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At Least 10 Arrested In Mashhad For Supporting Call On Khamenei To Resign

File - This undated photo shows some of those who signed a letter demanding Ayatollah Khamenei to resign. Javad La'l Mohammadi, (2nd L) and Mohammad Hosein Sepehri (middle R) were arrested August 11, 2019

Political activists in Mashhad in northeast Iran told Radio Farda on Sunday August 11 that at least 10 dissident individuals have been arrested in the city for protesting against a 13-year jail sentence for another activist, Kamal Jafari Yazdi.

Mr. Jafari is one of the 14 Iranian activists who have called on Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and pave the way for a new political order to replace the Islamic Republic.

Jafari told radio Farda that he has seen over 10 activists at a court in Mashhad where he was ordered to report to on Sunday. Jafari himself is not currently in jail but was at the court for questioning.

According to Jafari, the activists were arrested during a gathering to support him while he was entering the court Sunday morning.

He said outspoken activists Mohammad Nourizad, Hashem Khastar, Fatemen Sepehri and Pouran Nazemi, some of whom had also called on Khamenei to resign, are among those arrested.

Social media users have also named activists Javad La'l Mohammadi, Mohammad Hosein Sepehri, Abdolrasoul Mortazavi and Hourieh Farajzadeh as some of those detained on Sunday.

Fars news agency, which is close to security forces, reported that some of the detainees had gone to Mashhad from other cities in order to take part in protest demonstrations.

The agency has accused the activists of "disrupting security," and "being in contact with groups supporting regime change" in Iran, but did not elaborate further.

Meanwhile, the Iranian state TV also said that "members of a network" linked to regime change supporters were arrested in Mashhad.

Kamal Jafari Yazdi was arrested in August 2018 in Mashhad and was sentenced to 13 years in jail in April 2019.

Previously, Reza Mehregan, another member of the first group of 14 activists who had called for Khamenei's resignation told reporters that he was attacked by three men.

Mohammad Hossein Sepehri, another signatory to the letter to Khamenei also said that somebody broke into his home and attacked him with a knife, but police refused to come to his rescue.

Social media reports also said that Javad La'l Mohammadi, a teacher who was arrested on Sunday had earlier received death threats over the phone.

Iranian Judiciary officials have still not responded to these reports.

On June 12, fourteen civil rights and political activists in Iran called for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.

In a statement addressed to the "thoughtful, intellectual, and considerate people in Iran," the signatories urged Iranians toend their discreetness, step in audaciously, and call for Khamenei's resignation and fundamental changes in the country's constitution.

"Herald a new national movement," the activists have encouraged the Iranian people, "by demanding Khamenei's resignation" since he is increasing his "unfair" power and authority on a daily basis.

This was followed by another statement by 14 women activists residing in Iran who called upon Khamenei once again to step down and pave the way for a transition towards a new political system for Iran.

Referring to a similar demand presented by the first group of fourteen political activists in June, the signatories of the second letter published August 5 have also condemned what they described as "gender apartheid" and "patriarchal approach" dominating the country.

Most recently, another group of 14 female activists based outside Iran have expressed support for the call made by women activists inside Iran.