The Education is Not a Crime campaign was launched to draw attention to the systematic denial by the Iranian government of university level education to young adherents of Baha’i Faith.
This campaign has been gaining worldwide support and momentum in the past several weeks. A worldwide day of action, scheduled for February 27, aims to bring greater exposure to the plight of young Baha’i in Iran. The website for the initiative provides information about the efforts of Iranian authorities to persecute the Baha’i and deny them education. It also gives historical context for the breadth of the problems experienced by those of the Baha’i faith at the hands of the Iranian authorities. The website puts out a call to people around the world to get involved in the campaign, stating plainly, “Education is a crime in Iran. But we can change that.”
Education is Not a Crime was launched in November of 2014 by an Iranian-Canadian filmmaker and journalist by the name of Maziar Bahari. Bahari suffered imprisonment in Iran in 2009 and found inspiration in a documentary called “To Light a Candle.” The film featured footage, stories, and archival evidence of Baha’i persecution that had been smuggled, often at risk of great personal danger, out of Iran.
— Rouzeh Eghtessadi (@Rouzeh) February 13, 2015
The campaign’s major event, Education is Not a Crime Live 2015, will be taking place in Los Angeles, California on February 27. The documentary “To Light a Candle” will be shown at the event, as well as at hundreds of other screenings worldwide, to be held the same day. As the event approaches, a burgeoning number of Iranians have come to the defense of Baha’is and their right to receive an education and be free of the persecution of Iranian government officials.