Source: Mideast Youth
Baha’i students in primary and secondary schools throughout Iran are increasingly being harassed, vilified, and held up to abuse, according to recent reports from inside the country.
During a 30-day period...some 150 incidents of insults, mistreatment, and even physical violence by school authorities against Baha’i students were reported as occurring in at least 10 Iranian cities.
“These new reports that the most vulnerable members of the Iranian Baha’i community — children and junior youth — are being harassed, degraded, and, in at least one case, blindfolded and beaten, is an extremely disturbing development,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.
“The increasing number of such incidents suggests a serious and shameful escalation in the ongoing persecution of Iranian Baha’is,” said Ms. Dugal. “The fact that school-aged children are being targeted by those who should rightfully hold their trust — teachers and school administrators — only makes this latest trend even more ominous.”
Ms. Dugal said the Baha’i International Community has been aware of scattered reports of abuse directed at schoolchildren but has only recently learned that young Baha’is are now widely being forced to identify their religion — and are also being insulted, degraded, threatened with expulsion, and, in some cases, summarily dismissed from school.