Nine Gonabadi dervishes in Tehran’s Evin Prison and Shiraz’s Nezam Prison have begun a hunger strike to protest their illegal treatment by prison officials.

The Majzooban-e Noor website reported on Saturday September 6 that the Gonabadi dervishes have once again started a hunger strike to protest “the illegal treatment of political prisoners and the enforcement of arbitrary restriction by prison officials.”

In recent years, Iranian dervishes have experienced severe persecution by Islamic Republic authorities. They were especially targeted by the Ahmadinejad administration.

The Rohani administration, which took power last year, has promised to improve conditions for ethnic and religious minorities in the country, but its efforts have met with staunch resistance from supporters of the status quo.