News : Human rights
- Published: Monday, 12 August 2019
By INU Staff
INU - At least 10 activists in Mashhad, northeast Iran, have been arrested for protesting the 13-year jail sentence handed down to activist Kamal Jafari Yazdi.
Jafari was one of 14 activists who called for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to resign and make way for a new political order to replace the Regime. He was arrested on August 2018 and sentenced in April 2019.
The newly arrested activists appeared in a Mashhad court on Sunday, where Jafari was ordered to report to for questioning, having been arrested at the rally in support of him that morning. Those arrested include teachers’ rights activist Hashem Khastar who also called on Khamenei to resign.
Social media users also said that Javad La'l Mohammadi, Mohammad Hosein Sepehri, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi, and Hourieh Farajzadeh had been arrested.
The Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, said that some of the activists had travelled to Mashhad from other cities to participate in the protests.
Fars accused the activists of "disrupting security," and "being in contact with groups supporting regime change" in Iran, but did not elaborate. While Iranian state TV said they were "members of a network" advocating regime change.
Some of those arrested with Jafari have reported ill-treatment by the authorities. Reza Mehregan said he was attacked by three men, Sepehri said that police refused to come when his house was broken into and he was attacked with a knife, and Mohammadi received death threats over the phone. The Judiciary officials have not responded.
In their initial statement, the 14 activists calling for Khamenei to step down urged "thoughtful, intellectual, and considerate" Iranians to stop being discreet and instead increase their audacity to achieve Khamenei's resignation and fundamental changes in the Iranian constitution.
They wrote: "Herald a new national movement by demanding Khamenei's resignation [because he is increasing his unfair power and authority every day]."
This was followed by a statement by 14 female activists who also called for Khamenei to step down to bring about a new political system for Iran.
In their August 5 letter, the 14 female political activists condemned what they described as a "gender apartheid" and the "patriarchal approach" dominating the country.