Maulavi Fazlurahman Koohi Arrested in Mashhad
HRANA News Agency – Maulavi Fazlurahman Koohi, Sunni Friday prayers’ Imam in Pishamag, and director of a seminary in this city, was arrested by the SCC in Mashhad. His arrest, who is opposing Iranian Sunni people’s involvement in the war in Syria, has created an unprecedented wave of protests in the region of Baluchistan. These protests which have begun with the road closures, assembly, strike and closure of business sites, have led to some rare issues, such as; returning weapons by the Sunni members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Mulavi Fazlurahman Koohi is the Sunni Friday prayer’s Imam in Pishamag, in the city of Sarbaz, and principal of Anvarulharamein seminary in this city. He has taken some positions, including opposition to dispatching Sunni people to the Syrian front, the removal of Baluchistan province from the province’s list, as well as opposition to the division of Sistan and Baluchistan province, have made him quite popular and respected among the Sunni Baluch people.
The SCC in Mashhad, by a phone call, on March 29, informed Mr. Koohi that he had to present himself at this court, on Monday April 3. This Sunni cleric had objected the lack of written summons, on his phone call, but he was threatened by this Special Court.
This Friday prayer’s Imam of Pishamag was interrogated when he attended the court; however, he was not allowed to leave the court after the official closing hour. Officials told the people associated with him that; “He is our guest” and asked them to leave the court otherwise “it would be bad” for them.
The next day, while Maulavi Fazlurahman Koohi was in detention, his deputy, Maulavi Mohammad Amin Askani was threatened on the phone by the Revolutionary Court in Zahedan, to be summoned and interrogated due to announcement of his support to Mr. Koohi. Mr. Askani had a meeting with the governor of Rask, in the morning of the same day.
Synchronous with the threat of deputy of Mr. Koohi, a group of Sarbaz city people gathered to protest the arrest of the Sunni cleric first, in front of the garrison of Corps in Pishamag and then in the city center as well as in front of the Governor Office in Rask city. In the meantime, a group of angry youths, showed their protest by burning tires and blocking the transit roads of Sarbaz-Chabahar, on April 3.
On the other hand on the same day, Baluch workers and clerks at the headquarters of the army military base at Pashamag and Sarbaz regiment, showed their protest with returning their weapons, and announced that they would be on strike until the Friday prayer’s Imam was released.
Maulavi Abduljalil Nomani, “Talim AL Quran Geran”, religious school principal, in Sarbaz city, criticized the arrest of Mr. Koohi in a statement, on April 5.
While, there were reports of Sunni Clergymen gathering in this day in front of the SCC in Mashhad and demanding the freedom of Maulavi Fazlurahman Koohi, but, Pishamag’s Friday prayer’s Imam’s entourage were not successful to visit him. The people of Sarbaz continued their protests and people of Sarkoor with burning tires, blocked the transit road of Iranshahr-Chabahar.
The prosecutor of Zahedan, on April 6, said the case of Mr. Koohi was on its “legal path” and claimed many of the words of this cleric on Fridays Prayers have been “subject of enemy and extremist websites, instead of consolidating the unity”.
On the same day, Maulavi Nomani was also threatened by the Intelligence Office in Sarbaz, because of supporting Maulvi Fazlurahman.
Following the protests in the region, many merchants and shopkeepers of Sarbaz Kalat, Rask, Jakigur, Bideld, Nasirabad and others closed their businesses to protest the continued detention of this Sunni cleric.
While, Maulana Abdul Hamid, Sunni Friday prayer’s Imam in Zahedan, in defense of the positions of Mr. Koohi, has announced him as his colleague and compeer, the city council of Sarbaz city has had a meeting regarding the protests in the region.