DUBAI – Iran’s supreme leader has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners, some of whom were arrested in recent anti-government protests, state news agency IRNA reported Sunday, following a deadly state crackdown. Helped prevent nationwide unrest.
However, the pardon approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came with conditions, according to details announced in state media reports, which said the move would not apply to any of the many dual nationals imprisoned in Iran.
State news agency IRNA said those accused of “corruption on the ground” – a capital charge brought against some of the protesters, four of whom have been executed – would also not be pardoned.
State media reported that neither would apply to those accused of “spying for foreign agencies” or “affiliated with groups opposed to the Islamic Republic”.
Last September, Iran was engulfed in protests after the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of the country’s morality police. Iranians from all walks of life participated in one of the most daring challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.
About 20,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, which authorities accuse of inciting Iran’s foreign enemies, according to the HRANA activist news agency.
Human rights organizations say more than 500 have been killed in the crackdown, including 70 minors. According to the Iranian judiciary, at least four people have been executed.
Judiciary chief Ghulam Hossein Mohseni Aji asked for forgiveness in a letter to Khamenei, saying: “During the recent events, many people, especially young people, have done wrong as a result of the enemy’s incitement and propaganda. Actions and crimes committed.
Since the executions began, protests have decreased considerably.
“Since the plans of foreign enemies and counter-revolutionary currents have failed, many of these youths are now regretting what they have done,” Ejei wrote.
Khamenei approved the pardon in honor of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
It would not apply to those charged with “espionage for foreign agencies, direct contact with foreign agents, willful killing and wounding, (and) destruction and arson of state property.” facing”.
“Naturally, those who do not express regret for their activities and make a written commitment not to repeat those activities will not be pardoned,” Deputy Judiciary Chief Sadiq Rahimi said, state media reported.
The Norway-based Iran Human Rights Group said this week that at least 100 detained protesters face the possible death penalty.
Amnesty International has criticized Iranian authorities for what it described as “fake trials designed to intimidate those who took part in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran”.