After nine jailed dervishes announced that they will refuse food to protest their mistreatment by Iranian prison authorities, 31 Gonabadi dervishes from across the country began their own hunger strike in support of their jailed peers.
The Majzooban Noor website reports that the dervishes announced on Facebook that they have joined the hunger strike in support of political prisoners and begun a national campaign of solidarity among Gonabadi dervishes.
Dervishes in Lorestan Province have written to Iranian President Hassan Rohani, calling for immediate action to improve conditions for their jailed brethren.
The letter also lists how dervishes have been persecuted by the establishment in recent years, such as “the destruction of centres for mystic dervishes in Qom, Isfahan and Boroujerd, and the dismissal of members of the group from public service” and they call for “immediate action to remedy the judicial and medical situation of jailed dervishes in Shiraz’s Adelabad and Tehran’s Evin Prisons.”
More than 350 Gonabadi dervishes in Khuzestan have also written to Hassan Rohani, asking him to put an end to the persecution of dervishes by the judiciary and security forces.
The families of the jailed dervishes announced yesterday that they will gather at the Tehran Prosecutor’s office on Saturday March 8, should the authorities fail to address the medical needs of their kin in jail.