Iran News ...


08/21/18

Mass Conviction of Sufi Protesters "Unprecedented in Iran's Judicial History"

Source: Center for Human Rights in Iran

Twenty Sufi Muslims, all members of Iran's Gonabadi Order, have been issued heavy prison sentences by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran since July 2018 for allegedly attended protests that included violent clashes with police and security forces in Tehran in February.


Gonabadi Order Sufis protesting in Tehran
(file photo)

Eight of the detainees were issued the sentences in absentia because they had refused to appear in court in protest against the denial of their due process rights, a source close to the dervishes told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

"The severity of these sentences is unprecedented in Iran's judicial history," said the source, who requested anonymity for security reasons. "The plight of the Gonabadi dervishes might not be a priority for Iranian civil rights activists and media outlets any more, but at the moment they are facing the greatest injustice among political prisoners and prisoners of conscience."

"When the media ignore them, the authorities feel free to abuse them more," added the source.

Between February 19-20, 2018, more than 300 dervishes were detained after police opened fire on them during protests in Tehran where they were demanding the release of a fellow Sufi from a local detention center.

The clashes left three policemen and at least one protester dead and more than 170 others hospitalized due to their injuries. 

Mohammad Salas was hanged for the death of the policemen in July 2018 but no one has been held accountable for the death of Mohammad Raji, who died in police custody.

At least 8 people were convicted on August 15 of charges including "assembly and collusion against national security," "disturbing public order," "disobeying law enforcement agents" and "propaganda against the state."

1) Mostafa Abdi, one of the editors of the dervish's official website: 26 years in prison, 148 lashes, two years of exile in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, a two-year ban on social activities and a two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.

2) Mehdi Mehdifar: Thirteen and a half years in prison, 148 lashes, two years of exile in Nikshahr in Sistan and Baluchistan Province and a two-year ban on social activities. 

3) Bashir Riahi: Ten and a half years in prison, 148 lashes, two years of exile in Khaf in Sistan and Baluchistan Province and a two-year ban on social activities. 

4) Sekhavat Salimi: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, two years of exile in Nikshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province and a two-year ban on social activities. 

5) Abolfazl Sahraei: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, two years of exile in Sarbisheh in Sistan and Baluchistan Province and a two-year ban on social activities. 

6) Rostam Sagvand: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, two years of exile in Nahbandan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province and a two-year ban on social activities.  

7) Morteza Kangarlou: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, two years of exile in Sarbisheh in Sistan and Baluchestan Province and a two-year ban on social activities.

8) Ardeshir Ashayeri: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, two years of exile in Saravan in Sistan and Baluchistan Province and a two-year ban on social activities.

The Revolutionary Court in Tehran also convicted the following eight Sufis on July 6. Their specific charges are unknown.

1) Amin Soleymani: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, a two-year ban on media activities and a two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.

2) Akbar Dadashi: Six years in prison and 74 lashes.

3) Reza Nematollahi: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, a two-year ban on media activities and a two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.

4) Mousa Fazlipour: Two years in prison.

5) Hessam Moini: Seven years in prison, 74 lashes, a two-year ban on media activities and a two-year prohibition on traveling abroad.

6) Hossein Jashn: Two years in prison.

7) Omid Mahdavi: Two years in prison.

8) Kian Nejadhosseini: One year in prison.

In early July 2018, four female dervishes- Dr. Nazila Nouri, Avisha Jalaleddin, Shima Entesari and Sima Entesari-were also sentenced to five years in prison each.

Iran's Gonabadi Dervishes believes in a different interpretation of Islam than the ruling Shia establishment. The Islamic Republic views any alternative religious belief system, especially those seeking converts, as a threat to the prevailing Shia order and has imprisoned dervishes in the past as part of an ongoing persecution campaign.

... Payvand News - 08/21/18 ... --



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