London, 10 Apr – Protests have begun in Iran to show public discord to the imprisonment of a prominent Sunni cleric.
They began after Fazl Al-Rahman Kuhi, the Sunni Leader of the Friday prayer of Sistan and Baluchestan province was arrested and imprisoned in the security detention of Mashhad.
The protests began in Sarbaz Town, near to the Sunni leader’s birthplace of Pishamag Village.
According to reports on the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the protests have continued for over three days, including demonstrations outside the local government offices, road blockades, and a shutdown of regional shops by local business owners.
The NCRI report said: “[The protesters set] tires on fire and blocked the transit road of Iranshahr-Chabahar.”
Not only that but the local military forces have laid down their weapons and refused to serve in the army until the Sunni cleric is released from prison, meaning that they will not fire on the protesters.
The NCRI report said: “The local forces of Pashamag and Hang military base handed their weapons over in act of protest. The local forces have said to the Chief Commander that they will not serve in the army as long as [Kuhi] is in custody.”
The Public Prosecutor of Zahedan, Ali Movahedi Rad, said that Kuhi had been summoned to the Special Clerical Court for making controversial remarks about the security of the Iranian regime – both domestically and internationally.
Rad refused to comment any further about Kuhi’s arrest but said that the comments that he’d been arrested for related to “obscene” websites.
A website belonging to the “Baloch Activists Campaign”, who initially reported on the Kuhi’s arrest on Monday, April 3, released a video of his latest speech.
In the video, Kuhi can be heard saying that the Sunnis, a religious minority who are routinely oppressed by the Shiite Regime, have the right to criticise the Regime and still retain their human and civil rights.
He advocated against the Regime’s proposed removal or division of Sistan and Baluchestan as a province; a sectarian plan formulated by the Iranian Regime to divide the various ethnic and religious groups in this province.
At no point does Kuhi encourage violence against the Regime or encourage his followers to create havoc for the Regime.
He also opposed the deployment of Sunni Iranian to Syrian to fight against the Syrian people on behalf of the Syrian dictator.
Kuhi has been cautioned several times before for making comments against the Iranian Regime.