Statement of 14 Political Activists

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The Statement of 14 Political Activists (Persian: بیانیه چهارده فعال سیاسی‎) is an open letter signed by 14 political activists inside Iran, aimed at People of Iran, calling Ali Khamenei to resign his post of Supreme Leader after 20-year tenure. It was published online on tenth anniversary of controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election.[1][2] One week after first letter, they published another letter asking for abolition of Islamic republic and establishment of a democratic secular government.[3]

Hashem Khastar, Gohar Eshghi (Mother of Sattar Beheshti), Mohammad Maleki (former Tehran University Chancellor), Mohammad Nourizad and Mohammad Karimbeigi (Father of Mostafa Karimbeigi) were among signatories of this letter.

Weeks after the letter was released, 14 female activists inside Iran issued a similar statement on August 5, 2019. These women said theocratic rule has led to "gender apartheid" and "erased" the rights of half of the country’s population; They called on Khamenei to resign.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

On August 10, 14 Iranian women's rights activists, who reside outside Iran, published an open letter and expressed their support for previous letters. Signatories to this letter included Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Nazanin Boniadi, Roya Hakakian and Masih Alinejad.

As of September 2019, 16 of 28 signatories, who reside in Iran, have been arrested.[10][11]


In the midst of 2017–18 Iranian protests, 15 Iranian intellectuals published an open letter called for a referendum. They wrote:

Four decades have passed since the establishment of the Islamic republic, a government whose obsession with Islamisation has left little room for republican ideals. So many women, lawyers, journalists, teachers, students, workers and political and social activists have been harassed, arrested, convicted of serious crimes and sent to prison, solely for criticizing officials, enlightening public opinion, inviting the rulers to respect separation of religion from government or demanding women’s relief from the mandatory veil.

Signatories included Shirin Ebadi, Nobel peace prize laureate; Narges Mohammadi, a human rights activist imprisoned in Evin prison; Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer imprisoned in Evin prison; and the film-makers Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Jafar Panahi.[12]


Signatories of first letter[edit]

  1. Gowhar Eshghi (Mother of Sattar Beheshti)
  2. Hoorieh Farajzadeh (Sister of Shahram Farajzadeh)
  3. Mohammad Karimbeigi (Father of Mostafa Karimbeigi)
  4. Hashem Khastar
  5. Mohammad Mahdavifar
  6. Mohammad Maleki (former Chancellor of Tehran University)
  7. Javad La'l Mohammadi
  8. Mohammad Nourizad
  9. Mohammad Hossein Sepehri
  10. Abbas Vahedian Shahroodi
  11. Kamal Jaafari Yazdi
  12. Reza Mehrgan
  13. Mohammadreza Bayat
  14. Zardosht Ahmadi Ragheb[1]

Signatories of second letter[edit]

14 women inside Iran signed this letter:[13][14]

  1. Shahla Entesari
  2. Nosrat Beheshti
  3. Fereshteh Tasvibi
  4. Parva Pachideh
  5. Giti Pourfazel
  6. Zahra Jamali
  7. Shahla Jahanbin
  8. Ezzat Javadi-Hesar
  9. Fatemeh Sepehri
  10. Maryam Soleimani
  11. Soosan Taherkhani
  12. Farangis Mazloom (Mother of Soheil Arabi)
  13. Narges Mansouri
  14. Kimia Norouzi-Saber

Signatories of third letter[edit]

14 women outside Iran signed this letter:[15]

  1. Nazanin Afshin-Jam
  2. Roya Boroumand
  3. Ladan Boroumand
  4. Nazanin Bonyadi
  5. Azam Bahrami
  6. Roya Hakakian
  7. Naeemeh Doostdar
  8. Masih Alinejad
  9. Nahid Farhad
  10. Mehrangiz Kar
  11. Shima Kalbasi
  12. Maryam Memar-Sadeghi
  13. Azar Nafisi
  14. Leili Nikounazar


The Letters found many supporters and was widely shared on social media. Many Iranian women's rights activists and famous artists, authors and human rights advocates abroad offered their support for the women.[16]

I am 15th[edit]

Giti Pourfazel, a lawyer who is one of the signatories, told Radio Farda that other Iranian women could count themselves as the 15th signatory.[17] Many Iranian celebrities and twitter users expressed their support.[18]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "14 Activists Inside Iran Call for Khamenei's Resignation". Iran Wire. 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  2. ^ "At Least 13 Signers of Open Letters Urging Khamenei's Resignation Are Arrested". Center for human rights in Iran. 2019-08-29. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  3. ^ "نامه‌ی دوم ۱۴ فعال مدنی- سیاسی داخل کشور: هیچ راهی برای بازسازی و نوسازی این رژیم ایران‌ویران‌کن وجود ندارد!" [Second Letter Of 14 Civil-Political Activists Inside Iran] (in Persian). Kayhan London. 2019-06-20. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  4. ^ "Fourteen Iranian Women's Rights Activists Call On Khamenei To Resign". Radio Liberty. 2019-08-06. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  5. ^ Zachary, Keyser (2019-08-12). "FOURTEEN IRANIAN WOMEN PEN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNMENT CALLING FOR EQUAL RIGHTS". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  6. ^ Esfandiari, Golnaz. "The 14 Defiant Women Who Want To Change The Islamic Republic Of Iran". Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  7. ^ "Iran Activists Call On Khamenei To Step Down". Radio Farda. 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  8. ^ Elsharqawi, Lamis (2019-08-07). "Iranian Women Call on Khamenei to Step Down – Two Arrested". 7D News. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  9. ^ Svensson, Sofia. "Iran's latest crackdown on women and freedom of expression". International Observatory of Human Rights. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  10. ^ Oppenheim, Maya (2019-08-12). "Iranian women's rights activists arrested after calling for end to 'gender apartheid' in open letter". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  11. ^ "۱۶نفر از ۲۸ امضا کننده دو بیانیه برای «استعفای خامنه‌ای» طی دو ماه بازداشت شده‌اند" [16 of 28 signatories who asked for "Resignation of Khamenei" have been arrested.] (in Persian). Iran International. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  12. ^ Kamali Dehghan, Saeed (2018-02-14). "Iranian intellectuals call for referendum amid political unrest". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  14. ^ "۱۴ فعال حوزه زنان در ایران خواستار «استعفای علی خامنه‌ای» شدند" [14 Iranian female activists call on Khamenei to step down] (in Persian). Radio Farda. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  15. ^ "نامه حمایت ۱۴ چهره و کنشگر زن مقیم خارج به «زنان امضاء‌کننده بیانیه استعفای خامنه‌ای»" [14 Female Activists Express Their Support For Signarories Of "Khamenei's Resignation" Letter] (in Persian). Iran International. 2019-08-10. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  16. ^ "Female activists demand Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei resign". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  17. ^ Keyser, Zachary (2019-08-13). "IRAN ARRESTS 10 POLITICAL ACTIVISTS CALLING FOR KHAMENEI'S RESIGNATION". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  18. ^ "پشتیبانی از حرکت ۱۴ تن از فعالین مدنی- سیاسی ایران" [Support For 14 Civil-Political Activists] (in Persian). Kayhan London. 2019-06-22. Retrieved 2019-09-12.