Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA: Mahsa Forouhari, a Baha’i citizen living in Karaj has once again been prevented from continuing her education. After registering in the system of the assessment organization, which admits students based on academic records, to enter university without entrance exams, and despite having a grade point average above 19, she encountered another denial via a message of “Deficient filing” for the 10th consecutive year.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists in Iran, Mahsa Forouhari, a Baha’i living in Karaj, was barred from continuing her education due to the continued ban of Baha’i citizens from university education.
Mahsa Forouhari, who in previous years repeatedly passed the entrance exam to university and yet was barred repeatedly from matriculating because of being a Baha’i, on the pretext of a file deficiency, was once again barred from entering a university today. She registered in the system of the assessment organization which allows one to enter university without taking the entrance exam, based on academic records. This organization’s site messaged her the because she is a Baha’i and “file deficiency” she has been denied access to university studies without entrance exams.
HRANA had previously published the identities of at least 21 Baha’i citizens who were confronted with the same message during the 2020 entrance exam and were prevented from continuing their education.
These citizens have been deprived of education under various headings, including “Deficient Filing” and “Case Investigation”. The “Deficient Filing” option in this case is a common trick that has been used since 2006 to deprive Baha’i citizens of the opportunity to continue their education.
Despite the explicit wording of the law, according to a confidential decree of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, Baha’is are barred from university education in addition to being barred from government employment.
Despite the deprivation of Baha’i citizens of university education, some of these citizens have occasionally been able to enter university and after some time have been barred from continuing their education by the authorities under various pretexts.
Every year many reports are published about the banning of Baha’i citizens from education in Iran’s universities. Even those Baha’i students who are on the verge of graduation may find themselves suddenly prevented from continuing their studies.
Throughout the existence of the current Iranian regime, United Nations rapporteurs on human rights in Iran have repeatedly denounced the persecution of the Baha’i community, in particular the denial of the right to education for Baha’i students, considering it a blatant example of the Iranian government’s disregard for human rights treaties.
Baha’is in Iran are denied freedom of religion, a systematic exclusion, in contravention of article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to both of which Iran is a signatory, which state that everyone has a right to freedom of religion and to religious conversion based on personal belief, as well as the freedom to express it individually or collectively, in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is; however, the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, Baha’i rights in Iran have been systematically violated for a number of years.