(Beirut) – Iranian authorities arrested over 300 members of the minority Dervish Muslim community in late February 2018 after police forcibly tried to break up a protest. The events in February stemmed from what appears to be an intensified crackdown on the Dervish minority, including likely ramped-up surveillance of the group’s leader.
The ensuing clashes left dozens of people injured and at least three police officers and one Basij member dead. One arrested protester died in custody in unexplained circumstances. The Iranian authorities should immediately release those held or charge them with a recognizable crime. The authorities should also allow for an independent investigation into possible use of excessive force during the clashes.