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Iranian security forces disrupt dervish protest

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Gonabadi dervishes gathered in front of Evin Prison today in support of jailed dervishes and their lawyers. The Majzooban-e Noor website reports that some of the protesters were briefly arrested by security forces, and some reports even indicate the dervishes were mistreated.

Some of the jailed dervishes

The dervishes had announced that they were planning a protest in support of the many jailed dervishes, some of whom have been in solitary confinement for more than 35 days.

In recent years, Gonabadi dervishes have been protesting against the destruction of their prayer grounds in Qom, Boroujerd and Esfahan, and on February 21 2008, they joined a protest in front of the Iranian Parliament and later called it the Day of the Dervish.

The dervishes are also protesting the arrest of the lawyers that had been representing their peers. They say two of the dervishes in Evin are on hunger strike and in failing health.

The dervishes are calling for fair proceedings as the charges are processed, adding that they are willing to join their brothers in jail rather than stand by and "witness the oppression [our] brothers and defenders are being subjected to."

The detained lawyers of the Gonabadi dervishes were finally allowed to visit with family after 37 days of being held incommunicado. On the 3rd and 4th of September 2011, more than 60 Gonabadi dervishes and their lawyers were arrested in Kavar, Shiraz and Tehran.

The Islamic Republic's persecution of dervishes has been condemned by human rights groups, who have called on the authorities to respect the rights of all minorities.

... Payvand News - 02/22/13 ... --

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