September 20, 2014

Press Statement

Human Right Activists News Agency in Iran announced within a statement that the current wave of attacks on Sufis and Sufism followers (Daravish-e- Irani)  is the clear sign of Iranian government intolerance towards Religious Minorities. HRAI believes that such organised confrontations violate the commitments made by Islamic Republic of Iran back in February 2010 to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  If these commitments and promises were honoured by IRAN, they could have led to a better living condition for Religious Minorities.

HRAI believes that during the last 3 decades, Sufism followers ( Daravish-e- Irani) along with other Religious Minorities followers have been systematically supressed, faced discrimination and their rights neglected by Iranian Regime. These approaches towards minorities not only dishonoured religious freedom rights but created a platform for further violation of human rights in Iran.

During the last 15 years, the pressures on Sufis and Gonabadi Followers (Daravish) have been constantly increased and hundreds of them have been arrested. “Hamid Reza Moradi” , “Mostafa Daneshjoo”, “Amir Eslami” , “Reza Entesari”, “Afshin Karampour” “Farshid Yadollahi”  and “Omid Behrouzi” are seven lawyers who helped  the Sufi’s followers ( Daravish-e- Irani) since September 2011. These lawyers have also been arrested by Iranian government only because they have done their job and because of their role in publishing the news about the violation of Sufi followers’ human rights through “Majzooban Noor” website.

The constant pressure and what Iranian Sufis called “security surveillance of Iranian Regime towards this Religion Minority” has resulted in recent wave of protests by the followers of this religion. In addition, Hunger –Strikes by many Sufi Sect prisoners and the campaign of “Immigrating  Daravish(Sufis) from Iran to Evin” has added to the cause of these peaceful protests.  However, during today’s peaceful gathering in front of Tehran Public Prosecutor Office in which Sufi followers (Daravish-e-Irani) plead for justice, security forces arrested at least 480 citizens, including women and children. These arrests are clear violation of “Freedom of Speech and Thoughts” and the “Right of Free Assembly”   and they may lead to further conflicts in Iran.

A member of “Immigrating Daravish(Sufis)  from Iran to Evin” campaign told Human Right Activists News Agency in Iran: “today’s assembly was arranged by “Immigrating  Daravish(Sufis)  from Iran to Evin” campaign. More than 2000 followers attended the gathering and our demand is to stop the security surveillance of Daravish and Sufis.  Security forces arrested citizens on the route to the gathering in front of Tehran Public Prosecutor Office and transferred them to different detention centres. It is estimated that 480 arrests were made. 80 arrested females were transferred to a Sufis’ Hussainia close to where they were arrested. They were released after an hour. However, about 400 arrested males are still kept at detention centres and many of them have gone on Hunger –Strike.”  This Sufis’ Right Activist also explained that these protests will continue until their demand is met and further gatherings will take place tomorrow.

Human Right Activists News Agency in Iran expresses its concern about Sufism followers’ conditions that are on Hunger –Strike, the recent hostilities, mass attacks on Iranian citizens and the fact that arrested citizens have been detained with no reason (they were only practicing their basic human rights and peacefully were making legal demands).   Human Right Activists News Agency in Iran requested immediate and unconditional release of detainees. HRAI also demands that the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran calls upon Iranian Government immediately on this matter and reminds them of the serious concerns about the further conflicts in Iran. Also, to convince Iranian Government to adopt more lenient and peaceful approach based on international conventions towards Religious Minorities.

Secretariat of Human Rights Activities in Iran

September 20 2014