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Baha'is Students Continue to Face Discrimination

Iran - An anti-Bahai graffiti on the wall of a building in the city of Abadeh says "Hezbollah is awake and despises the Baha'is"

As in previous decades, Iranian Baha'i citizens have been deprived of their right to higher education, says a survey on the latest universities' national entrance examinations.

The New York-based Campaign for the Human Rights in Iran, CHRI, published on Saturday the names of fifteen Baha'i students barred from higher education for belonging to an "unofficial faith."

However, the real number of Baha'i students unable to access advanced degrees is likely much higher, considering that in 2017, seventy Baha'is were turned down from Iranian universities.

As a rule, Iran's Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology bans Baha'is from studying by rejecting their application as "defective."

The MSRT's approach has led many Baha'is to join the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) to carry on their studies.

Iran does not recognize the Baha'i faith as a "divine religion," and its followers are frequently subject to detention and prosecution on various charges. They are also deprived of fundamental rights such as university education and employment in public departments.

Depriving Baha'is of education has spread to other levels in recent years.

Last September, after it was announced that a high school in Semnan had refused to enroll a student for introducing himself as a "Baha'i," the Iranian Minister of Education said, "If students declare to be the followers of a religion other than the official ones, their move will amount to a form of propaganda. Therefore, they are prohibited from further education."

Meanwhile, according to Article 30 of the Iranian constitution, "The government must provide all citizens with free education up to secondary school and must expand free higher education to the extent required by the country for attaining self-sufficiency."