The Special Clerical Court in Hamadan, in north-west Iran, has in recent days convicted Sunni Kurdish clerics Loghman Amini and Ebrahim Karimi Nanaleh for voicing support for the recent anti-government protests.
The clerical court sentenced Amini to 11 years in prison, two years of life in exile in Ardabil, in the northwest, permanent revocation of his clerical status and a permanent ban on giving sermons.
Nanaleh was sentenced to 12 years in prison, two years of life in exile in Bushehr, in the southwest, permanent revocation of his clerical status and a permanent ban on giving sermons.
The court charged the clerics with “propaganda against the state”, “incitement to riot” and “carrying a handgun”.
The two clerics were tried on 7 June without the right to a lawyer.
Amini is the imam of the Chahar Yar-e Nabi mosque in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, and Karimi Nanaleh is the imam of the Nanaleh village mosque in Sanandaj.
Earlier, on 30 January, security forces arrested the two clerics on the road from Sanandaj to Marivan, Kurdistan province.
After arresting Karimi Nanaleh, security forces raided and searched his family’s home in the village of Nanaleh.
The two clerics were released on bail on 22 February.
The summoning, arrest and sentencing to prison and flogging of Sunni Kurdish clerics has intensified in recent months following the widespread support given by some Sunni Kurdish clerics to anti-government protests and popular demands.
Since late March, the Special Clerical Court of Hamadan has sentenced at least eight Sunni Kurdish clerics, Hossein Ali-Moradi, Saber Khoda-Moradi, Arman Sadeghi, Seyyed Jalal Akbari, Loghman Amini and Ebrahim Karimi Nanaleh to suspended prison sentences, lashes and the revocation of clerical status for speaking out in support of anti-government protests in Sanandaj, Saqqez, Dehgolan and Sarvabad.