Iran: Female Dervishes in poor condition in Qarchak Prison

female Dervishes

More than 70 female Gonabadi Dervishes were arrested during the protests of Golestane Haftom by security forces. Eleven of these women are currently being held in Qarchak Prison. The conditions that these women are being kept in has been reported as extremely poor.  The women have been identified as Dr. Nazila Nouri, Shokoufeh Yadollahi, Sepideh Moradi, Sima Entesari, Shima Entesari, Shahnaz Kiani, Maryam Farsani, Elham Ahmadi, Avisha Jalaluddin, Masoumeh Barakouhi and Sedighe Safavakht. The lack of proper ventilation and the horrific hygienic conditions along with the smell of waste and sewage and the resulting gasses has made conditions unbearable for the prisoners. The head of the section has closed all the windows in the past few days which has led to the deterioration of Shima Entesari’s health who has asthma. She was taken to the prison medical clinic after she suffered an asthma attack.

There are also concerns for the condition of other detained Dervishes as they are suffering from injuries sustained when they were beaten by security forces before and after they were arrested.

A gathering on February 19, 2018, by Dervish Gonabadi protesters turned violent after police intervention. The Dervishes were protesting the detention of Nematollahi Riahi and the lack of accountability by agents about where he was detained and charges made against him. Nematollahi Riahi had gone to the Namju Police Station to follow up the condition of other detained Dervishes but was arrested by police. The daughter of the elderly man said that he had severe heart issues and that a battery had been placed in his heart.

The State Security Force attacked the protesters, firing bird shots and tear gas and using batons. At least three Dervish Gonabadi protesters were killed and more than 600 were arrested. 70 women arrested during the Dervish Gonabadi protests were transferred to Qarchak Prison, south east of the capital.

They are held in the quarantine section of ward 3 where all communications with the outside world is cut off. Many protesters were severely injured by anti-riot units using pellet guns. Reports indicate many injured protesters have been arrested in hospitals by intelligence agents.