By Iran Probe Staff
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
After security forces attacked the sit-in by Gonabadi Dervishes in protest against arresting one of their members in front of a police station, the gathering turned into a bloody clash and three security forces and two members of the Basij militia were killed.
The gathering and sit-in of the Dervishes in front of the police station 102 was demanding the release of Naimatullah Riahi, who was arrested two weeks ago in front of Nurali Tabandeh's house, the head of the Gonabadi Dervishes.
According to video footages posted on social media, security forces and Basij militias with batons and tear gas beat the protesters.
In one of these videos showed a white bus ploughing through a group of around 40 riot police officers in a narrow street. In another clip, a Samand car is seen driving to a group of security forces who are beating the protesters.
Three Iranian regime security forces and two members of Basij militiamen were killed on Monday 19 February 2018 in clashes with protesters, according to the police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi.
More than 300 protesters, and the driver of the vehicles, were arrested in connection with the violence, police said.
Channel Telegram, a social app, named "Majzoban Noor" affiliated with the Dervishes, wrote that several members of the group were shot by law enforcement officers.
The Gonabadi dervishes are a group of Sufi Muslims who have been subjected to security pursuits throughout Iran, with several arrested and facing charges, in the last two decades.
The late U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran voiced concern in 2017 about the “targeting and harsh treatment” of members of various Sufi groups, including the Gonabadi order and the Yarsan, also known Ahl-e Haqq.
Asma Jahangir, who died a week ago, said in her report to the U.N. Human Rights Council last March that the groups “continue to face arbitrary arrest, harassment and detention, and are often accused of national security crimes such as acting against national security”.