Imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish women go on hunger strike

Gonabadi Dervish women

Female Dervish prisoners went on hunger strike following an onslaught and organized violence that was done by the prison’s guards on Wednesday at the Qarchak Prison.

The Qarchak Prison’s guards, who encouraged the prisoners convicted of general crimes to attack the Dervish women, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in an astonishing step and on the pretext of calming the prison bar, transferred the Dervish women individually to solitary confinements and beaten them with batons and electric shockers.

In addition to the families of imprisoned Gonabadi Dervish women, a number of dervishes imprisoned in wards 2 and 3 of the Greater Tehran’s Penitentiary held a sit-in protest on June 14 and 15, 2018, in protest to the beating of Gonabadi Dervish women imprisoned in Qarchak Prison. They demanded end to violence against the women in Qarchak and their immediate release from prison.

Husbands and other members of the families of imprisoned Yaresan women are generally imprisoned in the Greater Tehran’s Penitentiary. Prison guards have disconnected the phones to prevent the imprisoned men from obtaining news of their wives and sisters.

Eleven Yaresan women were transferred to Qarchak Prison on February 20, 2018, after the bloody crackdown of the peaceful demonstration and gathering of Gonabadi Dervishes in Tehran. Although the arrested women had been badly injured and needed urgent medical care, the prison’s medical staff refused to provide them care.

Sepideh Moradi, Sima Entesari, Shima Entessari, Avisha Jalaleddin, Shokoufeh Yadollahi, Maryam Farsiani, Nazilla Noori, Maryam Barakouhi, Elham Ahmadi and Sedigheh Safabakht have been detained since February 20, 2018, in Qarchak Prison under inhuman conditions.

Ms. Sepideh Moradi suffered injuries in the hand, elbow and fingers while being arrested during the Yaresan protest in Tehran. Her legs got burnt due to security forces’ use of tear gas, the scars of which still remain after three months. Ms. Moradi has been denied medical care.

Ms. Shokoufeh Yadollahi was badly brutalized during arrest and subsequently under torture as a result of which she has lost her sense of smell and needs to be treated urgently.

Ms. Shahnaz Kian Asl (Kiani) was transferred to the dispensary of Qarchak Prison of Varamin on Saturday, May 19, 2018, upon insistence of inmates, but was returned to the ward without receiving medical care. She had been offended and humiliated in the clinic by the doctor and nurse.

Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action on March 29, 2018, condemning the arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of 11 women from Gonabadi Dervish religious minority.