Expelled for Being a Baha'i – The Case of Mona Muhabbati

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[In continuing the series of personal descriptions of Baha’i students who have been expelled from their institutions of higher education, the prestigious organization Human Rights Activists of Iran published the following account on Wednesday, 22 October 2008, http://www.hrairan.com/Archive_87/1132.html. A translation follows. Ahang Rabbani.]

I am Mona Muhabbati, born in Kermanshah in 1987. In 2006, having been assigned student certificate number 855360157, I successfully completed the national college entrance exam, selected industrial management as my major and enrolled in Shahid Reza’i University in Kermanshah.

In the same year, two other Baha’i students of Kermanshah also found the means to enroll along with me. However, one of them was expelled during the first month and the other one was expelled after one semester. For this reason, I was awaiting my expulsion as well, and this anxiety deeply perturbed and worried me.

However, I was not expelled, and because of this, with great joy and immense hope I continued. I had come to believe that I was a student.

Two years passed. After I had registered for the fourth semester, two weeks into my classes, the school official in charge of registration took me to the office of the university president, who told me that I was not permitted to remain a student there. He stated the reason was a problem with my initial acceptance to the school! Four semesters had passed and now they were stating this excuse without any written documentation. As easily as this I was barred from further education in 5 minutes.

I met our university president several more times. In these subsequent meetings he told me that the reason for my expulsion was that I was a Baha’i.

Despite this and despite having been expelled, for 3 more days I continued to attend all my classes, but my name had been removed from the roster of every professor.

The way that the school official took me to the president’s office – treating me as if a dangerous felon was being taken to trial – my friends and other students who knew me and had witnessed this incident were deeply puzzled and wondered what I could have done to merit such treatment. Each of them had a different theory as to why a dedicated student like me had been expelled. However, during those three days that I went back to school, I tried to convey the truth to my friends and classmates, and acquaint them with what actually had transpired.

After that period of three days, they did not allow me onto the school premises anymore. The school guard severely threatened me and said, “If you insist in coming this way again, we will deliver you to the police.”

Along with one of the leading Baha’is from our town, I went to the local police headquarters and conveyed the issue to them. Three times a written complaint was taken by the police to the university, but no one at the school was willing to respond.

Eventually my file was taken to the revolutionary court. The judge, however, ruled that there was no cause for the police to further pursue the matter. I appealed his ruling and once again my case was opened.

It is now six months since that time and I still await the court ruling, but have so far heard nothing.

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