Prison authorities have prevented a Sunni prisoner of conscience from attending his father's funeral in Iran.
Sheikh Farhad Salimi, a Sunni preacher from Saghez, Kurdistan province of Iran, was told he would not be allowed to leave Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj to attend the funeral of his father.
His father, who was a teacher at a Sunni Islamic seminary, died on Wednesday, 18 December 2013.
It is not known why officials have prevented Sheikh Farhad from attending the funeral. According to prison rules, prisoners are entitled to a short period of leave on bail or under guard, upon the death or illness of immediate family members.
This incident is likely to be viewed as yet another example of the Iranian authorities' discrimination towards Sunni Muslims.
A source told the HRA News Agency, "The death of the father has really distressed the family. They were already saddened, and [now] their grief has doubled."
Sheikh Farhad Salimi was arrested on 8 February 2010 by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence. He has still not been convicted of any crime.
He, along with six other Sunni prisoners, Davud Abdullahi, Khosro Besharat, Kamran Sheikha, Ghasem Abeste, Ayub Karimi and Anvar Khezri, have been held without trial for almost four years..
The seven men were summoned to branch 6 of Moghadis court, on November 3rd, 2013, where they were informed that it was the actions of the Ministry of Intelligence that had prevented their trials from commencing.
A source told the HRA News Agency, “the prosecutor said to the seven Sunni prisoners that their files have been archived by the Ministry of Intelligence, and that was what prevented the court from processing the case."