[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:] Association Against Education Discrimination
[Date:] Monday, 9 Khordad 1390 [30 May 2011]
Support of More Than a Thousand Non-Baha’i Activists and Citizens for the Return of Baha’is to the Country’s Universities
Association Against Education Discrimination – More than a thousand non-Baha’i human rights activists, students and citizens signed a petition supporting and calling for the return of their Baha’i compatriots to the country’s universities.
The text of this petition and the names of its signatories are as follows:
He, like me, is a citizen of this country, a human Iranian Baha’i.
He believes in something that I do not, but he has never bothered me with his ideas, something that has been done to him for years. Depriving Baha’is of their civil rights is a pain.
This pain has pervaded my land for many years, and today it has become more acute. I was shocked to hear of the arrest of the directors of the Baha’i virtual college, and I am sorry for this situation. We do not have as much freedom as we should in our universities, but the deprivation of the right to education of our compatriots is not something that can be easily bypassed simply because they are Baha’is.
For years, our Baha’i compatriots have not had the right to study at universities across their country. They had set up a virtual university, by their own efforts, some time ago, to teach science to other deprived Baha’is, and a few days ago, active members of their university were arrested.
These deprivations have been a black page in the history of Iran, which hosts its children in this way, for the past thirty years.
Although I am not of their religion, we are both human beings and both Iranians; no one has the right to deprive a compatriot of the right to live and study in his/her motherland due to differences of opinion. If a person stays in the country, as in the past thirty years, they have to seek the rights that have been denied to them and face more and more problems each day; if the person leaves the country, he or she has to endure psychological and financial pressures, develop their talent elsewhere, and only keep the memory of exile from their homeland.
Their places behind desks and benches have been left empty in our universities for thirty years.
As a non-Baha’i, I want you to return the Baha’is’ right to education. This is their inalienable right.
[Names of signatories]