Illegal Summons of a Gonabadi Nematollahi Guru to Intelligence Office
Khajeh Garashi “Vafa Ali,” a guru from the Gonabadi Nematollahi order, was recently summoned by the Lar Township Information Office. In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Davood Montazeri, Garashi’s lawyer, described how the Gonabadi guru was summoned. “In this letter, there are no charges and no reasons for the summons. We don’t even know whether those forces were really from the Intelligence Office or not. This method of summoning is completely illegal,” Montazeri said.
On 15 July 2010 at 12:00 noon, security forces from the township of Garash went to Garashi’s home and served him with a document asking him to turn himself in at the Lar Township Intelligence Office on Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
Davood Montazeri told the Campaign that the Head of the local police went to Mr. Garashi’s home and told him, “The Ministry of Intelligence has asked us to write the summons and serve it to you.” Regarding why the summons was illegal Montazeri said, “The summons is not from the Intelligence Ministry. Even if it were from the Intelligence Ministry, it is not within the powers of the Intelligence Ministry to summon individuals and the Ministry is not the legally appointed body for ordering individuals to appear. They are not allowed to call on people like this. Also, Mr. Afrasiabi, Head of the Police, who brought the summons to my client, did not leave a copy of the document with him. Even when I went to the police station, they did not give me the document. They said ‘the document had been issued in one copy only.'”
According to Montazeri, only the Judiciary can issue summonses. “If the Intelligence Ministry wishes to summon someone, they must act through the Judiciary. I believe this to be a clear case of inquisition,” he said.
Referring to the complaint which led to his client’s summons, Montazeri said, “Last December, the Garash Friday Prayers Imam incited the locals against the dervishes. They came and distributed some CD’s and posters against the dervishes. The CD they distributed was a family CD of Mr. Khajeh Garashi’s. The Friday Prayers Imam had spoken against the dervishes several times. The evidence and documents pertaining to this claim are all available. We went to several organizations to file a complaint against these actions. We were sent a letter from the courts, demanding that we appear as plaintiffs, threatening us that if we didn’t attend, they would ‘deal’ with us appropriately! We were the plaintiffs and we were reprimanded!”
Montazeri explained that the dervishes do not act against anyone or anything, and that they keep only to their own beliefs. “Mr. Garashi doesn’t do anything in particular. He is a Gonabadi Nematollahi guru. There is no reason for this type of treatment,” he said.
Montazeri criticized the performance of government organizations who violate the law and the explicit articles of the Iranian Constitution which emphasize freedom of religion and the illegality of inquisition, saying, “According to the law, inquisition is illegal. [Religious] minorities are allowed to carry on their activities, so long as those activities are within the framework of the Iranian Constitution and Islamic Laws. My client and all dervishes, are Shiites who believe in the 12 Imams. They believe in all aspects of Islam. I don’t know what has caused this animosity.”
“These individuals’ only charges can be their belief in God, the 14 Innocents, and worship of God; if these are their charges, they will accept them,” Montazeri said when asked about his client’s charges. He ended by calling the treatment of dervishes by official organizations as “entirely political,” and “vindictive.”
Some time ago, the Gonabadi Nematollahi dervishes wrote a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei in which they indicated violations of human rights of the dervishes, enumerating the Islamic Republic’s systematic discrimination imposed on the dervishes.