Nika Khulusi, a Baha’i citizen residing in Mashhad, was released from prison on August 5th, 2018.
According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, Nika Khulusi, a Baha’i citizen resident of Mashhad who had previously been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by the 3rd Branch of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court, today August 5th, 2018, at the end of her prison term was released from, Mashhad Vakil Abad, prison.
The Baha’i citizen was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by Judge Soltani, head of Branch 3 of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court, on charges of “promoting Baha’i, propaganda against the regime and membership in the Baha’i system.”
Nika Khulusi, was arrested in June 2013 with three other Baha’i citizens, Mahsa Mahdavi, Nova Khulusi, and Adib Shoayee.
Nika Khulusi and Nava Khulusi, two Baha’i sisters, were sentenced to total 10 and ½ years of imprisonment, Adib Shoayee to one and a half years imprisonment, and Mahsa Mahdavi to 8 months prison by the Third Branch of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court,
Nava Khulusi, was released on September 4th, 2017, at the end of her term. Her father Manouchehr Khulusi, was released on July 2017, from the Vakil Abad Prison in Mashhad after serving one year’s imprisonment.
It should be noted that according to the laws of the Islamic Republic, only Sunni, Zoroastrians, Christians, and Jews are recognized as a religious minority, hence the Baha’i rights are systematically being violated.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif said on April 24th, 2018, at the US Foreign Relations Council meeting that the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes only Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians as religious minorities, and they have their own place in parliament.
Jawad Zarif went on to point out that “If we recognize another religion, we should give them the same rights.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister also said that being a Baha’i is not a crime, but we do not recognize the Baha’is as followers of a religion.
According to unofficial sources in Iran, there are more than three hundred thousand Baha’is, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize the Baha’i religion. For this reason, Baha’i rights in Iran have been systematically violated throughout the past years. Their premises are being sealed or faced with sentences such as acting against national security, insulting the leadership, etc.