Dervish Issued Harsh Sentence to Intimidate Others
Kasra Nouri, 22, a Gonabadi Dervish imprisoned at Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz, has been sentenced to four years and four months in prison in part to intimidate other youth and prevent them from joining the Dervish sect, a close family friend told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Sedigheh Khalili added that the Nouri family was shocked by the sentence and plans to appeal it.
“I spoke with Mr. Fariborz Yadollahi, Kasra’s uncle who also represents him, and he told me that he read Kasra’s ruling and that in the text there is a sentence that states that the court issued such a sentence for him in order to prevent and intimidate other youth from joining the Dervish sect,” Khalili, herself a Dervish, told the Campaign.
Kasra Nouri’s charges were “propaganda against the regime,” “acting against national security,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” “membership in the Majzooban-e Noor website,” and “interviewing with Radio Farda.” The Revolutionary Court wrote in Nouri’s severe ruling that it was intended to prevent “irreparable consequences in society and especially as pertains the youth.” According to Majzooban-e Noor, a website dedicated to news and reports about the Dervishes, the ruling issued by the Shiraz Revolutionary Court also stated that Kasra Nouri’s activities “promoted the creation of new beliefs” and “made the atmosphere of society unsafe and promoted superstitions.”
Khalili told the Campaign, “Kasra and his lawyer don’t accept these charges at all. He is innocent and he was sentenced to 4+ years in prison with this strange reasoning that they wish to scare the other youths to keep them from joining the Dervishes. He should be in university, not in jail. Like all the other Dervishes and political prisoners, in his case there are charges such as ‘propaganda against the state,’ ‘acting against national security,’ and ‘interviewing with Radio Farda,’ but there is no evidence to prove such charges. He has been sacrificed to put fear into others.”
Kasra Nouri and another imprisoned Dervish, Saleh Oradi, embarked on a hunger strike on January 16 to protest the transfer of their lawyers to Evin Prison’s Ward 209. The hunger strike lasted 90 days, until the lawyers were transferred back to the General Ward of Evin Prison.
“Since they broke their hunger strike, the prison authorities have not paid any attention to them,” Khalili said. “How can someone who did not eat for more than 90 days be well? They must need medical examination and serious review. Since they ended their hunger strike, Kasra and Saleh’s brothers have gone to see them through the booth. They told us they have lost a lot of weight and don’t have a good appearance. But when they called their mothers, in order to soothe them they said that they were well. When I spoke with my brother-in-law Saleh and asked him, ‘Have you been examined?’ he said that they asked the prison officials once to receive a medical examination but they didn’t pay any attention to the request.”