Iran’s Supreme Spiritual Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved a mass amnesty for tens of thousands of prisoners. PHOTOS/Anadolu Agency
TEHERAN – Supreme Spiritual Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved a mass amnesty for tens of thousands home including those arrested in recent anti-government protests.
Khamenei approved Chief justice Mohseni Ejei’s proposal for a general pardon and leniency for a “large number” of prisoners and suspects, state media reported on Sunday (5/2/2023).
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According to Article 110 of the Iranian Constitution, pardon of convicts or reduction of their sentences can be made if the chairman of the judiciary makes a proposal and the Supreme Leader approves it.
It is unclear how many prisoners will be released as part of the amnesty, which comes after nearly five months of protests sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman.
Mahsa Amini’s death while in police custody in September last year led to massive protests across Iran, in which thousands of people were arrested on various charges.
According to Iranian authorities, at least 200 people also died during the deadly unrest, although Western human rights groups have put the death toll at over 500 people, including civilians and security forces.
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In a letter to Khamenei, Ejei stated that a number of young protesters were “deceived by the enemy’s propaganda”, and had expressed regret for their “wrong actions”.
“This amnesty has conditions and does not apply to those convicted of “espionage for foreign institutions”, “affiliation with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic”, and “corruption on earth”, according to a report by the Mizan News Agency affiliated with the court. .
The mass amnesty, as such, would not apply to those on death row or dual nationals who were convicted of spying for foreign agencies.
The announcement comes as Iran marks the 44th anniversary of the 1979 revolution when the Pahlavi monarchy was overthrown and the Islamic Republic established.
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