International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Farhad Nouri spoke about the 11 September arrest of his mother, Farzaneh Nouri, a Gonabadi Dervish, by Shiraz Information Office forces. Farhad Nouri also spoke about recent government persecution of other members of the Gonabadi Dervish sect, a Shiite Sufi order.
“Security forces came to our home on the evening of 11 September without presenting a warrant and after searching the house and confiscating spiritual books, photographs of Gonabadi Dervish leaders, and my computer, arrested my mother,” said Farhad Nouri, adding that his mother has not contacted the house since her arrest. “Unfortunately, the lawyers’ inquiries have not been fruitful so far and they did not allow me to visit my mother … we learned after pursuing the matter that she has most likely been transferred to the Shiraz Intelligence Office, known as Number 100,” Nouri told the Campaign.
“My mother was arrested in 2005 in Qom, along with about 1,500 other Dervishes, during the demolition of the Qom mosque,” he said about his mother’s prior arrest. “If you follow the news on the Majzooban-e-Noor website, which is the news website for the Gonabadi Dervishes, you will note that not a week goes by without some type of pressure put on Gonabadi Dervishes by security forces through arrests, summonses, etc. We can point out at least 300 instances of this since 2005, for example the pressure following the demolition of the Qom mosque, the Boroujerd mosque, preventing burials at the Bidokht Soltani cemetery, arrests and trials and revocation of licenses of lawyers who represent the Gonabadi Dervishes, group trials of Dervishes, telephone summonses by security forces, etc., during each episode of which several Gonabadi Dervishes have been thrown in jail,” he told the Campaign.
“I am really concerned now about her health conditions, the pressure on her, and her being tortured by security forces. This is not only my concern. Families of all Dervishes whose innocent loved ones were arrested are concerned. I was in touch with the families of Amir Eslami, Farshid Yadollahi, Saleh Moradi, and Hamid Moradi and their families were really concerned about their physical conditions,” said Farhad Nouri.
Farhad Nouri is one of the managers of Majzooban-e-Noor website. “The main reason for the arrest of these eleven individuals (Hamid Moradi Sarvestani, Alireza Roshan, Ali Karami, Mehdi Asnaloo, Ali Astaraki, Mostafa Abdi, Mehran Rahbari, Nosrat Tabarsi, and Ali Moazzami) is mostly for preventing reliable dissemination of news about the Gonabadi Dervishes and things that happened last week in Kavar town, including the arrests of Gonabadi Dervishes and the murder of one of them.”
“Farshid Yadollahi was arrested as a continuation of efforts to detain lawyers representing Gonabadi Dervishes. Since last week, three lawyers have been arrested. Regarding my mother, Farzaneh Nouri’s arrest, I should say that the main reason for the arrests was to shut down the Majzooban-e-Noor, the Gonabadi Dervishes official website. I am one of the managers of this website. When the gentlemen were unable to contact me, they arrested my mother to put pressure on the family and on me, hoping to be able to arrest me, too. I really don’t know what to say in response to such actions. Just like many other Iranian mothers and wives, my mother is a Gonabadi Dervish and is not involved in any particular partisan or political activities. She is not even a manager or an employee of the website,” Farhad Nouri added.
“According to the latest news I received about the Dervishes arrested in Kavar, several of them were released to court-approved custodians, and several of them have received bail orders. Some of the Dervishes were not willing to post bail. One of the three injured Dervishes, Ebrahim Fazli, who was shot and was hospitalized for treatment was transferred to an unknown location by security forces on Saturday, and Mohammad Ali Sa’adi and Asghar Karimi remain in hospital in Shiraz under security watch. According to the latest news about the 11 managers and employees of the Majzooban-e-Noor website, their cases are under review at Branch 5 of Evin Prison Courts, but we still have no information about how they are detained and their physical conditions. Unfortunately, authorities have not yet allowed the detainees to visit with their lawyers and families have been unable to find answers from judicial authorities about these 11 individuals’ charges,” said Farhad Nouri.
“We hope to be able to find out about the conditions and health of all Dervishes who were arrested, because we really don’t know what conditions they have and what kinds of pressure they are experiencing, and we are worried about their health, especially Amir Eslami and Mr. Moradi who suffer from severe heart conditions,” Nouri concluded.