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Iran: A Gonabadi Dervish Sentenced to Death for Killing Three Police Officers

5 Apr 18
Iran: A Gonabadi Dervish Sentenced to Death for Killing Three Police Officers

Iran Human Rights (Apr 5, 2018): The Gonabadi dervish, Mohammad Salas, who was arrested for killing three policemen, was sentenced to death after less than two months in custody and just three court sessions.

According to ISNA and the head of the Criminal Prosecutor’s office in Tehran, Yavar Mohammad Salas was sentenced to death and imprisonment on the charge of “murdering three police officers and disturbing public order.”
Mohammad Salas was arrested on February 19, 2018, after the protests of the Gonabadi dervishes. He was charged with the murder of three police officers by running over them by a bus.
The third trial for Mohammad Salas was held on Sunday, March 18 and he denied the allegations against him and claimed that he didn’t kill the police officers deliberately and he just wanted to drive away without an intention to kill anyone.
Branch 9 of the Criminal Court of Tehran issued the verdict after less than two months of Mohammad Salas’s arrest while he wasn’t in touch with his lawyer during the first trial, and during the second trial, his lawyer couldn’t defend him because he had not studied the case.
The clashes broke out on February 19 while a group of Gonabadi dervishes were protesting in front of a police station. Hundreds of them were arrested and at least one of them died during his detention. Furthermore, three police officers were killed after a bus ran over them. The Islamic Republic news sources identified the bus driver as Mohammad Salas, and a video was broadcast on TV showing him in a hospital when he confessed to his offense.
It should be noted that some of the Gonabadi dervishes who were present at the scene claimed that Mohammad Salas was arrested before the attack on the police officers. This claim has not been confirmed so far.