Expulsion of Arash Razavian from University Due to His Baha’i Faith

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Source: hamidrezataghipour.wordpress.com

Translation by Iran Press Watch

Date:  Friday, April 27, 2018

As reported by the Human Rights in Iran, quoting the story reported by Didgah-e-No, Seyyed Arash Razavian Rudbardeh, a Baha’i citizen living in Rasht, has been expelled from Gilan University, solely for his belief in the Baha’i Faith.

Born in 1998, Arash Razavian took the nationwide university entrance exam in 2016, and was admitted to study Physics at Gilan University.

According to a reliable source, Mr. Razavian had completed three and a half terms, with no academic problems or issues regarding his conduct that would warrant disqualifying him from continuing his studies. Just before the Persian new year (March 21, 2018), Mr. Razavian was contacted by the University Academic Office and told to report to the University on March 18, 2018. Reporting to that office on the 18th, he was informed that he had been expelled from the University and that further information regarding his expulsion could be sought from the National Academic Review Organization (NARO)

Our source further added, “After the new year holidays, Arash followed up with the National Academic Review Organization (NARO) and was told that he was expelled from university because of his religious belief (Baha’i Faith), which is not one of the country’s four officially recognized religions.”. According to this source, Mr. Razavian told NARO, “I have studied for four terms and it is my right to have the reason for my expulsion indicated in writing.”

The Secretariat of the Central Board of Student Admissions of NARO, associated with the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, under the supervision of Seyyed Morteza Nurbakhsh, the director of the central board of student admissions, responded by letter to Mr. Razavian’s protest against his expulsion. This letter stated, “in reference to your protest dated April 7, 2018, you are hereby notified that in accordance with the requirements of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, your general qualifications were not approved, and you are not qualified to continue your studies at the university.” The Ministry of Science authorities specifically omitted any written reference to Mr. Razavian’s Baha’i Faith.

Our source points out that “they are reluctant to document the reason, and my friends and I were even surprised that they put any of it in writing.”

“Arash was not satisfied with that letter and made a second request for a response, which after three days he received a second letter to the same effect as the previous one. The letter again said that in accordance with the requirements of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, you are not allowed to study.” In the letter from Gilan University, signed by the Director of Academic Services, and seen by the reporter from Didgah-e-No, it states “Mr. Seyyed Arash Razavian Rudbardeh, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Physics in the daytime program of this University, per the letter no. 1/1462/m from the National Academic Review Organization, his admission has been revoked and upon expulsion has no academic association with the University.” Additionally, the letter referenced remanding Mr. Razavian to the 10+ police force, for enforcing the mandatory military service.

Baha’is are banned from Iranian universities based on the regulation approved on February 25, 1991 by the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, which in also bars Baha’is from government employment. According to Article 3 of this regulation, not only should the Baha’is not be allowed to enroll in universities, should it become know that a Baha’i is engaged in a course of study, they should be expelled and banned from continuing their education.

Following the Islamic Revolution and the launch of the Cultural Revolution, the persecution of Baha’i citizens has been carried out on a systematic scale. According to the Baha’i News agency, more than 100,000 Baha’i citizens have been banned from continuing their education since the 1979 Revolution.

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