Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency- This year, a number of Baha’i participants in the National Entrance Exam (NEE) have been denied access to higher education for their religious beliefs. The reason they were given for this denial was “Incomplete File” on the website of the Assessment Organization – the organizers of the NEE.
According to HRANA- Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran- after taking the NEE test, some Baha’i students noted the message of “Incomplete File” on the Assessment Organization website and were denied access to higher education for being a Baha’i.
The names of three of these Baha’i students are verified by HRANA as “Vafa Nobakht from Sari, ranked 657 on NEE, Aylar Rowshan Nahad, ranked 107 on NEE, and Nourieh Ferdowsian from Isfahan”.
It is noteworthy that Vafa Nobakht had been denied with the same excuse when he took NEE in the previous year.
These students have been prevented from continuing their education under various excuses like “Incomplete File”. This specific excuse has been commonly used since 2006 as a reason to prevent Baha’i students from advancing in education.
Despite the explicit wording of the law, Baha’is are not only denied employment in public places, but are also prevented from seeking higher education, in accordance with a confidential resolution by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council of Iran.
Every year, there are many reports of Baha’i being deprived of their places at Iranian universities. This includes even those who are about to graduate.
Last year, HRANA reported and exposed 58 cases of such denials among Baha’i students who took the NEE.
UN Human Rights in Iranian Affairs rapporteurs have repeatedly protested the anti-Baha’i campaign in Iran, particularly the systematic prevention of Baha’i students from pursuing higher education in that country. They called it a manifestation of disregard for human rights treaties by the government of Iran.
Baha’is in Iran are systematically deprived of their freedom to practice their religion, even though Article 18 of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and Article 18 of “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, to which Iran is a signatory, declare that everyone has the right to practice and change their religious beliefs and express them freely as an individual or as a group, either publicly or in private.
According to unofficial sources, there are over 300,000 Baha’is in Iran; however, the Iranian Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrian as official religions, and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is have been violated constantly and denied systematically in Iran.