The following is a translation of an article that originally appeared in the “Human Rights Activists in Iran” website.

Yesterday four Bahá’í youth who have been barred from entering university by the names of Armin Rahmani, Samim Pezeshki, Mavid Khanjani and Hesam Misaghi, paid a visit to the office of Hujjat’u'l-Islam Rahbar, the representative of Isfahan to the Islamic Senate.  Their visit was to follow up on issues such as being dismissed form the university and being banned from entering any institute of higher education or university on the basis of their adherence to the Bahá’í Faith.

These youth who had not received any response to their ongoing pleas to the Ministry of Education saw an opportunity to pursue their claim by appealing to this representative who had previously shown empathy to their cause and who is a member of the culture and education subcommittee of the senate and the acting Imam Jumih of Isfahan.

During their initial visit to the office of Mr. Rahbar, a person named “Ghandi” who is a member of the intelligence committee had mentioned to students that a new memorandum has arrived preventing Mr. Rahbar from intervening on their behalf.  Now during their repeat visit the same person threatening the students demanded their immediate departure.  It needs to be said that Mr. Rahbar himself had also previously mentioned that he would not be able to enter and pursue the matter on their behalf.

However, the protesting students demanded to speak with the representative and discuss with him their right to education and introduction of the issue at the senate.  Considering the laws of the land, this would be the most lawful way for the students to demand their rights.  The intelligent officer’s repeated demands for the students’ immediate removal resulted in a harsh treatment of the youth.  The security officers of the representative’s office who were trying to remove the students called on the uniform and undercover intelligence officers.  These officers armed with weapons closed the doors and windows, removed all the other visitors and lined up the four youth to create an intimidating and threatening environment.

At this moment Mr. Rahbar, the representative and the Imam Jumih, exited his room and repeated his claim that he is unable to pursue the matter on their behalf.  He intervened to have these exceptional students with very high academic rank escorted out and prevented any further harsh treatment at the hands of the intelligence officers.

The four debarred students, who had hoped that by referring to the representative they would benefit from their basic human rights of a citizen under the law, had to leave his office faced with the drawn weapons of the intelligence officers.  Thus these students with the highest grades and academic standing will be still deprived from higher education in the upcoming year.