Iran condemns Sufi to prison, flogging, exile

Iran’s judiciary has sentenced a Sufi leader to five years in prison, flogging and exile on charges of spreading lies, the moderate Kargozaran newspaper reported Nov. 15. The report identified the man as Amir Ali Mohammad Labaf, of the Nematollahis or Gonabadi Dervishes order based in the northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi. Labaf was convicted by a court in Iran’s clerical center of Qom, finding that his holding of traditional Sufi prayers constituted “a case of spreading lies,” the report said, without elaborating. In addition to the five-year prison term, Labaf was sentenced to 74 lashes and internal exile to the southeastern town of Babak. (AFP, Nov. 15)

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