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A LETTER BY A NUMBER OF GONABADI DERVISHES IN AUSTRALIA TO THE UN AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIO

dervish-prisonMajzooban.org - We, Gonabadi Dervishes, are proud of following a Sufi order which has made us unable to disturb and suppress others and opened our eyes to the reality that all creatures are manifestations of divinity.

Therefore, we are at peace with all of them and love them as they are all created by beloved God. We are grateful to God that we are among those who do not exchange a moment of service to him for material wealth and power. We ask God to forgive and guide our unseeing fellow men who, out of ignorance, suppress us while we want only the best for them, oppressors who, as human beings, ought to be kind to others and faithful to this human commitment but have forgotten about it.

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121

Dear human rights activists

There is very little about these matters for us to tell you that you do not already know. All those who prioritize humanity in their lives are shocked at how people who claim insight into humanity and religion can act so dishonorably and inhumanely. They practice inquisition which is an appalling worldwide crime. They respond to flowers with batons, and try hard, but in vain, to lead those who are on the right path into the abyss of ignorance they themselves have sunk into. Our sufferings have been engraved on the memory of the world and make those who claim to act in faith live in infamy for eternity, individuals who are so afraid of the world's discovering the truth of their idiocies that they do everything to silence the voices of equality and justice and block news of their violence.

We, Gonabadi Dervishes in Australia, are siblings of those brave angels who have been kept imprisoned for following the path of humanity and upholding human rights and were on hunger strike for more than a month. We are the family of the dervishes who, in the hope that noble human beings would hear our voice, staged protests in front of the Prosecutor General's office, an office which to this day has still not prosecuted our oppressors, and the Ministry of Justice, which so far has also failed to provide any semblance of justice. We are the brethren of the women, men, and children who in support of justice exposed themselves to psychological and physical danger from the extremes of the Iranian (anti-)security forces, and those who were dismissed from work and school because of their faith. We live and hold our Sufi sessions in Australia which does not have "Islamic" in its name, but its government does not meddle in our affairs, because, unlike the dominant structure in Iran, it believes in and strives toward protecting citizens' legitimate freedom of thought and expression. We are amazed that in Iran, where the state calls itself "Islamic", our brothers and sisters, who have defined their lives in terms of their beliefs and striving toward them, are under systematic torture and oppression.

It is obvious that the Iranian state and government are flagrantly ignoring their international obligations. Examples abound. The Minister of Intelligence called us atheists in a public speech. Mr. Ejei, the spokesperson for the Judiciary, considered the dervishes' peace rallies, which were entirely in line with the Constitution, illegal and accused dervishes of undermining social order instead of condemning the police and security force's brutal suppression. He knows too well that the imprisoned dervishes' families have done all they could but that their requests have not been addressed by the state and government which claim to be at the service of the citizens.

Therefore, we urgently request you to condemn the inhuman and immoral treatment of dervishes and demand that Iranian authorities fulfil their international obligations, respect freedom of worship, and free our spiritual brothers who are victims of the asymmetrical approach of the Iranian judicial system and have no access to due process. These actions of the state are only tarnishing its reputation both internationally and domestically, as more and more people feel the shame of injustices inflicted upon religious minorities in Iran.

Kind regards from the many interested Gonabadi Dervishes residing in Australia

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A letter by a number of Gonabadi Dervishes in Australia to the UN and other human rights organizations