Baha’i student expelled from university for religious beliefs
Baha’i student Romina Asgari was expelled from Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch, because of her Baha’i faith. Romina Asgari was dismissed after her 4th semester from the University due to being a Baha’i.
The letter prohibiting the student from her studies explained the reason for the expulsion as “improper social behavior, and attempting to undermine the country’s order, calm and security.” This is while she was not in college for six months and had used one semester of study leave.
There have been other reports of student belonging to Baha’i minority, being denied higher education because of their beliefs.
Sarir Mooghen, a 23-year-old Baha’i student, has been expelled from Isfahan’s Azad University just one semester before she was due to complete her Bachelor’s degree in architecture. She had been at the university since 2014. After the expulsion, security agents raided and searched Mooghen’s home in Isfahan and interrogated her for hours.
A Baha’i student Sogol Zabihi was expelled from Rasam University of Karaj because of her religious beliefs. She was a sophomore undergraduate student of graphics.
When she was visiting the university’s website to get her exam entry card, she learned that she cannot enter. After following up with the university officials, she was informed that she cannot continue her education because she is a Baha’i.
Iranian Baha’is have been deprived of their rights, such as access to education or the right to own a business, and are often persecuted for their beliefs.
Article 1of Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolution Council’s Student Qualification Regulations, approved in 1991, bars Baha’is from attending university. Article 3 also states that a student will be expelled if he or she is identified as Baha’i after enrolling in a university.
In April 2018, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied that Baha’is are persecuted in Iran for their religious beliefs.
“Being a Baha’i is not a crime [in Iran],” he told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
He continued: “We do not recognize somebody as a Baha’i, as a religion, but that’s a belief. Somebody can be agnostic; somebody can be an atheist. We don’t go—take them to prison because they are an atheist. So this is the difference that you need to make. But being—also, being a Baha’i does not immunize somebody from being prosecuted for offenses that people may commit.”