No news about fate of ten Sunni activists arrested in April

HRANA News Agency – There has been no news about the condition of ten Sunni men who are being held at an unknown location since their arrest earlier this year in the cities of Bukan and Mahabad, West Azerbaijan province of Iran.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the men, who were arrested in April, have not been allowed to contact their family, and there is no news about their charges or location.

The families of the detainees have visited the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence in Bukan and Mahabad a number of times, in an attempt to find out news about the men.

During a visit to the Ministry of Intelligence in May, officials informed the families that the men had been arrested due to celebrating Eid on the same day that it was marked in Sunni Arab countries, instead of celebrating on the same day that it was marked in the Shia-ruled Iran.

A source told the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), “The families of these ten people visited the office of the Ministry of Intelligence after a month of uncertainty and without news [of the detainees].”

“When they asked the officials what the crimes of these people were, their reply to them was: ‘they organized congregational prayers, and they performed Eid prayers for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in accordance with [Sunni] Arab countries, one day earlier [compared to Iran].”

The families’ agonizing wait for news about their loved ones looks set to continue, after receiving contradictory information about their location.

The families were first informed that the detainees had been transferred to Tehran, before being told that they had been returned to Urumiah. In a visit to the Ministry of Intelligence around a month ago, the families were told that the men would be released ‘in a few days’. That, however, has proven to be false.

“We think this claim is not true,” a source had told the HRANA, “it is just a way to psychologically torment the families of the detainees.”

Abdol Rahim Chana, Soran Fatahi and Abdol Hadi Azrem were arrested on 18 April 2014. Masoud Javadi, Namegh Doldol, Mohammad Rasoolizadeh, Mohammad Mohammadi and Ibrahim Rasooli were arrested on 19 April 2014. Jafar Ghafoori and Ibrahim Ghadri Far were arrested on 22 April 2014. All ten men were active in practicing Sunni Islam.

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