Translation by Iran Press Watch
According to a report from the “NO to the Harassment and Imprisonment of Baha’is in Iran” campaign, Shomeis Pour Shah Rezai, a Baha’i student from Karaj, a city west of Tehran, was expelled from the School of Architecture of Islamic Azad University in Tehran because of her religious beliefs.
Previously she had been denied admission to other universities due to her religious beliefs, and was falsely charged with “insufficient file”, despite ranking 138th in the Nationwide Entrance Exam1 and 10th in the Nationwide Practical Exam.
“After I was denied entrance to universities, I found out that the School of Architecture of Azad University accepted students without any entrance exams required,” Ms. Rezai referred to her expulsion in an interview with the “NO to the Harassment and Imprisonment of Baha’is in Iran” campaign. “I mentioned to the Azad University admission office that I was a Baha’i. They told me they would mark “other” for religion in my application, as there is no option for “Baha’i”.”
“Two months later, I was summoned by the Security office of University and asked why I had marked ‘other’ for my religion. I replied that I was a Baha’i. They instructed me to write that in my application and I did. Two days later, my student ID was revoked. After I followed this matter up with the General Office of Security and also the office of the Dean of the University, they both declined any knowledge of this issue. A week later, during the final exams, I was expelled from Islamic Azad University, on 6 January 2015,” she added.
In previous years, the declaration of “Insufficient File” by authorities for Baha’i students who wished to attend universities has been enough reason to prevent them from pursuing higher education and from entering Iran universities. It seems as though the same trend will continue this year as well.
Denial of pursuit of higher education by Baha’i students in Iranian universities stems from a secret memorandum issued by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution on 25 February 19912. It states that Baha’i are to be excluded from employment in governmental offices and denied higher education.
According to Article 3 of this memorandum, not only are Baha’is not to be registered at universities, but also they are to be expelled from universities after they have registered or even “during the semester” if they are identified as Baha’is.
1. Last year there were approx 1.4 million participants in the Iranian University Entrance Exam: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_University_Entrance_Exam
2. This memorandum in full English translation can be found here: http://news.bahai.org/human-rights/iran/education/feature-articles/secret-blueprint
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