Iran: 2,000 protest in support of critically ill imprisoned dervishes

NCRI- Nearly 2,000 members of Gonabadi dervishes held a protest on Sunday in Tehran calling for the imprisoned dervhishes who have been on hunger strike since August 31.

Nine jailed members of Iran’s Gonabadi dervish began a hunger strike their hunger strike in protest at the authorities’ harassment and persecution of Gonabadi dervishes across the country and are now critically ill.

“Mostafa Abdi, Reza Entesari, Hamidreza Moradi and Kasra Nouri, and their lawyers, also imprisoned, Amir Eslami, Farshid Yadollahi, Mostafa Daneshjoo, Afshin Karampour and Omid Behrouzi, have announced that they have written their wills and are prepared to die unless the authorities stop harassing, persecuting and imprisoning Gonabadi dervishes and their lawyers, and cease the destruction of their worship houses,” Amnesty international said in statement on September 25.

The men were mostly detained in September 2011, during a wave of arrests of Gonabadi dervishes. They were all held in prolonged solitary confinement, without access to their lawyers and families, and were sentenced, after two years and following grossly unfair trials, to jail on various trumped-up charges, including “colluding against national security through membership in a deviant sect”, “disseminating propaganda against the state”, “disturbing public opinion” and “disturbing public order”. The men are prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for practicing their faith and defending the human rights of dervishes through their legitimate activities as journalists and lawyers, the Amnesty International statement said.

File photo: Gonabadi dervishes protest in Iran.

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