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Iran unrest: Sunni cleric Molavi Abdulvahed Rigi kidnapped, murdered in SE Iran

File photo of Molavi Abdulvahed Rigi

Officials in Sistan and Baluchestan Province have confirmed that Sunni cleric Molavi Abdulvahed Rigi was kidnapped and murdered by unknown individuals as the police investigate the case.

Molavi Rigi was the Friday prayers leader of Imam Hussein Mosque in Khash, in the southeastern province. He was also a seminary teacher.

Mehdi Shamsabadi, the province’s prosecutor, said the cleric was present at his mosque on Thursday, but unknown individuals called him from the rear door, making him sit in a car that had no license plate.

Shamsabadi said local forces had been mobilized to find the whereabouts of the cleric since Thursday, but his dead body was found on the roadside in Khash County. The cleric was hit by three bullets, said the prosecutor, adding the bullets came out of his head.

The official also said the police are investigating the case to detect and arrest the perpetrators.

Earlier threats against Rigi

The Sunni scholar earlier notified of threats that some anti-Revolution groups had made against him.

“Even opposition groups have threatened me but these [threats] won’t work,” Rigi told a delegation dispatched by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to the province.

Footage of a short dialogue between him and the delegation shows his emphasis on the importance of the Islamic establishment in Iran and unity between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

He said not even one individual from the mosque that he led took to the streets to participate in the riots in Khash. “I told them no one is entitled to go out of the mosque because we knew hypocrites were out there and we knew what they were doing… we are aware of the plots of enemies and hypocrites.”

“We love this country; the Leader is our friend,” he said. “This country will be no good to us, to Islam, and even to the families of Muslims after the [fall] of the Islamic establishment.”

Sistan and Baluchestan Province has been among the regions affected by foreign-backed riots that erupted after 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died in hospital on September 16, three days after she collapsed at a police station. An investigation has attributed Amini’s death to her medical condition, rather than alleged beatings by the police.

The violent riots, meanwhile, have claimed the lives of dozens of people and members of security forces, while also allowing terrorist attacks across the country. In the last three months, the terrorists have set fire to public property and tortured several members of Basij and security forces to death while also killing civilians.

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