[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Adapted from website:] Baha’i World News Service

[Date:] 3 Farvardin 1388 (23 March 2009)

 

A summary of ongoing harassment of elementary and high school students

Latest news from Iran:

A recent report from Iran lists seventy-seven cases of harassment of Baha’i students in primary and secondary school between September 2008 and February 2009. According to Baha’is in Iran, the incidence of such harassment undoubtedly is far greater than this list. Some examples of this harassment are as follows:

• Twenty cases of students’ being insulted by teachers or school principals (Isfahan, Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Fardis, Villashahr, and Shiraz)

• Expulsion of four Baha’i students from school (Karaj and Kashan)

• Refusal to enrol two Baha’i students (Tehran and Karaj)

• Seven cases of threats to expel Baha’i students if the religion is propagated (Isfahan and Shiraz)

• Five cases of Baha’i students or their parents’ being forced to sign a pledge not to preach the Baha’i Faith at school (Karaj, Rasht, and Isfahan)

• Holding of five anti-Baha’i seminars in schools (Isfahan and Shiraz)

• Four cases of distribution of anti-Baha’i material in schools (Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz)

• Four cases of Baha’i students’ being forced to participate in Islamic religious ceremonies (Isfahan and Karaj)

• Six summonses of Baha’i students and their parents to the Ministry of Intelligence and school security offices (Rasht, Isfahan, Karaj, Tehran and Rudehen)

• Two cases of Baha’i students’ being encouraged to change or conceal their religious beliefs (Villashahr and Isfahan)

In some schools in Isfahan, Villashahr, Tehran, Rudehen, and Karaj, school principals have informed parents of Baha’i students that, according to a new directive from the Office of Security, Baha’i students must be identified by completing a form called “Other Religion Profile Registration Form”.

The following examples provide clearer evidence of the situation of Baha’i students:

• All school principals in Karaj have received a list of names of Baha’i students and have been asked to identify the names of those who attend their schools. (It is not known which department sent this request.)

• In Isfahan, a pamphlet called “Freedom and Coverage” was distributed in a girls’ school. A section of the pamphlet entitled “Colonial Efforts” claims that the British, Jews, and especially the Baha’is, plotted and “laid the groundwork” for the “removal of the veil.”

• In a middle-school in Isfahan, a cleric, in his speech, called the Baha’is a greater enemy of Islam than the United States and Israel and said that the Baha’is were responsible for destroying Shi’ite shrines in Iraq. Baha’i students were not allowed to respond to these allegations.

• The principal of a middle school in Isfahan threatened Baha’i students that they would be expelled from school if they practiced their religion, informing them that he had received a circular denying Baha’is the right to participate in team sports.

• A cleric at an elementary school in Villashahr expelled a fourth grade Baha’i girl and, after explaining to her that her information about the religion was false, suggested that she change her religion without informing her parents.

News coverage of Baha’i children in the media:

Humiliation of Baha’i children in Iranian schools