NCRI – The clerical regime’s suppressive State Security Forces (SSF) crushed a demonstration by thousands of Nematollahi dervishes and the people in the holy city of Qom (in central Iran). The action led to extensive clashes between the people and the security forces in various neighborhoods in the city. Qom shut down as Monday’s demonstrations and clashes continued into Tuesday.
The demonstration erupted in protest to the seizure of a religious center of the Nematollahi dervishes by the clerical regime as the protestors attempted to take the center back. More than 3,000 dervishes converged on the city on Monday and began a protest action to take back the center. The regime’s agents cut-off water, gas and electricity to the building and built a wall in front of it.
The SSF brought in its special strike unit (anti-riot forces) to control the unrest. Water cannons were also on the scene to disperse the crowds. The head of Qom’ SSF, an IRGC commander named Sajjadi, personally rushed to the scene and commanded the crackdown. The Nematollahi dervishes and a large number of Qom residents that had joined them clashed with SSF units and shouted anti-regime slogans and threw stones and bricks to fend them off.
The clerical regime countered on Tuesday by mobilizing bands of vigilantes that roamed the streets shouting “death to Monafegh” [Mojahedin] in an attempt to keep the demonstrators off the streets. The vigilantes numbered over 2,000 and shouted “Qom is not for Monafeghin.”
The SSF arrested more than 500 dervish protesters and their families in yesterday’s clashes and transferred them to an unknown location. There is de facto martial law in Qom and many stores and shopping centers are closed.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, called on all human rights advocates to condemn the brutal suppression of the Nematollahi dervishes and the systematic violation of the rights of religious minorities in Iran.
“The anti-human clerical regime has stepped up the violation of human rights, while exporting Islamic fundamentalism, sponsoring terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons, in an attempt to rescue its disgraceful rule from demise. Hundreds of Tehran transit workers have been imprisoned for over two weeks,” Mrs. Rajavi said
Mrs. Rajavi underlined the spirit of tolerance, coexistence and fraternity that the Iranian nation has enjoyed in its long history, and called on all compatriots in Qom, in particular the youths, to rise in defense of the dervishes who are facing dual persecution by the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 15, 2006