Over 200 Dervishes Convicted In Iran In ‘Unjust’ Trials, HRW Says

By Radio Free Europe

Iranian courts have sentenced more than 200 members of a Sufi order to prison terms and other punishments over the past four months in one of the largest crackdowns against a religious minority in Iran in a decade, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

In a statement on August 29, the New York-based group said the sentencing of at least 208 members of the dervish community since May “in violation of their fair trial rights is the latest reminder of the way the Iranian authorities’ repressive security apparatus preys on their own citizens every day.”

HRW said the sentences handed down by revolutionary courts against followers of the Nemattolah Gonabadi order, known as dervishes, included prison terms ranging from four months to 26 years, flogging, internal exile, travel bans, and a ban on membership in social and political groups.