Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Special Report from the Sufi's Under Attack in Iran

Loes Bijnen, The Hague:
Since last Monday I have received rather alarming news concerning attacks on the centre of worship of the Nematollahi-Gonabadi Sufis. Maybe members are interested to read the appeal below. Also see the following link:


For years, the followers of Nematollahi-Gonabadi Sufi order, have been suffering quietly at the hands of Iranian government. For over two and half decades they have endured the most brutal and indignant treatment by the government. Their most basic human rights have been severely violated and oppressed to the point that as Moslems they are not allowed to practice their faith. Many of their spiritual teachers along with their followers have been jailed, tortured and their families harassed.

Their situation is by far worse than many of the other religious minorities such as Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians in Iran. What exacerbates the situation is that the atrocities against the followers of Nematollahi-Gonabadi Sufi order have constantly been unnoticed and/or ignored by the international community.

The latest wave of assaults against this peaceful and respected community in Iran is the seizure of their gathering and prayer center (known as Hosseinieh) in the city of Qom. What is different this time though is that the Sufis have resisted the attacks by the authorities and have not surrendered their Hosseinieh. The latest news from Iran confirms that the authorities have escalated their brutal tactics and a violent conflict seems imminent.

We appeal to you our friends and colleagues, as well as the international community, especially organizations such as the International Court of Justice, Amnesty International, the Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, to take notice of this struggle to protect our most basic human rights, and realize the urgency of the situation of Nematollahi-Gonabadi Sufis in Iran.

The latest news from Iran confirms that the government's forces have steadily increased their pressure to oust the Sufis from their center, wounding 17 with gunfire and injuring over 200 men and women. You can find extensive coverage of this event in the past few days on the web through news sites inside and outside of Iran or at our website WWW.ICCHOME.ORG.

You can reach Dr. Seyed Mostafa Azmaayesh through his email at or myself at or by phone (561)


On behalf of Dr. Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh Nematollahi-Gonabadi
Representative outside of Iran

Sharareh Gharagozloo