On 19th February 2018, a video clip was released online, showing a bus running over a number of people on the road, and resulting in the death of three police officers. This incident was blamed on a member of the Gonabadi Dervishes by the name of Mr. Yavar Mohammad Salas. Another video clip was released around the same time, in which it can be heard that Mr. Salas has been captured and arrested.
Mr. Salas, who is charged with murder of the three police officers, attended a court hearing today, Sunday, 11th March 2018, at Branch 9 of the Criminal Court in the Tehran Province, presided by Judge Mohammadi Kashkooli. In the court hearing today, Mr. Salas, who was not allowed to hire a Defence Attorney of his own choice, rejected all allegations made against him in relation to the murder charges, and pleaded ‘Not Guilty’. In spite of this, the prosecutor claimed that Mr. Salas has admitted to the murder charges, which is an untrue statement. This was a false and cruel accusation set up against Mr. Salas, in an orchestrated attempt to sentence him to death and execute him, the reasons for which we will outline below.
In accordance with the regulations of Criminal proceedings in Iran, the accused defendant must be questioned and his case investigated in the presence of a Defence Attorney chosen by the defendant. However, we see that Mr. Salas was denied this choice, and a Defence Attorney was imposed on him by the judiciary system. In addition, Mr. Salas was also tortured and interrogated prior to the court hearing inside solitary confinement. False statements made by the prosecutor inside the court, to imply that Mr. Salas confessed to the murder charge of the three police officers, was absolutely negated and rejected by Mr. Salas himself during his court trial today.
In order for any crime to be proven by the court, a number of factors are necessary. One is the presence of any evidence from the scene of the crime, including any murder weapon, or object used during the crime; in this case, a bus, which was heavily fired at by the police. It highly unlikely for anyone driving this bus to step out alive, given the sheer number of times that the bus was fired at. Secondly, as we will later explain in further detail, despite the fact that the entire area and the scene of the crime was being filmed, not a single photo or video was shown at the court as evidence that Mr. Salas was in fact the driver of the bus. And finally, despite the large crowds that were at the scene of the crime, not a single witness appeared at the court today to testify that they witnessed Mr. Salas driving the bus, or being taken out of the bus.
Therefore, the lack of a murder weapon, the lack of photo or video evidence, the lack of witnesses at the court trial, and the imposition of a Defence Attorney on Mr. Salas, indicates that the indictment given by the prosecutor is incomplete and unsubstantiated. Furthermore, given that Mr. Salas pleaded ‘not guilty’ and rejected all allegations made against him, despite being tortured in solitary confinement, gives further proof that it is not valid to execute a sentencing against Mr. Salas without a proper trial proceeding where he is allowed to choose a Defence Attorney to represent himself.
In this document, we will provide evidence against this false accusation, that will prove the innocence of Mr. Salas. This document will also explain how the impending trial of Mr. Salas is a step towards the greater agenda of the Iranian Regime, against the Nematollahi Gonabadi Sufi Order, and their spiritual leader, Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh, for reasons which will be outlined below.
The following line of arguments, through affirmation and negation, will provide strong evidence that proves Mr. Salas is innocent, and is not guilty of the charge of murder. It will also show how evidence is being fabricated against him by the Regime, as part of a greater plot.
1. In the following video clip, a member of the Gonabadi Sufi Order reports that Mr. Salas has been captured, arrested and taken away. The report of the arrest of Mr. Salas appeared on Twitter a few hours before the bus attack took place. Therefore, there is no way that Mr. Salas could have been the driver of the bus, and the claims of him being the driver are false.
A Gonabadi Dervish reporting that Mr. Salas has been captured and arrested.
A report on twitter stating that “Many have been arrested, but witnesses say that Mohammad Salas was severely beaten and taken away”.
2. As explained earlier, the bus in question was heavily shot at when the police opened fire at the scene. Given the heavy gunfire, it is highly unlikely for the driver of the bus to make it out alive. However, a video clip of Mr. Salas was released by the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he is alive and lying on a hospital bed, severely injured with a broken skull and several cuts on his neck. There were no signs of any gun shot wounds on his face or body. His injuries were indicative of severe beatings and physical torture, and do not align with the possible injuries suffered by the bus driver. His injuries were in line with the description of his violent arrest based on the reports received. Given the heavy gunfire that occurred at the scene, and considering that Mr. Salas is still alive with no gun shot wounds, it is clear that there is no way he is the driver of the bus.
Video Clip of the Bus Showing Signs of Heavy Gunfire
Photograph of Mohammad Hossein Haddadian, showing severe gunshot wounds on his face
A Video Clip of Mr. Salas on the Hospital Bed, Fabricated Using a Combination of Cut and Pasted Video Clips
When the bus ran over a number of people and eventually stopped, and the driver was taken out of the bus, the cameras surely recorded the entire attack. If the driver of the bus was in fact Mr. Salas, the authorities should have shown clips or photographs identifying him behind the wheel driving the bus, through the glass window, or a clip of him being taken out of the bus, as opposed to showing a video clip of him lying on a hospital bed. Therefore, there is no actual video clip or evidence that places Mr. Salas at the scene of the attack.
Photo of the Bus Used During the Attack
Attempt to execute Mr. Salas: A step towards a larger propaganda against the Gonabadi Dervishes and their spiritual leader, Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh
Mohsen Araki, the head of the International Centre to Approach Religions and Denominations, is an influential cleric and politician, a member of the Assembly of Experts in Iran, and a representative of the Iranian Regime. He said in an interview that it is not enough for the driver of the bus to be sentenced to death and executed; it is necessary for the head of Gonabadi Sufi Order, Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh to be sentenced as well. His justification for such a claim is as follows:
Araki, in his obscure argument, claimed that Dervishes who arrived in Tehran from various cities, travelled in abus, took off the chairs of that bus, and the slept in it during the nights that they stayed in Tehran. Since the attack that resulted in the death of three police officials was carried outusing a bus, and given that the Dervishes who slept in a bus, carried a photograph of Dr. Tabandeh in their pockets – Mohsen Araki attempted to tie these two separate events together in his argument, and claimed that Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh should also be prosecuted in addition to the driver of the bus attack.
It is clear that all these charges fabricated against Mr. Salas, are actually a complex and calculated plot by the Iranian Regime, to create a case against Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh, the spiritual head of the Gonabadi Dervishes, in order to file charges against him as well.