Tuesday 29 Day 1388 [19 Jan 2010]
Society for Combating against Educational Discrimination ( P.C.E.D. ): Physical assault on two Baha’i students by their Qur’an teacher
Following a series of governmental activities aimed at the denial of rights to the Baha’is of Iran, a short time ago two Baha’i students at the Sa’adat Guidance School in Shiraz were subjected to severe physical assault by their Qur’an instructor, whose name was Mr Rashidi.
The following account describes the episode, in the words of one of the two 12 year old students:
‘ The end-of-the-period bell had not rung yet, but the Qur’an instruction had finished.
The students were talking together quietly, when suddenly the teacher’s voice made us all silent: ” You two, come here!”. I thought he was addressing the students sitting behind us, but he was probably calling my friend and me. Before rising from our seats, the teacher reached our desk and first attacked my friend, who was sitting on the first spot of the bench. With several harsh blows he threw him off his seat and dragged him to a corner of the room, where he set upon him with fist blows and kicks. Stunned and frightened, I was looking at the teacher, who was walking towards me. I was frozen in my place in terror when his fist blows showered my head and face. The only thing I could do was to cover my neck to avoid the blows hitting my neck — because I had recently had a tonsillectomy, and was worried that the blows might hit the surgery spot. At any rate, he threw me to a corner of the room, as he had done to my friend, and said “sit here on the floor”, as again he kicked us with all his might. As the repeated blows were falling on my head, the only sound I heard were the insults he heaped on the beliefs of my friend and me. Whenever he entered the classroom, addressing us two, he would denigrate the Baha’i Faith before starting his lesson. I don’t know why on that day he displayed such harsh behaviour toward us for our belief. I felt he had always waited for an opportunity for vengeance against us, due to our belief in the Baha’i Faith, and now he had found that chance, carrying out his teaching duties appropriately! Beaten and heart-broken, I went home.
‘The next day, my parents came to school to pursue the matter. The Principal, Mr Shafi’i, categorically denied that the episode had occurred, and promised to my family that if such a thing had in fact happened he would speak to the teacher. Arriving at the school the next day, I expected that we would certainly be consoled. The Principle, addressing the morning assembly from his podium, began with insults and undeserved accusations against the Baha’i Faith, calling it a British and Israeli invention, with followers who held empty and baseless beliefs, and who were spies and enemies of Islam. I was stunned. It seemed that instead of the teacher being chastised, he had been advised to play his part in this breach of rights in the most appropriate way!! ‘
As is stated in the National Charter of Student Rights:
Fundamental Student Rights:
- Article 1 – A student has the right to free speech and belief, and is to be protected from harm after expressing same.
- Article 2 – A student is protected against harm to his body, emotional and personal dignity. His supreme human station must be respected.
Society for Combating against Educational Discrimination
Translation by Iran Press Watch