of a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Both are also banned from further tertiary study.
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize the Baha’i Faith, nor does it recognize the rights of its followers.
Baha’is in Iran face many restrictions, including deprivation of the right to higher education and a ban on certain occupations.
In contrast, the first paragraph of Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that “Everyone has the right to education,” and that “Technical and professional education shall be made generally available, and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” Also the first paragraph of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education states that “For the purposes of this Convention, the term “discrimination” includes any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference which, being based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth, has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing equality of treatment in education”.