Iran pardons 22,000 people detained for participating in protests

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – -/Iranian Supreme Leader’s Offic / DPA

Iranian judicial authorities have confirmed that 22,000 people have been pardoned after being arrested for participating in the latest wave of anti-government protests sparked by the death in custody of young Mahsa Amini, who was intercepted by the so-called Morality Police for improperly wearing the veil.

The President of Iran’s Supreme Court, Gholam Hosein Mohseni Ejei, confirmed the figure at the end of a meeting, according to the official IRNA news agency. These 22,000 people would be part of a larger package of pardons, exceeding 82,000.

A month ago, Tehran had already advanced that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had accepted a proposal to »pardon or reduce the sentence of a significant number» of those accused and convicted for their participation in the protests.

The demonstrations broke out in September and represented one of the biggest recent challenges to Iran’s current leadership, which has gone from harshly repressing the demonstrations to adopting a less belligerent position, as evidenced by these massive pardons.

The NGO Iran Human Rights estimates that at least 481 demonstrators died as a result of repression by the security forces in the first weeks of demonstrations, which also resulted in thousands of arrests. This organization estimated in February that more than a hundred detainees were facing crimes punishable by death.