[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Adapted from website:] BBC
[Date:] 17 Farvardin 1393 [6 April 2014]
Javad Larijani: Just Being a Baha’i Does Not Lead to A Trial or Ban On Education
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary of the human rights staff of the Iranian judiciary, rejecting [any accusations of] discrimination and violation of the rights of individuals because they are Baha’is in the country said, “Individuals are not tried or barred from studying in Iran, simply because they are Baha’is.”
According to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), today, Sunday, 17 Farvardin [6 April], referring to reports of violations of minority rights in Iran, Mr. Larijani said, “Human rights reports against Iran that minority rights are not guaranteed are blatant lies, and such racist statements are sectarian and against human rights standards.”
Emphasizing that Baha’ism is not an official religion, he added, “Authorities have never dealt with followers of this religion simply because they are Baha’is, because according to the constitution they believe that every Iranian citizen has rights, and his constitutional rights cannot be denied.”
Meanwhile, the Baha’i International Community and religious minority rights activists in Iran say that after the Revolution, Baha’is were barred from holding government jobs and studying at universities.
Rejecting Mr. Larijani's remarks, Padideh Sabeti, a spokesman for the Baha’i community, told BBC Persian, “All those people who are in prisons and are Baha’is are imprisoned because of their [religious] beliefs. This fact is not just stated by the Baha’i community; the lawyers who defended them also say that, ‘There is not the slightest evidence to prosecute and detain these people; it is only religious bigotry’. Mr. Larijani should study this issue and see where the problem lies.”
Regarding the ban imposed on Baha’is against receiving education, a spokesperson for the Baha’i [International] Community said, “About preventing the students from entering the university, a number of them (Baha’i students) have been told, ‘If you give up your belief and deny your opinion and write Muslim, [as your religion] you can enter the university.’”
The Iranian government does not recognize the religion of Baha’ism.
According to the Baha’i International Community, “Dozens of Baha’is are currently in prison in Iran for their beliefs.” Iranian authorities, meanwhile, have made other allegations against them, including [that they maintain] links to Israel.