4 Sunni Turkmens Tried on Charge of Membership in Daesh

HRANA News Agency – Yones Nafsi, Abdulhay Agh Atabay, Mohammed Safa Moradi Gonbad and Vahid Yazdanparast, four Sunni Turkmen religious activists have been tried on charges of acting against national security and membership in Daesh on July 24, 2016. The Turkmen civilians strongly denied the charges and know themselves as missionaries whose religious beliefs are in conflict with Islamic fundamentalists such as Daesh.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Yones Nafsi, Abdulhay Agh Atabay, Mohammed Safa Moradi Gonbad and Vahid Yazdanparast, four Sunni Turkmen religious activists were tried in the Revolutionary Court of Gorgan on July 24.

A close source to the Turkmen civilians confirmed the news in an interview with HRANA’s reporter and told: “At the indictment of the activists the charge of “acting against national security through membership in the opposed groups (Daesh)”, Article 499 has been proposed which can lead to three to five years in prison.”

The source continued: “Turkmens are Hanafi, one of the four Sunni schools of thought which has nothing to do with Salafism and Wahhabism. History shows that the security apparatus uses such allegations to suppress and limit the country’s Sunni community.”

He pointed out: “These men were doing their activities to protect Turkmen culture and language and were trying to promote religious teachings of Hanafi religion in the mosques of the area. For example, Hanafi jurisprudence was taught in the Turkmen language at summer schools and mosques.”

It should be noted HRANA had reported in 2015 that during 10 days, 14 Sunni civilians, including Abdulhay Agh Atabay, Yones Nafsi and Vahid Yazdanparast had been arrested in various cities in Golestan province.

The four civilians were detained for about 45 days in solitary confinement of Intelligence Ministry in Gorgan in Golestan Province without access to their families or lawyers and were under investigations. After completing the case and interrogations, the bail of 3 billion IRR was issued for each of them and they were released on the bail.

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