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Iran Considers Pardoning 50,000 Prisoners On Revolution Anniversary

Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani head of Iran's Judiciary. File photo

The head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani has said that around 50,000 inmates will receive full or partial pardons on the 40th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 revolution.

Fars news agency covering Larijani’s remarks in a meeting of Judiciary officials, says that many of these inmates will be freed from prison and some will receive a reduction in their jail sentences.

The Islamic Republic periodically announces mass pardons of prisoners on important occasions and religious holidays. It was announced last week that authorities were planning a mass pardon for the revolution anniversary, which is in progress from February 1-11. But there are still no details about what groups of prisoners will be considered.

Usually, few if any political prisoners are included in any mass pardon and it is not clear if they will receive pardons this year. Larijani had previously said that “exceptions applied in past pardons will be considered also this time, but we are trying…to include more cases”.

Estimates based on official figures from recent past put the number of inmates in Iran at more than 200,000, which is three times more than prison capacity in the country.