Sunni Prayer Room Closed in Tehran

HRANA News Agency – The Iranian authorities have closed down a Sunni prayer room  in the Pounak neighborhood of Tehran.

According to the report of Campaign to Defend Baluch Activists, Tehran’s central Sunni prayer room was sealed and shut down by municipal officials, according to reports from Iran.

Eyewitnesses said that on Saturday morning, 17 January 2015, municipal officials arrived at the Sunni prayer room in the Pounak neighborhood of Tehran, and welded [metal] to seal all of the entrances to the prayer room.

Abdul Sattar Doshoki, director of London’s Center for Baluchistan Studies, confirmed the news and told BBC Persian that the municipal officials had dealt harshly with the Imam of the Sunni prayer room and had even taken some of his [personal] documents.

He said that a few people who had been present at the scene had also been detained for some hours.

Mr Doshoki added, “Sunnis do not have an official prayer site in Tehran, and during previous years have rented a hall to be used as [a substitute for] a mosque,”

“However, these actions had always been opposed, and usually these Sunni prayer rooms have been forced to close down shortly after their creation,” he said.

He said that in most cases, whenever a prayer room is opened and used by Sunni residents of the Iranian capital as a center for group interaction and congregational worship, the opposition from the authorities begins.

On Friday 9 January 2015 it was also reported that Sunnis were prevented from holding prayers led by Molana Abdol Hamid, a prominent Sunni scholar, at the same prayer room.

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