Among those released from prison are some arrested in recent anti-government protests.
Iran’s supreme leader has pardoned or allowed prison sentences to be commuted for “tens of thousands” of prisoners, including some arrested in recent anti-government protests.
The pardons granted by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday came with conditions, detailed in state media reports, which said the move would not apply to any of the many dual nationals held in Iran.
Those accused of “corruption on earth” – a capital charge brought against some of the protesters, four of whom were executed – will also not be pardoned, state news agency IRNA reported.
Nor would it apply to those accused of “spying for foreign agencies” or those “affiliated with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic.”
Iran has been engulfed in protests following the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the country’s morality police last September. A 22-year-old man was arrested for violating Islamic dress codes.
Iranians from all walks of life took part in the protests, marking one of the boldest challenges to the Iranian government since the 1979 revolution.
‘Indoctrination and propaganda’
About 20,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, which authorities have accused Iran’s “foreign enemies” of inciting, according to the Human Rights Activist News Agency.
Human rights groups say more than 500 have been killed in the crackdown, including 70 minors. At least four people were hanged, according to the Iranian judiciary. Iran has not released a death toll for months.
In a letter to Khamenei seeking a pardon, Justice Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said: “During the recent events, many people, especially the youth, have committed wrongful acts and crimes as a result of indoctrination and enemy propaganda.”
The protests have slowed considerably since the hangings began.
“Since the plans of foreign enemies and anti-revolutionary currents have been foiled, many of these youths now regret their actions,” Ejei wrote.
Khamenei approved the pardons in honor of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Khamenei took over as the country’s political and religious leader in 1989.
Norway-based Iran Human Rights said last week that at least 100 detained protesters faced possible death sentences.
Amnesty International criticized Iranian authorities for what it called “fake trials designed to intimidate those taking part in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran.”