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March 26, 2023
Ali Khamenei, who is the 2nd and current supreme leader of Iran, has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners, this includes some who were recently arrested in anti-government protests, this followed a state crackdown on protesting which has calmed residents’ unrest within Iran.
The pardon, which was approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, does have some caveats, as per announcements made in state media reports, which said the measure would not apply to any dual nationals held in Iran.
State news agency IRNA reported that those who had been accused of ‘corruption on earth,” which is a capital charge under Iranian law, and was brought against some protesters, four of whom have been executed, would not be eligible for a pardon.
It also wouldn’t apply to individuals charged with ‘spying for foreign agencies’ or those ‘affiliated with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic’, state media reported.
Protests started across Iran following the death of young Iranian Kurdish woman in police custody last September.
According to the HRANA activist news agency, approximately 20,000 people have been arrested in for attending or organizing protests, which the authorities accused Iran’s foreign enemies of encouraging.
Rights groups say that over 500 have been killed during the crackdown on protests, this number included 70 juveniles. At least four people have been hanged, the Iran Judiciary confirmed.
In a letter sent to Khamenei requesting the pardon, judiciary head Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said: “During recent events, a number of people, especially young people, committed wrong actions and crimes as a result of the indoctrination and propaganda of the enemy.”
‘Since the foreign enemies and anti-revolutionary currents’ plans have been foiled, many of these youth now regret their actions,’ Ejei went onto say.
Khamenei agreed to the pardons, stating it would be done to honour of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The pardons would not apply to those ‘facing charges of spying for foreign agencies, having direct contact with foreign agents, committing intentional murder and injury, (and) committing destruction and arson of state property’.
“Naturally, those who do not express regret for their activities and give a written commitment for not repeating those activities, will not be pardoned,” deputy judiciary chief Sadeq Rahimi said.
Amnesty International has hit out at Iranian authorities for what it has dubbed “sham trials designed to intimidate those participating in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran”.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: MIDDLE EAST EYE