A Sunni convert from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority was beaten and taken to an unknown location by Iranian security forces after his arrest last week.
27-year old Amin Mogheinemi was beaten in front of his family by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence who raided his home in Malkiya Allyeh in Ahwaz on 23 October 2014, before being taken to an unknown location.
According to eyewitnesses, officers from the Ministry of Intelligence forcefully entered Amin’s home and violently searched his belongings. He was then blindfolded and handcuffed, before being subjected to a brutal beating by the officers in front of his family. He was then taken to an unknown location.
The Mogheinemi family was informed by individuals close to the Ministry of Intelligence that the reason behind his arrest was due to his conversion to from Shi’ism to Sunni Islam.
Like most ethnic minorities living in Iran, the Ahwazi Arab minority, who mostly live in the south-west of Iran, have historically endured economic, political and cultural discrimination from the Iranian government.
Numerous men from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority have been arrested by Iranian security forces after converting to Sunni Islam.
The Shia Iranian government has been alarmed by the rise of Sunni Islam among the Ahwazi Arabs in the traditionally Shia-majority Khuzestan province.
At least ten Sunni converts were arrested in Iran in July alone, with three arrested after openly preaching Sunni beliefs and a further seven arrested after holding congregational Sunni Taraweeh prayers.
Earlier this year, nine Sunni men were arrested in Qal’eh Chan’an, Khuzestan province for ‘religious activism’ after converting to Sunni Islam.
More than 20 Sunni converts were then arrested in February at a Qur’an and Arabic language study meeting in Koye Alawi (Hay al-Thawra district) in Ahwaz city. Numerous other Sunni converts have been arrested in the area since.