The amnesty pledge came as Iran’s prisons faced overcrowding after years of protests. Although it came with a list of caveats, local media reported.
Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday ordered amnesty. Or reduced prison sentences for “tens of thousands” of people. Who have rocked the country amid nationwide anti-government protests. Acknowledging for the first time the scale of the crackdown.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s decree, part of the supreme leader’s annual pardon. Comes ahead of the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. While authorities have yet to say how many people have been detained in protests. The state media order was accompanied by a list of caveats. That meant those with ties abroad or facing internationally criticized. Espionage charges would not be eligible.
State media reports on the decree offered. No explanation for the decision by Khamenei. Who has the final say on all matters of the Iranian state. Yet, prisons and detention facilities in the country were already facing overcrowding. After years of protests over economic issues and other issues.
Authorities have not named. Any of those who have been pardoned or given shorter sentences. Instead, state television referred to the protests as “foreign-backed riots.” For example, rather than domestic outrage over the death of Masha Amini. An Iranian-Kurdish woman detained by the country’s morality police in September. The fall of the Iranian rial against the US dollar has fueled. Anger over Tehran arming Russia with bomb-carrying drones in its war against Ukraine.
More than 19,600 people have been arrested during the protests. According to Iranian human rights activists. A group that has been tracking the crackdown. At least 527 people were killed as authorities violently. Cracked down on the protests, the group said. Iran has not released a death toll for months. It has already executed at least four people detained. Amid protests following an internationally criticized trial. The Iran nuclear deal is falling apart. And Tehran has enough enriched uranium to build “several” nuclear bombs if it chooses. The UN’s top nuclear envoy has said. A shadow war between Iran. And Israel has escalated into chaos, with Tehran blaming Israel. For last week’s drone attack on a military workshop in Isfahan.
Meanwhile, a long-detained opposition leader in Iran has called for a nationwide referendum. On whether to draft a new constitution for the Islamic republic.
Mir Hossein Mousavi’s call, posted late Saturday by the opposition Kalem website. Included him saying he did not believe Iran’s current system of giving final. Say to a supreme leader would work any longer. He also called for the formation of a Constituent Assembly of “genuine representatives.” To draft a new constitution.
Iran’s theocracy is unlikely to heed the 80-year-old politician’s call. He and his wife were held under house arrest for years. After his controversial presidential election. Defeat in 2009, which sparked widespread Green Movement protests. That also saw the withdrawal of security forces. Yet, he himself supported and served the Iranian theocracy for decades.
In 2019, Mousavi compared Khamenei to former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Whose rule led to the Islamic Revolution when soldiers shot dead protesters.