Death of Gonabadi dervish in custody

 This is Radio Farda’s report about the death of one of the Gonabadi dervishes

[This is Radio Farda’s report about the death of one of the Gonabadi dervishes. Recently there were clashes between dervishes and law enforcement forces. Many dervishes have been arrested and are in custody now.]

Reporter: On Sunday Mohammad Raji’s family were informed that Mr. Raji had died as a result of wounds caused by beatings. They said that since the day of clashes, they had no information about the father of the family for almost 2 weeks. Gonabaid dervishes claimed in their own news website that Mohammad Raji had been killed under torture and during interrogation. But Abbas Jafari Dolatabdi, Tehran’s prosecutor, later denied this claim. Tayebeh Raji, daughter of Mohammad Raji, talking to Radio Farda on Sunday following awareness of her father death, had said that those who had contacted the family gave no information about delivering his body to the family.

But on Monday, Raji family announced some new information, saying that they had been contacted and police forces had threatened her mother that if Mr. Raji’s body weren’t buried on Monday night, his body would be never delivered to his family. Let’s listen to the story from Tayebeh Raji.

Tayebeh Raji: Today they said that the body has been autopsied, and the result will come back in two months. They said no morgue in Tehran was ready to accept the body. So they put the body in an ambulance and sent it to towards Aligudarz. In Aligudarz they said that police forces themselves must take the body. And they said that the body must be buried at night, and you must allow us to bury the body at night. We said we won’t allow it. We are his next of kin and we don’t allow it.

Reporter: On Sunday, Tayebeh Raji had told Radio Farda that according to the law enforcement forces, her father had gone into coma due to beating and had later died. In her second phone conversation with Radio Farda, Tayebeh Raji gave more details that have been given to them by law enforcement forces of Islamic Republic.

Tayebeh Raji: They told us that your father was taken to the hospital due to being beaten that night and died there. But those law enforcement and security forces who had beaten him,

and had taken him to the hospital are responsible for him. His body was with them for 15 days, and we were not informed of his death for 15 days. That is what they told us today.

Reporter: According to reports, Mohammad Ali Raji, son of Mr. Raji, born in 1995, was arrested in clashes in Pasdaran Avenue on February 20, and is now in Fashafoyeh prison.

Mohammad Raji was one of the former commanders of IRGC and was chemically wounded during Iran-Iraq war. In 2004, after quitting IRGC, he started farming in Mazraeh Abad Village, Aligudarz. Before this, there were reports about deaths of 3 other detained dervishes at the hospital. And Gholam-Hossein Mohseni E’jei, spokesperson of the judiciary system, had confirmed the death of one of the dervishes, even though the names of these people were not mentioned.

During past days, footages and images of severe beating of detained dervishes have been published. In past days, judiciary officials have emphasized on immediate and out of turn punishments for Gonabadi dervishes who were arrested in clashes in Pasdaran Avenue. In recent events, there have been official reports about arresting 300 male and female dervishes. The dervishes, however, claim that the number of detainees is more than the announced number, and they are being mistreated and tortured in prison.