Source: iJET International


Officials Execute Sufi Protester over Bus-ramming Incident in Tehran: On June 18, authorities executed Mohammad Salas, who had been accused of driving a bus into a group of security forces during a protest by members of the Gonabadi Sufi order in Tehran in February. The vehicular incident killed five security officers, including three police officers and two members of the Basij, or, mobilization forces. Following the incident, authorities arrested Salas and 300 other Sufis.

Analysis: While Salas confessed to driving the bus unintentionally into a group of security forces, his lawyer has said that the confession was extracted following hours of torture. Tehran continues its crackdown of religious minority groups, political dissidents, and social justice activists. Iran's judiciary has regularly been targeting and persecuting members of the Gonabadi Sufi order, who are also known as dervishes. The dervishes, while subscribing to Shi'a Islam, are a distinct group of a religious minority who follow a mystical path. Authorities treat the dervishes, as well as other religious minority groups, such as the Sunnis and members of the Baha'i faith, as a threat to mainstream Shi'a Islam. The Center for Human Rights in Iran reported June 14 that authorities expelled a Baha'i student - Soha Izadi - from a university in the city of Zanjan in Zanjan Province one year before her graduation. Authorities apparently told Izadi that she could only graduate if she renounced her faith and converted to Shi'a Islam.