Barring Students from Higher Education on Political and Religious Grounds
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

(4 December 2010) The Iranian government should immediately end its policy of depriving university students of higher education based on their political or religious beliefs, and respect their freedom of expression and conscience, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today with the publication of a new report, “Punishing Stars: Systematic Discrimination and Exclusion in Iranian Higher Education.”

The 77-page report, based on interviews with 27 students barred from higher education, is being released on the occasion of National Student Day in Iran, 7 December.

“Excluding students from universities based on their political and religious views is a totalitarian practice that ruins careers and removes reform-oriented young people from future professional cohorts,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.

During the past six years, the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, through close coordination between its Ministries of Intelligence and Science, has systematically targeted university campuses to suppress social and political activism as well as to exclude Baha’i students due to their religious beliefs.