Persecution, persecution, persecution

"Life in Iran could be different nowadays - when, instead of restricting all kinds of rights, violating all kinds of rights and human values - the power brokers of the political elite would foster human rights and respect for diversity. But they are not interested to do so!" Speech during the 23rd session on Human Rights at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. - "Iran has so many warm-hearted people, intelligent and creative people, wonderful landscapes, cultural achievements and a variety of cultures, beliefs and schools of thought. Life could be different when thoughts about creating a sound and healthy society in Iran would be based on human rights and not fought against by the regime under various excuses and pretexts.

Our organisation (IOPHRI) highlights human rights violations in Iran, additionally we provide the intellectual background to understand how and why the ideology creators of the system think and argue as they do and act as they act and cause actions from excited people (Bassidji). We do this because we think it is important to show the atrocity of this ideology towards human values and civilisation. That may encourage each human being to stand up and voice their concern after understanding the danger for humanity.

During this gathering I would like to focus on the situation of the dervishes in Iran, especially the dire situation of the Nematollah Gonabadi Order, headed by Nour Ali Tabandeh.


As most of you know, Sufi Dervishes are considered to be the mystics of Islam, meaning they have rather an esoteric interpretation of the Koran and in consequence practice values like tolerance, solidarity, peace, harmony with other people and denominations. Throughout the centuries they had a deep impact on education and culture of Iran. Let me just label this fact before we precise on the current situation: Rumi, Hafiz, Shah Nematollah Vali, Sa'adi and many other poets enchanted the hearts of Iranians throughout the centuries and still do today by reaching the hearts and minds even of people in Western countries.

I will name some dervishes who face situations caused by the regime in Iran, which definitely must be addressed and criticised. Then I will bring the details and reasons for these unjust detentions.

Adel Abad, Shiraz:

Saleh Moradi (meanwhile his case was brought to court, where he received a sentence of one year prison and one year in exile, which already is less time than he spent in prison without any court ruling)

Kasra Nouri

Pelak 100 (Bande Sad):

Sayed Ebrahim Bahrami
Mohammad Ali Sadeghi
Mohammad Ali Dehghan
Mohsen Esmaeeli


Amir Eslami
Hamidreza Moradi
Mostafa Daneshjoo
Amir Eslami
Reza Entesari
Afshin Karampour
Farshid Yadollahi
Omid Behrouzi

In order to identify patterns of persecution it is necessary to get into the depths of the matter. We should keep in mind that the regime has very absolutistic strategies but very flexible tactics. What does that mean?  

The strategy to purge the society in Iran from each movement that has an alternative worldview is an absolute and fix decision. To reach to this goal the regime (nezâm) applies various methods and tactics according to the answers of the Iranian society and the international community.

The example we give here is the hunger strike of imprisoned Kasra Nouri, who was in a hunger strike for more than 90 days in Adel Abad prison of Shiraz and had started a dry hunger strike. He was forcibly fed by drip infusion. The goal of his hunger strike was to achieve that seven dervishes, who were kept in solitary confinement of Evin prison, were brought back to the general ward. When Markus Loening, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin released a statement and Amnesty International started an Urgent Action for Kasra Nouri, finally the regime backed down, so Kasra Nouris life was saved and the situation of the dervishes improved for a while.

There is concern between the regime officials about the image of the so- called Islamic Republic Iran in the world. If there is enough pressure on certain cases from the international community, the regime sometimes backs down and the process of purge is slowed down or the tactics and measures of persecution change until the next outcry from the world stops the new strategy.

Recently the representative of Ali Khamenei at the universities, Mozâereye Seyf, head of a new institution called Moasseseyeh Behdâsht Ma'anavi (Center for spiritual health), described the necessity of a new strategy for persons who follow one of the groups, which are classified under "false mysticism". He complained about the fact that jails would turn out as the "universities", where imprisoned adherents of diverse beliefs convert their co-prisoners to their deviated belief. He alluded that the minds of these adherents should either be changed before brought to prison or special prisons for these persons should be build in order not to infect other prisoners with their world view. 

If the international community is not aware of the illness of thoughts hidden behind the mask of a religious fascist government in Iran, the human rights violations will go on and on and each year we might come together in Geneva for explaining one case after another and worry about which group will be targeted next. Thank you."


Gonabadi Dervish, Saleh Moradi was released from Shiraz's Adel Abad Prison on 12th Khordad 1392/ June 2nd, 2013).?Dervish right activist, Saleheddin Moradi Sarvestani, was arrested by security forces without any judicial and legal warrants at his home in the city of Shiraz on Shahrivar 16, 1390 (September 7th, 2011) and transferred to the Shiraz Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre, known as No.100 (Pelak sad), then was sent to Adel Abad prison.?Saleh Moradi along with another jailed Dervish, Kasra Nouri, had been protesting with a hunger strike against the illegal transfer of their Dervish lawyers to solitary confinement in Evin prison for 90 days and after transfer of seven Dervish lawyers to general ward 350, they ended their prolong-term hunger strike.?Although he had been in detention more than the serving of a period of time which would equate to his sentence, his detention was absolutely unlawful.


Dervish rights activist, Saleh Moradi who has been temporarily released from Adel Abad prison on June 6th, was sentenced to one year jail term plus one year of exile by Kavar's General Court.?He was sentenced to one year in prison and one year of exile on charges of "inciting public opinion" and "disturbing the public order" by Kavar's General Court.?In spite of the fact that Mr. Moradi had been already confined in Adel Abad prison for 20 months so he has been in detention more than the serving of a period of time which would equate to his sentence, on Sunday (12 Khordad 1392/ June 2, 2013) he was temporarily released on parole by Shiraz's Revolutionary Court order which was approved by Kavar's General Court, too.?It should be noted that there is another open case against this Gonabadi Dervish in Shiraz's Revolutionary Court with charges of "Propaganda against the regime", "acting against national security" and "Deviant group (Majzooban Noor) membership" in which by considering that Saleh Moradi has been in jail more than the time which would equate to his sentence, the Revolutionary Court had ordered the release on parole for him, but the Kavar's General Court refused to charge so he remained in prison awaiting Kavar's Court decision.?Saleh Moradi while is waiting for Shiraz's Revolutionary Court ruling, is appealing against the judgment of the Kavar's General Court.?A large number of Gonabadi Dervishes who had gathered outside of prison gave him a warm welcome at the time of his release.?Saleh Moradi along with another jailed Dervish, Kasra Nouri, had been protesting with a hunger strike against the illegal transfer of their Dervish lawyers to solitary confinement in Evin prison for 90 days and after transfer of seven Dervish lawyers to general ward 350, they ended their prolong-term hunger strike.?Kasra Nouri, another Gonabadi Dervish imprisoned at Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz, has been sentenced to four years and four months in prison in part to intimidate other youth and prevent them from joining the Dervish sect! The attorney of this prisoner of conscience, Fariborz Yadollahi, objected to the decision and asked an appellate court, therefore his case was taken to the court of appeal.