Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA – As reported by HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists in Iran, today, Sunday August 5, 2018, Nika Kholousi, a Baha’i resident of Mashhad, who had been incarcerated since April 30, 2014, for acting against national security and propaganda against the regime because of membership in the Baha’i administration, was released from prison after serving a 5 year sentence in that city.
Earlier, Nika’s sister, Nava Kholousi, was also released from prison after completing her sentence, on September 4, 2017.
Baha’is in Iran have been deprived of their freedom of religion. This systematic deprivation contravenes article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), although both have been signed by the Iranian government. These covenants declare that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; including freedom to change their religion or belief, and the freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest their religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
According to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran; however Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. It does not recognize the Baha’i Faith – as a result, throughout the years, the rights of Baha’is have been systematically violated.