Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One dead, 250 women and children among the arrested in Qom

Iran Press News: Translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi.
From the blog of Qom journalist, Hamed Mottaghi

Last night after hours of resistance, the anti-riot forces that had surrounded the Hosseini'yeh, having arrested the Sufis residents who had also been protecting the premises, were able to gain entrance into the Hosseini'yeh. Though they reported that they had arrested 500 people, they had actually arrested more like 1000 Sufis who were inside and were conducting a peaceful sit-in. Based on reports from various sources, around 250 women and children were among the arrested. Witnesses reported that the when arrested were being taken away, a few [of the regimes decoys and fundamentalists] among the crowd were outside calling the arrested Sufis, Najis (unclean) and physically attacked them.

The streets were still crowded at 2 A.M. when the bulldozers arrived at the scene to tear down the Hosseini'yeh.

People were saying that a group who had broken down the doors of the adjacent building to the Hosseini'yeh, were able to gain access to the inside, destroying and tossing the place and setting fire to anything flammable they could find. Witnesses say that a lawyer’s office that was in the area was also destroyed and his files were thrown out into the street. Today, the street the Hosseini'yeh was located on was closed to traffic; the bulldozers continued to destroy that building and a few other buildings belonging to a well-respected local Doctor.

Today, in the surrounding streets the same fundamentalists who were there the night before were standing around and got into a fight with people who liked and respected the Sufis and were against it clashed and street fights ensued.

This morning (Tuesday) the governor of the province of Qom was interviewed by some members of the media where he spoke of the siege and destruction of the Hosseini'yeh. Many members of the media who came from varied political views and opinions all seemed to agree and they clearly and angrily stated their opposition to the events of the last 3 days of this brutality in Qom and how innocent people were so savagely attacked. The governor however made an excuse, saying that he had some meeting and fled the press briefing.

Many of the Dervishes who were badly beaten and injured are now laid up in hospitals and some are in critical conditions.

A few hours ago we got news that Abdolhasan Bahrami, esteemed professor of literature, resident of Qom [and relative of the one of the elders of the Nematollahi tradition and is known to the people of Qom as Shariat Senior] died in the hospital as a result of severe injuries he sustained during the first series of incidents on January 19th. READ MORE