[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Open letter by the Baha’i students deprived of education to the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

As we leave the month of Mordad [July], we are reminded of the days when a great number of Baha’i students were faced with being deprived of education after the results of the National Entrance Examinations were announced.  The regime of the Islamic Republic, who from the time of the Cultural Revolution until the year 1383 [2007/05] had prevented the participation of Baha’i students in the National Entrance Examination by adding the choice of religion on the examination forms, also planned to suppress and isolate the Baha’is from the rest of society by adding the notation of “incomplete file”, and other such schemes, in the applicants’ test result reports after that year.  A few applicants who, owing to pressures exerted by the international institutions, were able to enter the universities between the years 1383 to 1387 [2004 to 2009], were gradually expelled and some of them who are still studying in universities do not have academic immunity.  It should be mentioned that these violations, which have been happening for thirty years, have their roots in the Cultural Revolution which occurred in 1359 [1980/81] for the purpose of uniformity and Islamization of the universities and cleansing of [expelling] the professors and students.

 

Now, a group of Baha’i students who have been deprived of education in the past thirty years, herby announce their requests as follows:

 

  1. Readmission of the Baha’i students who have been expelled from universities because of their beliefs.
  2. Investigation of those who were faced with a “failed” result after choosing their field of study because of their adherence to the Baha’i Faith, despite their achievement of high grades.  All indications show that these students had passed the Entrance Examinations and were one hundred percent qualified to enter the university.  Considering their achievements in the Entrance Examinations, these students should have the same opportunities as other applicants to enter universities in this current year.
  3. Announcement of the grades of a large number of applicants who, because of their adherence to the Baha’i Faith, did not receive their test result reports and instead were faced with the phrase “incomplete file”.  Considering the background of their studies, many of them were successful in the National Entrance Examinations.  These applicants should be given the same opportunity as other applicants to enter universities, as well as being able to receive their grades.

 

In the coming days the first results of the National Entrance Examination will be announced.  Considering the past records of the regime in preventing the Baha’is from continuing their studies, we anticipate that, as in previous years––after they choose their field of study––the Baha’i applicants will be deprived of continuing their education in the year 1388 [2009], facing barriers such as incomplete file, failing grades and not being issued test result reports.

 

Considering the above conditions, the Baha’i applicants for the National Entrance Examination in the year 1388 [2009] announce the following requests:

 

  1. Announcement of the grades of all applicants in the National Entrance Examination without being confronted with issues such as incomplete file and non-issuance of test result reports.
  2. Recognition that electing the Islamic Culture [course] in the registration form by the Baha’is does not indicate the religion of the applicant.  The choice of Islamic Culture [course] in the registration form should not be considered as the religion of the applicants, and should not result in the Baha’i applicants’ not being allowed to continue their studies.
  3. After the applicants are allowed to choose their field of study they should not be given a “failed” answer, owing to their adherence to the Baha’i Faith.
  4. After choosing their field of study and entering the university, the applicants should not be denied registration and continuation of their studies owing to their adherence to the Baha’i Faith.

 

It should be mentioned that these deprivations are not limited to the Baha’is only; they were implemented for unorthodox thinkers in the universities since the year 1359 [1980/81], with the start of the Cultural Revolution and Islamization of the universities and removal of leftist ideologies.  Selection of professors and students, forced retirements and the expulsion of a great number of liberal university lecturers and individuals with radical ideas were part of this plan.  According to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, about eight thousand university professors that comprised nearly half of the professors in the universities in Iran, were removed from the universities during the Cultural Revolution.  The policy of uniformity of universities and removal of any kind of critical ideas was completely continued.  Of course, in recent years, after a short break, these deprivations have once more been increased and are reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution of 1359 [1980/81] and the days of uniformity and expulsion of students and professors in the universities.

 

Now, the Baha’i students who are deprived of education announce their requests as follows:

 

  1. Investigation of the files of the students who, owing to being identified and marked with stars  , have been deprived of education, and removal of this deprivation.  We request that in future we do not witness marking of the students with stars.  We also request that the problems of students who have been temporarily barred from studying, after receiving heavy disciplinary orders, and as a result are going to be expelled at the approach of the end of the scholastic year, be looked into.
  2. We request the removal of the discriminatory scheme of selecting native individuals according to their gender, allocation according to gender, and any other project that inhibits the attendance of women in universities.
  3. To investigate the situation of the students who are imprisoned because of their beliefs and their social activities.  We request their immediate release.