Iran, Khamenei pardons thousands of detainees, many are protesters

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promulgated a decree to free “tens of thousands” of prisoners arrested during the protests involving Iran in the last four months (over 20,000 according to Human Rights Activists News Agency). The pardon was decided to commemorate the Islamic revolution of 1979. According to the Fars news agency, the decision would also concern prisoners arrested for other crimes: “Anyone who is not accused of spying for foreign agencies, of having direct contact with agents foreigners, you have committed murder or violence, you have burned state property and anyone who has not been reported by a private individual will be released”.

The arrests continue

Also today, the Iranian authorities arrested a journalist from the reformist newspaper Hammihan, sister of a reporter already in prison for spreading the news of Mahsa Amini’s death. Elnaz Mohammadi was stopped at the prosecutor’s office where she had been summoned for “an explanation”, local press reported. Her sister Elahe was arrested on September 29 after covering up Amini’s funeral and charged with “propaganda against the system and conspiracy against national security”, punishable by the death penalty. Meanwhile, local media are reporting the news of a one-year prison sentence and a two-year ban on leaving the country for the manager of the ‘Mobin-24’ site and the Iran Times information channel, Hossein Yazdi. According to ‘Khabaronline’, he was arrested at his home in Isfahan in early December for supporting the protests.

The reason for the riots

Iran has been in turmoil since September 2022. Since the news of the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested for not wearing the hijab correctly, spread. Since then all the tensions within Iranian society have flared up involving entire social classes and various ethnic minorities. Tehran has responded with repression, even carrying out death sentences. But the protests and demonstrations continue.