Everyone has the right to education...Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26–to which Iran is a Signatory
EDUCATION UNDER FIRE: THE STORY
Hello there. We’d like to take a few minutes to tell you about an important human rights campaign. It’s an amazing story. In fact, most people have trouble believing that such a thing could happen in the 21st century. Have you got a few minutes to learn about it? Is now a good time?
For the past thirty years, the Iranian government has made it a state policy to “block the progress” of its largest non‐Muslim religious minority. 300,000 Iranian Baha’is have faced every kind of abuse including arrest, imprisonment, torture and even execution.
Since the 1979 revolution, young Baha’is have not been allowed to attend any of Iran’s universities. Imagine a government in this day and age withholding the right to education from an entire population of its own people. This type of abuse is in violation of every international human rights charter and even Iran’s own constitution.
In 1987, the Iranian Baha’i community started an informal university, which has evolved into the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE for short). With classes taught peacefully in the living rooms and kitchens of homes across Iran by Baha’i academics that have themselves been barred from teaching professionally as a result of their religious beliefs, the BIHE represents the only chance that Baha’i youth have for higher education.
In May 2011, the government launched a coordinated attack against the BIHE–raiding dozens of homes, confiscating computers and materials and detaining eighteen professors and administrators. Seven of those arrested have received four or five year prison terms– their only crime: educating the youth in their community.
Education Under Fire is a campaign designed to help mitigate the effects of these discriminatory policies and to raise awareness of the importance of defending Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees education as an inalienable right of every human being.
The campaign has produced a 30‐minute documentary, co‐presented by Amnesty International. It tells the poignant and compelling story of the BIHE. You're invited to follow the links presented on this page - watch the films and to participate in conversations with others about what we can do together to make a difference. Tell others what you have seen. Share the websites and information with others.
At the request of the campaign, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President José Ramos‐Horta of East Timor have co‐authored a letter about these abuses addressed to the international academic community. We're asking everyone to read the Nobel laureates’ open letter and to take two or three minutes to send a petition to selected Iranian government officials.
Our goal is to achieve a minimum of 25,000 petitions by May 2012; one year from the attack on the BIHE. In just two minutes, your petition will be sent to seven top Iranian officials. So, please read the Nobel Laureates’ letter, pass it along to others and complete the online petition.
All you have to do is visit www.educationunderfire.com and go to the “TAKE ACTION” page. It would mean a lot.
THE BAHA’IS IN IRAN“A Story about the torture of Baha'is in Iran"
LOVE is a real thing - NOT just a word“EDUCATION UNDER FIRE"
Take Action Now - Be One of 25,000 to Send Your Petition to Top Iranian Officials
EDUCATION UNDER FIRE.COM
FAITH AND SACRIFICE: THE BAHA’IS IN IRAN
The imprisoned individuals whose trial began on 12 January 2010 are, top from left, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Mahvash Sabet; bottom from left, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Saeid Rezaie and Afif Naeimi.
Baha’i homes and automobiles have been the target of arsonists, who often act with legal impunity. This home in Kerman was gutted by fire in July of 2008. The family had received threatening phone calls, and someone also tried to burn their car.
Lotus Temple embodies "message for the world today"
"NEW DELHI -- On the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Baha'i House of Worship here, Delhi's Chief Minister has praised the impact the temple has made on Indian society, and beyond. ..."
"I wish I could express in words my joy," Mrs. Dikshit told the celebration. "Your message is the message for the world of today. The Baha'i Faith is the faith that teaches us all are equal. It rises above any narrow consideration of humanity."