Iran: Female Baha’i student says she is barred from continuing higher education
Baha’i college student, Delaram Akbari from the city of Sari, northern Iran, who was studying computer software, was expelled from school on January 13 after finishing her first term in college. She writes about the difficulties she is enduring: “I think to myself why must I be deprived of education? Or why are such problems caused for me a in a university of a few hundred students, while I am only seeking to continue my studies? Finally, I reach this conclusion that I am not the first person that has been deprived of his/her right to education because of their religion, and I probably will not be the last! During the course of this year (a reference to the last Iranian calendar year from March 20 , 2015 to March 20, 2016) my father’s store in Sari was closed once for 36 days, and again for 6 months. After working 7 years in a hospital my mother was fired from her job due to her belief in the Baha’i religion. After I finished half of my exams we received a call from the Sari branch of the Ministry of Intelligence. My mother picked up the phone. An unidentified individual on the line said, “Your daughter must report in to the Ministry of Intelligence News Headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2016.” My mother said, “My daughter has exams on Saturday and cannot come to the Ministry of Intelligence News Headquarters.” She then hung up the phone. They called again and the unidentified individual said, “Your daughter is not permitted to take part in the exams, and must show up.” A week later I had prepared for my last tests and before entering the classroom I presented my project to my dear professor and sat at the exam session. When the exam papers were distributed I realized my documents were not there… Then the campus security officials came and said since this student is a Baha’i , and we were not informed of it, we shouldn’t have registered her in the first place! Without any other explanation he said I am expelled from the college.