Sunni prisoners in Rejaishahr, Evin and Qezel Hessar Prisons have issued a statement protesting the government’s decision to ban the Friday Mass Imam of Zahedan from traveling abroad to attend the  World Islamic Conference.

Mowlavi Abdolhamid Esmail Zehi, the senior Sunni Muslim leader in Zahedan, was prevented from attending the World Islamic Conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, an event taking place from March 2-4.

Kaleme reports that the prisoners denounce the ban as another manifestation of “hostile government policies” against Sunnis in Iran, saying: “Such actions are more revealing than the false slogans of Islamic unity and claims that there is no discrimination between Shia and Sunni.”

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rohani was travelling in Hormozgan Province in the south, where he stressed that the government has policies of non-discrimination toward religious and ethnic minorities.