#Human Rights
Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European ParliamentRegion


Dervish rights activist, Saleh Moradi who has been temporarily released from AdelAbad prison two days ago, sentenced to one year jail term plus one year of exile by Kavar's General Court.

According to Majzooban Noor, Gonabadi Dervish, Saleheddin Moradi Sarvestani, 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 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 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.

Our reporter added that, 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 AdelAbad 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 prisoners of conscience, Fariborz Yadollahi, objected against the decision and asked an appellate court, therefore his case was taken to the court of appeal.



Imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish, Kasra Nouri, has been taken to an undisclosed location by the AdelAbad prison guards who stormed the Green Ward on 11 Khordad 1392 (June 1, 2013) and so far there is no reliable information on his current whereabouts and situation.

According to Majzooban Noor, on last Saturday after the prison guards stormed the green section of AdelAbad prison, Kasra Nouri was taken to solitary confinement and then (according to the AdelAbad prison officials) he has been sent to section Ebrad. But his family are still unaware of his reliable situation. Up to now his family's follow-up has been inconclusive. His whereabouts are still unknown after several fruitless attempts to find out information about him from AdelAbad prison officials. And the only answer that has been given to the family of this prisoners of conscience is that, the transfer order for kasra Nouri has been issued by top officials.

A family member of this Gonabadi Dervish told the Majzooban Noor: "Why are not the Iranian authorities accountable for their human rights violations? Why is Kasra banned from visiting and calling?" "And we do not even know whether Kasra is being held in section Ebrat or not".

According to reports, evidence shows that the jailed Dervish has not been in Ebrat section of AdelAbad prison and his whereabouts is still unknown. And prison officials have refused to comment on the transfer of this prisoner of conscience to solitary confinement and called themselves as "no one" who have no authority.



Jailed Gonabadi dervishes Saleh Moradi and Kasra Nouri who have been on hunger strike since Dey 27 (Jan 16) , appear to be in critical health condition.

According to reports by Majzooban Noor, the two dervishes who are behind bars in Shiraz's Adel Abad prison , lunched the hunger strike to protest the illegal transfer of seven Gonabadi dervishes's lawyers and Majzooban Noor website managers to solitary confinement of Evin prison on 27th of Dey 1391( Jan 15, 2013).

Currently, dizziness, excessive weight loss and gaunt and pale faces are the warning signs of their dire health condition. It seems that they have reached a dangerous phase.

It must be remembered that, these two prisoners of conscience are suffering from malnutrition due to poor prison conditions. Also, Mr. Moradi has been suffering from kidney pain for months and is now suffering from internal bleeding. The families have expressed their growing concern over their health risk and Said that if anything happens to them, the authorities will be responsible for that.

Saleh Moradi and Kasra Nouri by expressing concern about dir health of Hamid Moradi and Mostafa Daneshjou, required prison officials to transfer back seven Gonabadi dervishes's lawyers and Majzooban Noor website Managers to the general ward of Evin Prison.

These two dervishes have been confined in Shiraz's Adel Abad prison for more than 16 months on charges of "Propaganda against the regime", "Acting against national security", "Deviant group (Majzooban Noor) membership" and "Interviews with foreign media, Radio Farda", but they have not yet received a definitive sentence till now. It seems that, after 16 months, their case is under investigation in Shiraz's Revolutionary Court.



Sufism is neither a religion nor a sect, and it is not connected with any specific religion or theology. Sufism is a spiritual-mystical way of living, older than Islam and Christianity. In fact Sufism is timeless and yet actual. It is the way to your own heart, your own rhythm of life, it is a lifestyle. Each individual is composed of an existence and an essence. The latter is an evolving reality. In Sufism the focus is on evolving the essence of individuals. It is the way of inner Substantial Evolution; the development and upbringing of what is already present as possibility in each individual. It is like the development of the seed within favorable circumstances. Dr. Azmayesh introduces the path of Sufism and substantial evolution as a way, which can be followed by everybody. This way is independent from any religion, culture or race. Anybody who is asking her/himself: “who am I “, anybody who is seeking the reality of her true self, can follow this path. Sufism is a set of personal practices designed to help the follower develop hidden and unexploited capacities, with the goal of developing knowledge of the self and the visible and invisible world. In Sufism, the seeker is guided along the spiritual path to ultimately acquire the truth of her existence and a certain vision of the world and the universe, going directly into the essence of the eternal question of rediscovering her real self.


Several years ago the friendliness, sincerity, and the pure faith of the Gonabadi dervishes attracted me and, with the grace of God, I became a dervish.

My dervish sisters and brothers have for years been under pressure in Iran, and we have tasted bitter discrimination for the crime of simply being dervishes.

Can you imagine what it is like not to have psychological security in the country of your ancestors? Isn’t it surprising that an establishment that claims it represents God on earth is worried and frightened over the ways people worship?

In Iran, the authorities regard our worship and prayers to God as political acts. Therefore our houses of worship are being destroyed right over our heads.

No one would ever imagine that the dark Middle Ages could be repeated in Iran, a country with an ancient civilization and where the first human rights charter ever was recorded.

The Sufis have had to endure the so-called Islamic punishments merely for praying and reciting the name of God. My sisters and brothers who are serving our country in the four corners of this land are being fired from their jobs simply because they are Sufis. The work permits of lawyers who dare to defend the rights of the dervishes are being cancelled to prevent them from being our voices in the unfair trials that are being held.

State opposition against Sufism and dervishes has reached new levels since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. The dervish houses of worship in Qom and Borujerd were destroyed, and there have been attempts to eliminate the names of prominent dervishes from the pages of Iranian history. The authorities also break up our charity organizations and shut down our cultural centers.

Security agents have banned covering news related to the pressure and attacks against dervishes, and they have repeatedly blocked our websites and blogs.

On February 18, 2009, they bulldozed our Hosseinieh (house of worship) in Isfahan, so we decided to gather on February 22 in front of the parliament to emphasize our legal rights and make ourselves heard to the representatives of the people. But on that day, which later was named Dervish Day, our peaceful presence in Baharestan Square was met by antiriot police forces. More than 800 dervishes -- men and women who came to Tehran from across the country -- were arrested and sent to detention centers on the accusation that they were violating national security or disrupting public order.

Finally, more than 100 of the detainees were transferred to Evin Prison. Most were released after being interrogated, except 15 who were held for three months in solitary confinement for protesting their treatment.

I told myself at the time that this is just the way the current authorities deal with dervishes. But since last June’s presidential election, I have seen that they deal the same way with anyone who, for one reason or another, is not considered one of them. Anyone who stands up to the current regime is charged with waging a war against God or trying to overthrow the Islamic establishment. Many have been shot at, and some have been killed.

The treatment of dervishes in Iran is a long, bitter story. Now it seems clear that that the lack of concern for our plight over many years has resulted in the rule of a power-hungry clique of lawbreakers who are moving our country steadily toward a narrow religious dictatorship.

But Sufism teaches that hatred can be destroyed by love and kindness. It teaches that oppression can be ended by patience and perseverance. I dream of a day when my country, Iran, is once again a champion of human rights where every human life is considered sacred and where the faiths of all -- Christians, Jews, Sunnis, Shi’ia, and others -- are universally respected. I dream of the day when justice and law will prevail in Iran.

The author is a 27-year-old dervish living in Iran, who for fear of reprisal wishes to remain anonymous.

We the undersigned demand that the international community bring all possible pressure to bear to free Iranian Gonabadi Dervishes, Saleh Moradi and Kasra Nouri.

We further demand that the international community take immediate action to secure the freedom of all other Dervishes and other religious and ethnic minorities who languish in the Islamic Republic's prisons simply for peaceful activism or the peaceful practice of their faiths. All such cases of imprisonment are illlegal under binding international human rights covenants, to which Iran is a signatory state.

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The Free Jailed Iranian Gonabadi Dervishes Saleh Moradi and Kasra Nouri petition to Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European ParliamentRegion was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.