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Iran extends prison leave for 100,000 inmates as corona fight continues

Ghanbar Naderi
Press TV, Tehran

Iran has extended prison leave for some 100,000 inmates. According to judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili, the second wave of the temporary release of prisoners has started based on an order issued directly by judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeisi.

Under the new order, furloughs have been extended until April 19 for those who had been granted a leave until April 3. Speaking to Press TV, the head of the Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights said this was all expected.

The new extension does not include those prisoners who committed an illegal or criminal act during their furloughs. This is while good behavior is still the main criterion for prisoners' temporary release either during the time they are behind bars or when they are on a furlough. The ultimate goal, however, is to reduce the total number of inmates over the next five years.

Concurrent with the Persian New Year, Iran released some 100,000 inmates as it is customary each year. This included the Iranian-British dual national Nazanin Zaghari who is also on temporary release from a five-year jail sentence over spying charges. Judiciary Chief Raeisi has said prisoners will continue to be furloughed as long as the measure does not interfere with the society’s security.

This is not the first time that the Iranian government has pardoned or temporarily released so many inmates all at a time nationwide. Judiciary officials have made it clear that it will not be the last time either.

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