Harrassment of Bahaí school children is a human right violation

As I was reading the following article, I felt a most compelling sense of admiration and awe towards the Bahaí community of Iran for their unwavering commitment to true freedom, humanity and civilization.  May God protect them and render their sacrifices victorious. Please read on and tell others.

Keyvan

Persecution continues unabated: The government campaign to eradicate the Baha’i community of Iran continues in full force, with arrests, confiscation of assets, closing of businesses, long and frightening interrogations, raids on homes, denial of education and employment, harassment of schoolchildren, and other forms of persecution. An organized campaign of disinformation continues not only in government-sponsored media but also by clerics who speak in mosques and schools. The desecration of cemeteries and harassment over Baha’i burials are clear indications that the persecution is based solely on religion and not the result of any threat posed by Baha’is, as officials sometimes claim.

No letup in attacks

Attacks against the Baha’i community in Iran continue to escalate. These include arrests, long interrogations, raids on homes, confiscation of assets, closing of businesses, denial of education and employment, harassment of schoolchildren, and many other forms of persecution.

Destruction of cemeteries and preventing members of the Baha’i community from burying their dead is a particularly cruel form of harassment – one that clearly reveals that persecution of Baha’is is based on religion and not on any danger that Baha’is represent, as authorities sometimes claim. In one recent case in Semnan, authorities refused to allow a burial unless the family of the deceased followed Islamic rites; the family declined.

An organized campaign of disinformation about the Baha’i Faith and its followers continues not only in government-sponsored media but also by clerics who speak in mosques and schools.

This use of schools to harass children and their families has become a key part of the anti-Baha’i campaign all across Iran. Many instances of the following have been reported:

  • students being expelled outright or denied enrollment;
  • teachers and school administrators openly insulting and vilifying students;
  • anti-Baha’i seminars being held at schools, or anti-Baha’i materials distributed;
  • Baha’i students being forced to participate in Muslim religious functions;
  • students and parents being summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence.

Reports of these types of incidents and dozens of others have come from Tehran, Isfahan, Karaj, Rasht, Fardis, Vilashahr, Shiraz, Kashan, and Roodehen.

At the university level, educational institutions remain virtually closed to Baha’is students.

Home raids continue in various cities and usually follow the pattern of agents from the Ministry of Intelligence searching a home; confiscating computers, mobile phones, books, and other materials; and taking residents into custody.

Authorities also apply pressure to Muslim citizens to discriminate against and mistreat Baha’is. For example, in the city of Khorramabad in western Iran, the Ministry of Intelligence recently summoned private-sector employers and pressured them to dismiss Baha’i employees.”

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