Protestors will gather outside the Iranian embassy in London today against the possible execution of seven prisoners in Iran.
The protest will be attended by (among others) Adnan Rashid from IERA, Islam Channel presenter Uthman Lateef, Anjem Choudary, Sheikh Khaled Fikry and Abdul Rahim Mollazadeh, the Director of The Iranian Sunni League and Manager of Wesal Farsi TV.
The protestors say the seven prisoners are “Iranian Sunnis” who are facing likely death sentences on numerous charges, namely “propagating Wahabbism” and national security breaches.
The names of the seven prisoners are: Sheikh Farhad Salimi, Karim Ayoub, Anvar Khezri, Qasim Abista, Khosro Bashart, Kamran Shaykha and Dawud Abdullah.
Gulf media reports have also indicated that several prominent sunni scholars have been “forced” to announce approval of their executions. Numerous Sunni forums and Gulf media outlets have alleged that the scholars were arrested in recent days in the mainly Sunni town of Mahabad, Iran.
The forums say they are being held in an unknown location, and have been forced to comply with the authorities in their campaign to execute the prisoners.
Adnan Rashid said: “Iran is not only committing crimes against Muslims in Syria, there is an active campaign of destruction against Ahlus Sunnah taking place within the country.”
In a press release to the media Anjem Choudary said: “The Iranian regime are quick to falsely accuse Sunnis of being separatists and terrorists merely for expressing their Islamic views within their own community, including defending their beliefs from attacks by Shia clergy.
“Those facing execution are not from any armed group nor are they separatists, rather they are merely active sunnis practicing their belief within their own community in the town of Sanandaj, Iran. The prisoners in this case are being held in Rajai Shahr prison, Karaj.
“None of the prisoners have been convicted of violent offences, and instead face vague charges such as ‘propogating Wahabbism’ or ‘acting against national security’. Many were severely tortured until they ‘confessed’. Two prisoners are facing the death penalty for distributing books and CDs about sunni Islam.
“Sunnis regularly suffer persecution at the hands of the Shia regime even though they make up at least a third of the population. Well known Sunnis who have been held captive by the non-Islamic Shia regime include Saif al-Adel, Shaouqi Al-Islamboli, Abu Al-Ghaith and even an old Muslim woman in her 60’s.
“Some have been arrested and detained under house arrest for 9 years without charge or trial. Dozens of families are being held in Tehran without charge or trial and suffer poor living conditions. Mustafa Hamid and his family are one example under house arrest who cannot return home. Usually the barbaric Iranian regime do not even issue any official court papers until after executions.”
Iran denies that it is targeting or discriminating against sunnis.
Iranian insiders told 5Pillarz that the government is targeting armed separatists who are often funded by foreign powers like Saudi Arabia or even the CIA and who happen in this case to be sunnis.
They said Iran does not target anyone because they are sunni and official government policy is that sunnis and shia are brothers and sisters. They added that if shias tried to separate and instigate against the regime they would also be targeted.
Other Iranians in London also expressed concern to 5Pillarz that the people demonstrating outside the Iranian embassy today are open “takfiris” who do not consider Shias to be Muslim and have a sectarian agenda. They said that these people were trying to sectarianise a political issue and this was unforgiveable.
Sunni Muslims are the second largest religious group in Iran and make up about 9 percent (under seven million) of the population. They are mostly Kurds in the northwest, Arabs and Balochs in the southwest and southeast, and a smaller number of Persians, Pashtuns and Turkmens in the northeast.
The predominant school of theology and jurisprudence among Sunnis in Iran is Hanafi.