The Iranian Judiciary sentenced 23 prisoners who belong to the Sufi Dervish order to hefty prison terms and lashes. The dervishes have been sentenced to overall 190 years of prison, 46 years of exile, 1,776 lashes, a 46 year travel ban and a 46 year ban on involvement in social and political activities.
All the dervishes are currently detained in the Greater Tehran Prison.
The sentences are final and not subject to review.
The dervishes refused to go to court to hear their sentences in protest to the “illegal house arrest” of their religious leader, and not receiving due process. They also said that the believed that the courts were “inquisition style”.
Most of the dervishes have received between 6 to 9 years of prison while one of the men identified as Mostafa Abdi has received 26 years of prison. Each of the jailed men have also been sentenced to 74 lashes.
Gonabadi dervishes have been systematically suppressed and jailed in Iran. However, after last year’s incident, dubbed “Golestan Haftom” after the name of the area in Tehran, the crack down on dervishes has become more targeted and brutal.
The Golestan Haftom incident occurred on February 3, 2018 when security forces surrounded the home of Dervish Gonabadi leader Dr. Nourali Tabandeh. Hundreds of dervishes were arrested and severely injured after security forces attacked them.
According to a human rights group, more than 382 people were arrested in the incident.
Mohammad Salas, who was charged with running over security forces, was executed by the regime after the incident. Salas maintained his innocence until the last moment while Amnesty International condemned the execution.
“Amnesty International condemns, in the strongest terms, today’s execution of Mohammad Salas, which was carried out despite serious unfair trial concerns,” the rights group said in a statement.