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Iran: A person close to the head of the Sunni minority in the country was arrested


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Abdulmazid Moranjehi was accused of “manipulating public opinion” and “repeatedly contacting foreign persons and media”

An aide to the head of Iran’s Sunni minority, Molavi Abdul Hamid, was arrested yesterday, Monday evening, in southeastern Iran, official media said, amid a wave of protests in the country.

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Abdulmazid Moranjehi, a close adviser to Molawi Abdul Hamid, was arrested in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan, a province inhabited by a large Sunni minority, according to Iran’s Irna news agency.

The city of Zahedan was at the center of several days of violence that erupted on September 30 during protests over the alleged rape of a teenage girl by a police officer. Several members of the security forces are among the people killed in these incidents.

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Morandzehi was accused of “manipulating public opinion” and “repeatedly contacting foreign figures and media”, Irna said.

Sistan-Baluchistan is one of the poorest regions of Iran and is home to the Baloch minority, who are predominantly Sunni rather than Shia, like the majority of the population in Iran.

Following the violence in late September, authorities removed two high-ranking security officials in the region, one of whom was the Zahedan police chief, after publishing an official investigation that said there was “negligence on the part of some officers” who led to the death of “innocent” civilians.

The incidents come as the country faces a wave of protests, sparked by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Mahsha Amini, three days after she was arrested by morality police in Tehran for not wearing her headscarf properly.


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