[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Kind

Ministry of Sciences, for the attention of the Arbitration Committee.

Greetings; my name is Sara Naddafiyan Ghamsari, daughter of Faramarz. I would like to respectfully inform you that in 1385 [2006-2007], I participated in the National University Entrance Examination for the first time and was accepted in mechanical engineering and fluid mechanics at Shiraz University. Subsequent to the enrolment process and wire transfer of the tuition, my enrolment was cancelled because of my adherence to the Baha’i Faith and not belonging to any of the official religions of the country. My tuition was returned and I was marked in the system as “declined education.”

To demand justice for my violated rights, I presented my case to every authority I could think of, including the office of Harasat[1]in the university, the office of the president of Shiraz University, Sanjesh[2] Organization, Ministry of Sciences, Parliament’s Commission for Article 90, Court of Administrative Justice, etc. and asked for a hearing and a review, but to no avail. In Shahrivar 1387 [August/September 2008], I was summoned by the Ministry of Sciences.  Subsequent to undergoing a series of questions, I was asked to promise that my goal for going to university was solely education, and that I was not affiliated with any groups or political organization, and that I would be amenable to all rules and regulations of the university. They stressed the fact that my religion was a private and personal matter. In good faith, as an Iranian citizen and a Baha’i, I gave them my word that my intention was and is nothing but education, and that I respected the laws of the country and would abide by the rules and regulations of the university.

One year later, in Shahrivar 1388 [August/September 2009], I was called by Shiraz University and the Ministry of Sciences for enrolment. I thanked God that after three years these respected individuals realized that I was honest and trustworthy, and that they were no longer suspicious of my intentions, and were trying to restore my rights as a citizen of this country. I was dumbfounded to learn that they had misinterpreted my good intentions, just as it says in this verse in the sacred Quran:

[Verse in Arabic] Verse 13, Surreh Maedeh

Which means “They distort words from their proper intent”

 

Therefore, for three consecutive years I was denied enrolment in the university—where I have the right to be. I will exert every effort to restore my right as noted in Article 19 and 20 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which considers all citizens equal.

Article 19 of the Constitution:  All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege.

Article 20 of the Constitution:  All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.

 

Sara Naddafiyan Ghamsari

Shahrivar 1388 [August/September 2009]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] [An intelligence service that has an office in every university and governmental organization in Iran.]

 

[2] [Student Evaluation Organization]