Shirin Bani Nejad, Baha’i Student, Expelled from University

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Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA News Agency – Shirin Bani Nejad, a full-time fifth-semester undergraduate student in computer science at Sama Andisheh Azad University, was barred from continuing her studies because she is a Baha’i, and has been prevented from continuing her education. Despite deprivation of access to universities for Baha’i students, some of them have sometimes managed to enter university; after a while, they are prevented from continuing their education for various reasons.

According to HRANA News Agency – Human Rights Activists news agency in Iran – a Baha’i student named Shirin Bani Nejad was expelled from the Sama Andisheh unit of Azad University because she is a Baha’i.

A source close to the family of this Baha’i citizen told a HRANA Reporter: “On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in a telephone call, Shirin Bani Nejad was asked to go to college. At the university she was informed that she had been expelled from the university a month before. This was announced to her after she had paid her full tuition, and had even taken one of her exams. ”

According to this source, she was dismissed when she only was three exams away from completing her education and receiving a degree.

The informed source also added: “this Baha’i student, along with her family, went to the security and head of the university offices on Saturday. However, no results were reached, as they stated that they had not had a role in expelling this student, and said that if the family had questions, they should go to the Ministry of Intelligence. ”

Even though Baha’i students have been denied access to universities, some of them have sometimes managed to enter university. After a while, they are prevented from continuing their education under various pretexts. HRANA has previously reported about the dismissal of Baha’i students in numerous cities of the country.

In recent days, with the onset of final exams at the end of the semester, a new wave of expulsions of Baha’i students from universities has begun.

Earlier Shayan Ma’navi, a third term student of civil engineering at the Azad University of the city of Qods unit was expelled for being a Baha’i and was prevented from continuing his education.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2018, Badi Safajou, a Baha’i student in the seventh semester of a chemical engineering degree, was dismissed because he is a Baha’i from Azad University’s Science and Research Unit. On Saturday, another Baha’i student, Sama Nazifi, was expelled during an exam from the Azad University’s Shahryar Unit and was prevented from continuing her education.

Despite the explicit provision of the law, according to the Supreme Council of the Iranian Cultural Revolution Baha’is, in addition to being denied employment in government positions, are also deprived of university education.

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

Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of freedoms related to religious beliefs – a systematic exclusion – although in accordance with 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 should have the right to freedom to adopt a religion or belief, and freedom to manifest this religion or belief either individually or in community with others and in public or private.

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


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