Imprisoned Teacher Hashem Khastar Receives Additional Sentence for Activism

Hashem Khastar, a teacher and civil rights activist currently incarcerated in Vakilabad Prison, was sentenced to two years and six months by the Mashhad Revolutionary Court.

Khastar’s lawyer, Doostali Makki, received verbal notification of the court’s decision, which cited multiple charges including “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran” and “propaganda against the regime” as the basis for the extended imprisonment.

Reliable sources close to Khastar’s family disclosed that the new sentence stems from his dissemination of 30 open letters and six voice messages from within the prison walls, further exacerbating the charges against him.

The ordeal began on August 11, 2019, when Khastar and 13 fellow civil rights activists were apprehended by security forces following the publication of an open letter demanding the resignation of Ali Khamenei. The initial ruling from the Mashhad Revolutionary Court sentenced Khastar to 16 years in prison, three years of exile in Nikshahr (located in Sistan and Baluchestan province), and a travel ban for three years. He faced a litany of charges, including “insulting both the former and current Supreme Leader of Iran,” “disturbing public opinion,” “collaboration with foreign media,” and “participation in unauthorized gatherings.”

Although the court of appeals reduced the three-year exile and travel ban, the prison sentence remained unchanged.