Fears are growing for two teachers and activists in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province who have not been seen for 40 days.
Brothers Reza and Abdulrauf Rakhshani, prominent teachers at a Sunni religious school in Zahedan, went missing after what is believed to have been a regime backed forced disappearance.
According to reports from local publication Halvash, the two brothers were arrested by the security forces in Zahedan on February 15 and despite the follow-up of their family, the judicial and security authorities have not yet commented on their condition.
The report claims that the arrest of the two brothers is aimed at "putting more pressure on Mowlavi Abdolhamid, the Sunni Imam of Makki Mosque of Zahedan”.
Civil activists in Sistan and Baluchistan, home to a Baluch majority, have previously reported that during the protests of the last six months a large number of citizens, including children under the age of 18, have been arrested with no charge against them.
There is no accurate information about the situation of many of them due to the disruption of the internet in many areas of the southeastern province.
At least 69 Afghan students who were studying at a religious school in Zahedan, were arrested by the security forces and transferred to a camp on February 13 after having been forced to confess to participating in Zahedan’s weekly protests.
The Sunni city of Zahedan in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province has been witnessing protests against repressions and discriminations in the province following mass Friday prayers during the past 25 weeks.
The Sunni Baluch population have taken to the streets in Zahedan every Friday after prayers since September 30 when government forces cracked down on protesters and killed tens of protesters, known as Bloody Friday. Protests began after the death of Mahsa Amini in ‘hijab police’ custody in mid-September.