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Iran admits ‘tens of thousands’ detained in protests in amnesty offer

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Iran’s supreme leader has reportedly ordered amnesties or reduced prison sentences for “tens of thousands” of people detained amid nationwide anti-government protests that have rocked the country, threatening the scale of the crackdown. recognized for the first time.

The order by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, part of the supreme leader’s annual amnesty ahead of the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, has yet to reveal how many people the authorities have detained at the demonstrations. State media also published a list of cautionary tales about orders disqualifying dual citizens or making them suspected of being espionage.

Protesters chant slogans in response to the death of a woman detained by morality police in downtown Tehran, Iran, on September 21, 2022.credit:APs

Ayatollah Khamenei “agreed to offer amnesty and reduce sentences for tens of thousands of people charged and convicted in recent cases,” state-run news agency IRNA said in a Farsi-language report. A subsequent report by the English-language version of IRNA said the pardons and commutations were for “tens of thousands of prisoners, including those arrested in recent riots in Iran.” Authorities did not immediately acknowledge the discrepancies in the reports.

Reports on this order offer no explanation for the decision by Khamenei, who has the ultimate say in all Iranian national affairs. But prisons and detention facilities were already facing domestic overcrowding after years of protests over economic and other issues.

Activists quickly overruled Khamenei’s orders.

“Ayatollah Khamenei’s hypocritical amnesty will not change anything,” writes Mahmoud Amily Moghadam of the Oslo-based Iranian human rights group. “Not only must all protesters be released unconditionally, but it is also the public right to hold accountable those who ordered the bloody crackdown and their representatives.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, in January.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, in January.credit:APs

Officials also haven’t named anyone who received a pardon or saw a shorter sentence. Instead, state television continued to refer to the demonstrations as “foreign-sponsored riots,” rather than domestic outrage over the September death of Masha Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish woman detained by the country’s morality police. It also extends to the collapse of Iran’s rial against the US dollar and Tehran’s arming of Russia with bomb-laden drones in its war with Ukraine.

More than 19,600 people were arrested during the protests, according to Iranian human rights activists, a group tracking the crackdown. At least 527 people died as the authorities violently suppressed the protests, the group said. Iran has not released a death toll for months.it already has executed at least four detainees amid internationally criticized post-trial protests.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/iran-acknowledges-tens-of-thousands-detained-in-protests-with-amnesty-offer-20230206-p5ci42.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Iran admits ‘tens of thousands’ detained in protests in amnesty offer

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