Iran-HRM – An Iranian appeals court has has sentences four activists to a total of 40 years and six months in prison for calling for the resignation of the country’s Supreme Leader. They have been banned from leaving the country for two years and face a two-year exile.
According to the sentence, Hashem Khastar, a prominent teachers’ rights activist in Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, in northeast Iran, was sentenced to 16 years behind bars and a further two-year exile term for his political activities.
Another teacher Mohammad-Hossein Sepehri, his sister Fatemeh Sepehri and Mohammad Nourizad were also sentenced to long prisons terms for calling for the resignation of the country’s Supreme Leader.
In an open letter on June 10, 2019, fourteen political activists had called for Khamenei’s resignation and a fundamental change in the Islamic Republic’s Constitution.
In their letter, the activists had described the current state of the regime as “systemic and irresponsible tyranny” that prevents any form of civil activism from bearing fruit. The solution would be for the supreme leader to resign, they had concluded.
“The negotiations of civil activists will be of no use without the resignation of Khamenei and the amendment of the constitution,” the letter read in part.
Following the publication of the letter, a number of its signatories were arrested.
Hashem Khastar has been arrested several times in the past. He was confined to mental incarceration two years ago.