Sunday, May 06, 2012

Portage Library to host Amnesty International sponsored documentary May 7

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will show the 30-minute documentary film Education Under Fire at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 7. 

"Education Under Fire" is a human rights campaign that aims to bring awareness to the Iranian government’s denial of the right to higher education for the past thirty years for all members of the Baha’i Faith in Iran. This situation is a violation of internationally agreed upon human rights treaties to which Iran is a state party. The "Education Under Fire" campaign has the full support of Amnesty International, Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor, and over fifty universities, including Harvard and Stanford.

In response to the Iranian government’s ban on higher education for Baha’is, the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) was established to provide an opportunity for Baha’is in Iran to obtain their education. This peaceful institution was declared illegal in Iran and many of those involved in providing instruction have been arrested, detained, charged with criminal offenses, and imprisoned, some for more than twenty years.

This film presents the decades-long persecution endured by Iran’s Baha’is as well as tells the story of courage and commitment in the face of human rights violations. Members of the Baha’i Faith will lead a discussion after the film and explain how people can take action to urge the Iranian government to uphold its obligations under international law, to end the persecution of Baha’is in Iran, to release prisoners of conscience, and to cease depriving Iranians of the right to education on religious grounds.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, you may call the library at 482-4570 or visit

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