Iran has started the process of releasing a large number of prisoners arrested during the recent foreign-backed riots in the country after a mass pardon decree was issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Judicial authorities in different Iranian provinces were present in prisons on Wednesday to monitor the process of freeing the inmates, the judiciary’s media agency Mizan News said in a report.
The development came a day after the head of Iran’s judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei ordered justice departments in all provinces to form committees to compare the inmates’ cases with the Leader’s proposed criteria in order to speed up the implementation of the amnesty
According to reports, a significant number of prisoners have been released as part of the mass amnesty decree, and judicial officials are continuing to examine the cases of prisoners to list them for release in the coming days.
The mass amnesty, however, comes with certain conditions as it does not apply to those convicted on charges of spying for foreign intelligence agencies, those having affiliation with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic as well as those held on serious security-related charges.
The announcement came on the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which put an end to the reign of the US-backed Pahlavi regime in the country in 1979 and also coincided with the birthday anniversary of the first Shia Imam, Imam Ali (AS).
Riots erupted in Iran in mid-September when 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died in a hospital in Tehran, three days after she collapsed at a police station. An investigation later attributed Amini’s death to her pre-existing medical condition, rather than alleged beatings by the police.
Rioters went on a rampage, brutally attacking security officers and causing massive damage to public property. Dozens of people and security personnel were killed in the riots.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi hailed the generous act of Ayatollah Khamenei, saying, “In order to make the sweetness of his wise move more enjoyable for the people, it is necessary to extend and strengthen this view in the political and social spheres.”
The Leader in a decree on Sunday agreed to a request by Iran’s judiciary chief to pardon or commute the sentences of a significant number of inmates.
The announcement was widely welcomed by people and officials across the country.