Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 5, 2020—Iran’s regime sentenced eight activists to a collective 72 years in prison, six years of travel ban, and six years in exile on Monday for openly demanding the the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, resigns.
The sentences were passed by the Revolutionary Court in the northeastern city of Mashhad, with some defendants receiving up to 26 years in prison. The activists had written an open letter in 2019, calling on Khamenei to resign from his office.
Abdol-Rasoul Mortazavi received 26 years, Mohammad Hossein Sepehri and Fatima Sepehri six, Hashem Khastar 16 and Mohammad Nourizad 15. Khastar and Nourizad are also facing a three-year travel ban.
The others will serve a year in prison.
The signatories of the letter were charged with “illegal assembly and propaganda against the state.” 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.
Mr. Khastar, a known civil rights activist and member of the teachers union in Mashhad, has been arrested for his activities on several occasions. In 2018, he was abducted by the Revolutionary Guards and incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital, after which he went on a hunger strike.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), condemned the clerical regime’s Judiciary for issuing these lengthy prison sentences and described them as “another example of the suppressive and inhuman conduct of the ruling religious dictatorship, which must be overthrown in its entirety.”
In their uprisings in November 2019, the Iranian people chanted “down with the principle of the velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule),” “death to Khamenei, Rouhani,” demanding the regime’s overthrow.
Following the downing of a passenger plane by the Revolutionary Guards and a three-day coverup of the incident by regime officials, protests erupted again in several Iranian cities. Protesters called for Khamenei to resign and made it clear that they do not want the Islamic Republic regime and the rule of the mullahs.
“As such, economic and political ties with the mullahs are unjustified and illegitimate. Any investment in this moribund regime is doomed to fail,” Mrs. Rajavi said.