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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Iran Pardons 157 ‘Security Detainees’

Iran has pardoned 157 people arrested with security charges during anti-government protests, as part of an amnesty granted by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenzi last Nov. 10.

Iran has pardoned 157 people arrested with security charges during anti-government protests, as part of an amnesty granted by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced last Nov. 10 in a press conference that the 157 charged with security offenses for participating in protests were among the 2,301 prisoners freed from prison.

Esmaili said that the prisoners had been convicted of spreading “propaganda against the state, illegal gathering, collusion against national security, or participation in the riots,” referring to the protests that challenged the government for the past three years.

Sixteen nationals of other Islamic countries were also among the prisoners pardoned, Esmaili said, coinciding with Islamic Unity Week.

Esmaili also said that Iran has pardoned or granted early release to a total of 20,000 prisoners during the last 18 months.

Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeisi proposed the pardon on the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad last week. 

The pardon also comes as the 2019 protests, which killed 304 people according to London-based human rights organization Amnesty International, marks its one-year anniversary.

The November 2019 protests broke out due to gasoline price hikes, then protesters demanded the resignation of top officials.

According to Amnesty International, 300 of those killed were shot dead by security forces.

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