The supreme leader of Iran has released “tens of thousands” of detainees, many of whom were involved in anti-government demonstrations.
According to state media, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s pardons came with restrictions.
The pardons occur the night before the Islamic revolution of 1979 is commemorated.
Following the death in detention of a woman held by Iran’s morality police, protests broke out last September.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was detained for reportedly disobeying Iran’s rigorous dress regulations for women by “improperly” donning her hijab, or headscarf.
The protests, which are still going on, have been characterized by authorities as “riots” backed by other nations, and they have occasionally used deadly force in retaliation.
According to human rights organizations, more than 500 protesters have died, including 70 juveniles, and close to 20,000 have been detained.
15 minutes to provide a death penalty defense
Identifying the protesters killed in Iran
A very short guide to the protests in Iran
Since the first of the hangings, protests have significantly decreased across the nation.
According to Iran’s official media, Ayatollah Khamenei’s most recent pardons occurred after the head of the judiciary painted many of the detainees as young people who had been misled by propaganda and foreign influence in a letter.
According to the letter, a handful of demonstrators prayed for forgiveness and expressed regret.
However, people accused of more serious crimes, like as murder or the damage of state property, will not be pardoned.
Additionally, the restriction will not apply to any dual nationals who are currently in custody.
On the suggestion of the judiciary, the supreme leader of Iran may grant pardons under Article 110 of the country’s constitution.
Watch the private diaries of Iranian women demonstrating in the media
The deputy judicial chief, Sadeq Rahimi, said that in order to be released from prison, a person who qualifies for a pardon must formally state their sorrow in writing.
Mr. Rahimi reportedly stated that “for the first time ever” defendants who have not yet received a final verdict will also be pardoned, as reported by the news agency linked with the judiciary, Mizan.
At least 100 persons in jail, according to the Oslo-based organization Iran Human Rights, are being held on death row. According to the statement, all defendants have been “denied the right to counsel of their choosing, due process, and fair trials.”
For offenses related to the protests, four people have already been put to death. Two individuals were hanged in January for the murder of a security force member in Iran.
Before they died, the two made an appeal and claimed they had been tortured.