Translation by Iran Press Watch
Several Baha’i citizens who have been deprived of the right to education in a letter to Hassan Rouhani call for his urgent and compelling action in the context of educational injustice committed against the Baha’i community. According to a report from the Human Rights in Iran website, a group of Baha’is who were denied the right to education have written a letter to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian President, urging him to take necessary actions and effective measures improving the right of Baha’is to education and to eliminate discrimination in education.
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Honorable Dr. Rouhani:
We, a group of young Iranians, respectfully bring the educational injustice against us to your attention, as an executive authority, and ask for immediate and effective action on this issue. A group of young people in previous generations before 2005 were not even allowed to register for the National Entrance Examination, and for this generation, who is banned from entering university now by a baseless and bizarre determination such as “incomplete dossier” by the Assessment Organization at the time results are announced. This ban is imposed solely because of personal religious conviction, and leads to a series of restrictions on the Iranian Baha’i community, which is clear to you as well as to every Iranian.
The goal of this letter is not to mention all the deprivations suffered by the country’s largest religious minority. Instead we wish to direct your attention only to the right to education as one of the fundamental rights of citizenship, a right the violation of which has challenged our collective dream to build a prosperous Iran over the years, mocking every definition of freedom.
This exclusion has deprived qualified and intelligent Baha’i youth from playing a constructive role in society, and has not only not awarded them the right to higher education, but has also caused them to face long-term incarceration. In describing this tragedy we note that these Baha’i youth continue to be deprived of their right to higher education even in prison.
Is this not contrary to the laws of Islam and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran? These laws have established, regardless of religious belief, color, and ethnicity, an equal entitlement of all to the right to education. These rights have been approved in the Human Rights Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thus, understanding this point may not be easy for us or for future generations: despite such divine and legal norms, why, in an era when civil rights are often praised, are such acts carried out?
We are a group of Iranian Baha’i youth, who, despite the underlying problems and the continuous efforts of some to label Baha’is outsiders, are still trying to reaffirm our determination to serve this land. We strive to focus our sights on building, strengthening and improving the fabric of our society despite current conditions, We hope you will fulfill your promises to guarantee the rights of students and apply the expansion of correct principles of justice in our country.
CC: Elham Amin-Zadeh, Assistant to the President for Civil Rights