[TRANSCRIPT OF ORIGINAL NEWS ARTICLE IN ENGLISH]
[Adapted from website:] The Guardian
[Date:] Friday, 10 June 2011
Stand up for Iranian Baha'is' right to a higher education
Exams are here for students across the country. In Iran, too, students are busy at university – but not if they are Baha'is. The youth of Iran's largest religious minority were banned from university after the 1979 revolution. On 21 May, Iranian authorities raided 30 homes and arrested 16 Baha'is for being part of an initiative to provide higher education to their community.
In 1987, the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education was established to give Iranian Baha'is a chance to study. It has hundreds of students and many come to the UK for postgraduate degrees. The New York Times calls it an "elaborate act of communal self-preservation" – without it, Baha'is would have nowhere to learn.
The authorities have struck the institute before and dozens were arrested. It is official policy to block the development of the Baha'is. Young Baha'is who cannot study are denied a basic human right. Their desire to contribute to society is being strangled at the start of their adult lives.
Academics, students and politicians should join common cause for Baha'i students in Iran. The authorities must be taught that human rights are universal. Barring Baha'is from university exposes the government's own ignorance.
Professor Stephen Chan School of Oriental and African Studies
Professor Sadie Creese Warwick University
Professor Erol Gelenbe Imperial College London
Professor Jonathan Michie Oxford University
Professor Rachel Murray Bristol University
Professor Karalyn Patterson Cambridge University
Dr Andrew Shacknove Oxford University
Professor Patrick Thornberry Keele University
Professor Barbara Wilson Cambridge University
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