Top Iranian Sunni cleric says torture of protesters un-Islamic

A top dissident Iranian Sunni cleric on Friday denounced as un-Islamic Iran’s alleged use of pressured confessions to convict detained protesters, as weekly demonstrations persisted inside the county’s southeast.

Meanwhile, the government’ crackdown following national protests endured with arrests, which includes that of a movie star chef and a distinguished journalist.

Anti-government marches were held on Fridays within the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province as part of protests after the death in custody on Sept. 16 of a younger Iranian Kurdish lady detained by means of the morality police for flouting a strict dress code for girls.

“If a person does now not accept the accusation, they torture him to accept it. Confessions underneath coercion and the thrashing of the accused have no region in sharia (Islamic regulation) and our u . S . A .’s Constitution,” Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi said in a Friday prayers sermon, consistent with his internet site.

Ismaeelzahi is based totally in Zahedan, capital of the impoverished Sistan-Baluchistan province, home to Iran’s Baluch minority. Authorities have reportedly compelled him with the aid of banning him from visiting overseas and proscribing his travels and contacts inside Iran.

Rights agencies say convictions of dissidents in Iran’s courts are regularly primarily based on forced confessions. Iran denies that.

Ismaeelzahi, a effective dissenting Sunni voice within the Shi’ite-dominated Islamic Republic, additionally denounced mass arrests in Zahedan, after state media stated security forces had arrested greater than one hundred “thugs and armed robbers” there in the past few days.

After the sermon, demonstrators marched in Zahedan, chanting “Death to the Islamic Republic”, consistent with movies posted on social media. Reuters couldn’t right away verify the footage.

Separately, the chef and influencer Navab Ebrahimi become arrested within the capital Tehran and taken to Evin prison, wherein many political detainees are held, the rights institution HRANA stated.

There was no immediate word from the judiciary on the mentioned arrest of Ebrahimi, who had 2.7 million fans on Instagram. His account became unavailable on Friday.Postings on social media stated his arrest may additionally were connected to a video displaying him getting ready Persian cutlets, which can also had been seen as a taunt amid country-backed activities marking the third anniversary of the killing of Iran’s pinnacle preferred Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. Drone attack.

Mehdi Beik, who headed the political table of the mild newspaper Etemad, was detained by using security retailers on Thursday, his wife said on Twitter.

Officials are but to announce the motives for the detention of Beik, who had interviewed loved ones of arrested protesters.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists stated on Twitter that, as of Jan. Five, it had documented the names of as a minimum 84 journalists who have been arrested in Iran amid the continued protests, 36 of whom have been released on bail.

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