Iran’s supreme leader has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners including some arrested in recent anti-government protests, state media reported on Sunday after a deadly state crackdown helped quell the nationwide unrest, Reuters reported.
However, the pardon approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came with conditions, according to details announced in state media reports, which said the move would not apply to any of the numerous dual nationals held in Iran.
State news agency IRNA said those accused of “corruption on earth” – a capital charge brought against some protesters, four of whom have been executed – would also not be pardoned.
Neither would it apply to those charged with “spying for foreign agencies” or those “affiliated with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic,” state media reported.
Iran was swept by protests following the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of the country’s morality police last September. Iranians from all walks of life took part, marking one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.
According to the HRANA activist news agency, about 20,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, which the authorities accused Iran’s foreign enemies of fomenting.
Rights groups say over 500 have been killed in the crackdown, including 70 minors. At least four people have been hanged, according to the Iranian judiciary.
In a letter to Khamenei requesting the pardon, judiciary head Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said: “During recent events, a number of people, especially young people, committed wrong actions and crimes as a result of the indoctrination and propaganda of the enemy.
Protests have slowed considerably since the hangings began.