New Video Urges Support for Imprisoned Baha’i Educators
On 22 May 2012, the Education Under Fire campaign released a new video to raise awareness about the besieged Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and six Baha’i prisoners of conscience detained for teaching at this community-organized university.
The BIHE is a university comprised of a volunteer administration and teaching staff, created in response to the government’s ban on Baha’i students from Iranian universities. The BIHE has been the only university option for thousands of Baha’i students in Iran.
Today’s video highlights the Iranian government’s long-standing discrimination against members of the Baha’i faith, leading to the attack on the BIHE. The video, narrated by Amnesty USA spokesperson and British Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, also highlights the efforts of Education Under Fire to address these human rights violations.
Iranian authorities raided the BIHE one year ago, arresting 39 volunteer instructors and students on 21 May 2011. Authorities also shut down laboratories and classes, and confiscated books, computers, and instructional materials.
In January 2012, a Tehran appeals court sentenced six BIHE volunteers and educators to prison terms between four and five years for membership in the Baha’i community and for the baseless charge of assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security.
Education Under Fire is a group of activists and filmmakers that came together in 2011 to draw attention to the plight of the BIHE and the long-standing discrimination against Baha’is in matters of education. Education Under Fire previously released a short documentary about the BIHE, made in cooperation with Amnesty International and featuring Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.