Heavy Clashes between the Police and Gonabadi Dervishes

Posted on: 25th April, 2018
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Amir Labaf

HRANA News Agency – The gathering of a number of Gonabadi dervishes in northern Tehran was dragged into clashes with police and violence. According to official statistics, at least three policemen were killed during the clashes and some others were wounded on both sides. On the other hand at least 60 Gonabadi protesters were arrested.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), after the arrest of one of the Gonabadi dervishes named “Nematullah Riahi”, a group of Gonabadi dervishes gathered in front of the police station. The protesting dervishes demanded Mr. Riahi’s unconditional release.

The website of Majzuban Nour, which reflects the news of the Gonabadi dervishes, reported that “some of the wounded dervishes, even if they were in the surgery room were arrested by security forces and moved to an unknown location”.

This website’s telegram channel has announced a list of detainees as; Behnam Nazamabadi, Sajjad Razmi, Yavar Mohammad Salas, Rasoul Hoveyda, Avisha Jalaluddin, Mehdi Mahdavi, Amir Labaf, Mohammad Reza Ghanizadeh, Shahram Shokri, Sheida Ezzati, Saeed Sultanpour and a person with a surname; “Mohammadi”.

General Montazeral-Mahdi, a spokeswoman for Naja announced that the police issued a deadline for dispersing Dervishes and over 60 of them were arrested.

Police forces were present with plenty of counter-insurgency equipment at 7th Golestan Street to disperse the protesters.

Saeed Montazeral-Mahdi has confirmed that three agents were killed by a bus driver in the recent gathering in Pasdaran Street. He has blamed the “deceived agents and disturbers of order and security” and those who participated in “recent gatherings in Pasdaran Street in Tehran” for this incident.

According to Mr. Montazeral-Mahdi, the bus driver and eight others were arrested in connection with the attack.

Majzuban Nour website has rewritten a message on Twitter that denies the role of Dervishes in such an action. Dervishes’ rights activists, some of whom were amongst the protesters, emphasized on social media sites, “Dervishes gatherings are peaceful and they never initiated the clashes”.

On the other hand, the channel of Iranian Radio and Television has announced the identity of the three killed policemen as; Sergeant Emami, Sergeant Bayrami, and an unidentified soldier.

In addition to the attack to a group of police officers by the bus, a personal automobile has been driven in a similar manner to a number of police officers. No information has yet been provided on the casualties.

On the other hand, Mohsen Hamedani, security deputy of Tehran’s provincial governorate, confirmed the shooting in these clashes and announced that “in connection with this gathering, which we consider to be illegal, the Tehran Provincial Security Council has had a meeting”.

Shoma News, regarding the casualties of the recent incident, has reported that “there are 8 wounded police officers involved in the incident, five of whom are undergoing outpatient treatment and three others being admitted to hospitals”.

Recently, the Dervishes gathered in front of the house of Nurali Tabandeh, the head of the order of the Gonabadi dervishes, in the 7th Golestan Street.

Dervishes said they were worried about the presence of a large number of security forces and plainclothes around Mr. Tabandan’s house.

After the clash, police chief, Hossein Rahimi, said: “The police, prosecutors and other responsible authorities never had plans to deal with the Gonabadi dervishes in Tehran.”

However, several hours after the start of the protests, reports have been received indicating that these protests are still ongoing.

Watch video footage of clashes:

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