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Iran: IRGC forces attacked, fired shots at Darwish community members

Units of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards opened fire at members of the Darwish minority community members in the border town of Bash Omagh in western Iran
Units of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards opened fire at members of the Darwish minority community members in the border town of Bash Omagh in western Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, July 10, 2020—Units of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) opened fire on Thursday at members of the Darwish minority community members in the border town of Bash Omagh in western Iran.

Around 5,000 members of the Darwish Ghaderi community were taking part in funeral ceremonies for Sheikh Mohammad Kassanzani, leader of the Ghaderi branch of the Darwish community. They intended to pass through the Bash Omagh border near the city of Mariwan in Kurdistan province, western Iran, and head to the city of Suleymaniyeh in Iraq. However, IRGC members and units of the regime’s border guards opened fire on the mourning Darwish community.

Reports indicate that clashes erupted and continued for hours, leaving several Darwish Ghaderi community members killed and injured.

Members of Iran’s Dervish religious minority have faced continuous harsh treatment from Iranian regime authorities, with one recently freed dissident being forced into internal exile and another detained activist being ordered to remain in a coronavirus-plagued prison system far from home town.

Article 513 of the regime’s own criminal code specifically states that people sentenced to prison should be jailed as near as possible to their place of residence, unless a judge decides that doing so would be a perversion of justice. The mullahs’ regime has a long history of imposing internal exile on inmates, especially political prisoners, as a method to impose pressure and aimed at breaking their will.

The Dervishes involved in the 2018 protests had been demanding the release of arrested members of their community and authorities to remove security checkpoints installed around the house of their elderly leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh. He later died in December 2019.

Members of the Sufi Muslim religious minority long have complained of harassment by the oppressive mullahs’ regime who consider them as heretics and impose harsh crackdown measures and restrictions.