Baha’i Citizen Shiva Khalili Arrested and Released on Bail in Babol

On Tuesday, November 16, Baha’i citizen Shiva Khalili was arrested after being summoned and appearing at Branch 1 of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Babol.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Khalili was released the following day on a bail of 700 million tomans until the end of legal proceedings. Shiva Khalili, a resident of Babol in Mazandaran Province, was summoned to the Revolutionary Court of Babol by phone.

According to unofficial sources, it is estimated that more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran, but the Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Because their faith is not considered legitimate by authorities, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated for years.

This deprivation of the freedom to practice their religion is a breach of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations covenant holds that every person has the right to freedom of religion, freedom of converting religion, as well as freedom of expression, individually or collectively; openly or secretly.

The reason for Khalili’s arrest and the charges against her are unknown as of this writing.