(edu-right.net) Letter of Maria Horr, mother of Mr.Vesal and Ms. Sara Mahboobi, two citizens denied access to higher education because of their Baha’i religion, arrested in the city of Saari (Northern Iran) .
05/10/2011: Community Against Denial of Higher Education : The letter posted below is from Maria Horr, mother of Vesal and Sara Mahboobi, two Baha’i citizens arrested in the city of Saari. It was posted on Mother’s Day (May 9), 2011.
Vesal, a student who has been denied access to university education because of his Baha’i religious beliefs, was arrested on Monday, April 25 in the city of Saari, while his sister, Sara, was released from prison the next day, Tuesday, April 26, after posting bail in the amount of 10 million tumans (roughly $10,000). Sara was arrested sometime in March 2011, for the second time in less than a year.
Letter of Mrs. Horr:
I am an Iranian Baha’i Mother. My daughter has been free for a few days now after her second incarceration in less than a year. The first time, they kept her for 24 days, and the second time, she was imprisoned for 17 days in solitary confinement, in a cell that was devoid of the minimum requirements for human habitation.
Before my daughter was released, my son was summoned, and he too was imprisoned in solitary confinement. All that was left was me and an empty house, filled with deep sorrow over the harsh treatment my children were enduring, and its affect on their soul and spirit.
My twenty-year-old daughter was summoned to court a few months after her first incarceration, and was sentenced to 10 months of punitive incarceration and 700,000 tumans (about $700) on trumped-up charges and false accusations (as Baha’is, we are used to such false charges as “propaganda against the regime”) . This judgment was handed to us on a simple piece of paper, without any official insignia, and without the signature or the seal of the Judge.
To seek higher education is one of the highest established rights of people and specially for the young; for some it is as precious as taking a breath. My children, and the children of other Baha’is in Iran, have been denied this fundamental right [only because of their religious belief]. The few who manage to find a way into university are expelled as soon as they are discovered. My daughter was expelled only two weeks into her first year.
According to the words of Imam ‘Ali [son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad], the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, the words of many Islamic scholars and many fellow citizens, Iranian Baha’is, despite having a different religion, are nevertheless citizens of this country and are entitled to their civil rights. Notwithstanding these sentiments, Baha’is have always been subject to brutal and inhumane treatment [by the Islamic republic]. O people of power and position in Iran, Almighty God has placed on you the responsibility to administer justice and equity! See with your own eyes and hear with your ears what has befallen the Baha’is in your country, and how they live!
To try to rob people of their right to freedom of thought is surely not beloved by God. The Almighty has reserved for Himself the right to judge people on what they think or believe, and does so according to His Own Mercy and Judgment in the next world. If people are to be punished, or deprived of their rights, for their thoughts in this world, then all of us [including you], without exception, will be deserving of punishment and suffering.
I seek my son’s freedom. I seek the freedom of all who are incarcerated for their thoughts and beliefs. Freedom of conscience, of thought, of religion and belief are among the unalienable human rights [recognized by our civilization at this time in its evolution]. If these rights are not upheld, then being out of jail is of no value. They can keep arresting you whenever they feel like it, as my daughter has been arrested twice.
Youth are God’s gift and grust among us. They are pure and priceless. We should not deprive them of their love of life. We must so respect them that they may be enabled to fully develop their talents and potential, and in due time, discharge their responsibilities to our country and to the world.
I beseech God to aid all fair-minded and caring individuals in our struggle to win our right to freedom of conscience, and to bestow this great bounty on the noble people of Iran. For my dear children, and all those who seek peace, friendship and truth, I wish, above all, honor and dignity.
[signed] Maria Horr
Translation by Iran Press Watch
Source: http://www.iranpresswatch.org/fa/post/2869 and http://edu-right.net/خانه/881-nameh-maria-hor.html