Well-respected Sunni Baluch cleric Molavi Abdulmajid Moradzahi has been languishing in solitary confinement for the past four months without any formal charges.
The 63-year-old man, known for his influential role as an advisor to Molavi Abdulhamid, the country’s most prominent Sunni cleric, was arrested on January 30 during anti-government protests in the restive south-eastern city of Zahedan.
The Baluch Activists Campaign, which monitors rights violations in Sistan and Baluchistan province, reported that Moradzahi is being subjected to torture.
Hundreds of Zahedan residents took to the streets on June 2 for their 35th consecutive Friday of demonstrations against the country’s Shia clerical rulers.
The protesters gathered around Grand Makki Mosque after Friday prayers, chanting slogans such as “We reject the Islamic Republic” and “Down with the oppressive government that kills innocent children.”
The chants “By the blood of our comrades, we will persist until the end” and “I will kill whoever killed my brother” also echoed through the streets of the restive south-eastern city.
The Islamic Republic hanged a member of the Baluch minority Thursday morning, bringing the number of executed Baluch prisoners to 19, including two women, in five days.
Right groups have described the promptness of the regime’s executions of Baluch prisoners in recent weeks as “an official policy to intimidate protesters in Sistan and Baluchistan province,” where anti-regime rallies have been held weekly since the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests began in September.
The Thursday execution was carried out at Mashhad Central Prison and there are unconfirmed reports that several other people from the minority group have been transferred to death row.
A police car ran over four Baloch traveling on two motorcycles in the south-eastern city of Fanuj on the evening of April 25, killing a 16-year-old teenager and seriously injuring three others, said human rights activists.
Haalvsh, a group that monitors rights violations in Sistan and Baluchistan province, said that police officers shot at demonstrators who had gathered in the streets after the incident, inflicting injuries to three more people.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that police shot in the air “because some protesters threw stones and glass” at a police station.
The office of a prominent Iranian Sunni cleric who has been missing for four months accused the Islamic Republic of hypocrisy, saying that it is organizing rallies in support of the Palestinians while cracking down on its own people.
A statement published by Molavi Abdulghaffar Naqshbandi’s office called the state-sanctioned annual rallies marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day on April 14 a “spectacle.”
Abdulghaffar Naqshbandi is the Friday prayer leader of the city of Rask in the south-eastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, which is home to Iran’s Sunni Baluch minority of up to 2 million people.
Halvash website which covers events in Iran’s Baluchistan says in its annual report that 628 Baluch citizens were killed directly or indirectly by the Islamic Republic agents in the past Iranian year that ended on March 20.
According to the report, 182 Baluch people were executed in 23 prisons across Iran, out of which about 81% were drug-related cases.
At least 167 others have died due to the direct gunfire by military agents in the Sistan-Baluchistan province.