Top Student Expelled for Being Baha’i

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Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA News- Sama Zazifi, a student majoring in architecture at the University of Shahriar, was expelled for being a Baha’i. Despite depriving Baha’is from attending universities by the administration, some Baha’i students were occasionally admitted, but were not allowed to finish their studies (and were expelled before receiving a degree).

According to HRANA- Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran- on Saturday 1/5/2019, Sama Nazifi, a Baha’i student studying architecture at the University of Shahriar, was expelled from the university and barred from taking more classes.

“On Saturday, Sama Nazifi was given her credentials and told that she had been expelled. She had received awards and recognition as a top student in the previous year,” a source close to her told the HRANA reporter. Despite this, the Baha’i student will not give up trying. Few Baha’is manage to be admitted to some universities in Iran, but after a while are expelled using different excuses. Earlier, HRANA had reported the expulsion of Baha’i students in different cities.

Contrary to the Iranian Constitution, Baha’is are prevented from attending universities and are banned from employment in public places, according to a 1991 ruling of the Supreme Council of the Iranian Cultural Revolution.

Every year there are reports of the prevention of Baha’i citizens from continuing education at Iranian universities. This includes even those who are on the verge of graduation.

In November of 2018, HRANA published a detailed report of the pressure on the Baha’i community and the arrest of believers of this religion. According to the report, Baha’is in different cities have faced a new wave of persecutions and violations of human rights from the beginning of the year till November 28. The prevention of at least 58 Baha’i students from admission to universities; the expulsion of at least 11 Baha’i students at different levels from universities; the prohibition from engaging in economic activities and the expulsion of at least 6 Baha’is from their own workplace or private companies; the summons and arrests of 72 Baha’is by security forces; the sentencing of 24 Baha’is to a total of 46 years of imprisonment and 9 years of exile; the provision of extensive so-called “cultural and media products” to demonize Baha’is; the plundering and the continuation of the sealing of Baha’i businesses and shops; the destruction of graves and prevention of burial of Baha’is in their cemeteries in different cities are all only part of the increase in pressure on this community since the beginning of 2018 till the 28th of November.

Baha’is in Iran are denied freedom of religious beliefs. This systematic exclusion occurs even though, according to 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, everyone has the right to choose his religion and to express his belief and conviction freely, individually or collectively and publicly or in secret.

According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrians, and does not recognize the Baha’i Faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated in recent years.


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