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Saeid Rezai Faces Health Problems in Rajai Shahr Prison

Afif NaimiHRANA News Agency – Saeid Rezai, one of the seven former directors of Baha’i community of Iran, imprisoned in Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, is on the eve of the tenth year of imprisonment without leave. Despite approval by the specialist doctor in prison and the forensic doctor to have an arthroscopy and necessary period of rehabilitation after surgery, judicial officials are refusing his medical leave.

Another Student Expelled From University in Iran For Baha’i Faith

CHRI - "I knew my religion could one day jeopardize my education."

Farzad Safaei was one semester away from a bachelor's degree in industrial metallurgy at the Islamic Azad University in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, when he was expelled on May 20, 2017 by the security office for being a member of the Baha'i faith.

"In all my four years at the university I concealed my faith, even from my classmates and professors because I didn't want to be prevented from studying," Safaei told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "I didn't even talk about it outside the university, but I was suddenly expelled because of my faith."

Iran's Constitution does not recognize the Baha'i faith as an official religion. Although Article 23 states "no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief," Bahai'is are denied many basic rights as one of the most severely persecuted religious minorities in the country.

"One day I noticed I couldn't log onto the university's website to select courses," Safaei told CHRI. "I went to the security office to ask what the problem was. To be honest, based on what had happened to other expelled Baha'i students, I had a feeling what had happened, but I was still hoping it was only a mistake."

He added: "The university's security director first asked why I had not filled out the enrollment form correctly. I replied that everything was correct. He put the form in front of me and told me to read it. I did and he said, 'Are you sure you wrote everything down correctly?' I said I was sure. He said, 'Why don't we go over it together?' When he got to the multiple choice question about religious affiliation, he said, 'Is this correct?' I had left the box empty because none of the choices included my religion. He said, 'Add your religion right now.' Then I wrote down my religion in a box next to the other religions."

Continued Safaei: "When the security director saw I wrote Baha'i as my religion he said, 'Don't you know Baha'is have no right to go to university? Why did you enroll in the first place? You're like a car low on fuel that wants to go far. You knew you would get stuck eventually.'"

"I said, 'When I went to my first class I sat in the front row, clicked my heels and told myself it's possible I could be removed from this desk," added Safaei. "Yes, I knew my religion could one day jeopardize my education.'"

Safaei continued: "I told him, 'If you had asked me on day one if I was a Baha'i, I would have said yes. But like other young people, I dreamed about going to university and to study behind a university desk. You are denying me this right because of my religion.'

"When I posted the news about my expulsion on Instagram, many of my professors and classmates were shocked and questioned why someone should be denied an education for having a different religion," Safaei told CHRI. "They were sympathetic."

Baha'is continue to be denied the right to higher education in Iran, either by being banned from entering university or being expelled without a proper explanation once enrolled in the school.

At least 15 Baha'i students were expelled from Iranian universities between December 2016 and January 2017, with at least another six university students expelled January 2017 through May.

According to Article 1 of Iran's Supreme Cultural Revolution Council's Student Qualification Regulations, approved by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 1991, students who take the national enrollment exam must either be Muslim or followers of other constitutionally sanctioned religions. Article 3 states that if a student is discovered to be a Baha'i after enrolling in a university, he or she will be expelled.

Formerly Imprisoned Lawyer and Religious Minority Activist Expelled From University Without Explanation

CHRI - Mostafa Daneshjou, a formerly imprisoned lawyer and member of a Sufi religious order known as the Gonabadi Dervishes, has been expelled from university without explanation, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

Baha’i Persecution Worsens Under Rouhani Government

Baha’i Persecution Worsens Under Rouhani GovernmentCHRI - The persecution of the Baha'i religious minority in Iran has grown worse under President Hassan Rouhani, the spokesperson for the community at the United Nations in Geneva told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: Nine Year Imprisonment of Bahai Leaders in Iran

Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: Nine Year Imprisonment of Bahai Leaders in Iraneinnews -Nine years ago, seven leaders of Iran's Bahai community were arrested and convicted of espionage, insulting religious sanctities, and propaganda against the Islamic Republic for activities related solely to their belief in and practice of their faith. They were unjustly sentenced to 20 years in prison. Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid Tizfahm, and Mahvash Sabet remain behind bars today, serving an unjust sentence for exercising their freedoms of religion, association, and expression.

Their cases are further evidence of Iran's continued disregard for and violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We condemn their continued imprisonment, as well as reported abuses against them while incarcerated, and call upon Iran to release them immediately, along with all other prisoners of conscience in Iran.

The government of Iran must stop denying its people their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief. We call on the Iranian government to uphold their own laws and meet their international obligations that guarantee freedoms of expression, opinion, religion or belief, association, and peaceful assembly for all in Iran.

    Eight Baha’is Arrested Without a Warrant by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and Denied Legal Council

    Eight Baha’is Arrested Without a Warrant by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and Denied Legal CouncilCHRI - Seven Baha'i citizens were arrested by the Intelligence Ministry in Bandar Abbas and Qeshm Island, southern Iran, on April 18, 2017, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

    Five Iranian Baha’is Arrested in Isfahan Without Warrant on Unknown Charges - Five Baha'is were arrested at their homes in the city of Isfahan on March 28, 2017, Simin Fahandej, the faith's spokesperson at the United Nations in Geneva confirmed to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

    Five-Year Prison Sentence Upheld Against Christian Convert for Missionary Activities - The five-year prison sentence against Christian convert Ebrahim Firoozi for his alleged missionary activities has been confirmed by the Appeals Court in Tehran, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

    Baha'is Imprisoned in Iran for Religious Beliefs Singled Out for Cruel Treatment - A member of Iran's perseacuted Baha'i faith has expressed serious concerns about two imprisoned ailing family members who are being denied early release despite being legally eligible.

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