Iran authorities free 30 political prisoners detained after protests

[JURIST] Iranian authorities have released 30 political prisoners from Evin prison, opposition website Cyrusnews [official website, Persian] reported Sunday. The release [AKI report] is being attributed to family members of the imprisoned, who gathered outside the prison for a week demanding their relatives be freed. It is estimated that hundreds of students, activists, and journalists have been arrested as political prisoners following the ongoing anti-government protests that were spurred by last June's controversial presidential election [JURIST news archive] that saw the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website]. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] has called for the release of all political prisoners in Iran and condemned [press release] the nation, alleging a general contempt for human rights.

Last week, Iranian official Mohammad Javad Larijani told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] that Iran is fulfilling its human rights obligations [JURIST report]. The UNHRC was examining Iran's human rights record as part of its two-week Universal Periodic Review [materials] session. AI has criticized [press release, PDF] Iran's report [text, PDF] to the UNHRC, calling its portrayal of the state of human rights in the nation distorted. Earlier this month, former Iranian deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzadeh was sentenced to six years in prison for his participation in post-election protests. Aminzadeh is one of the highest-ranking opposition officials to be convicted for protesting the highly disputed presidential election. Last month, Iran's Prosecutor-General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei called for sedition trials [JURIST report] against protest leaders. Earlier this month, Fars News Agency reported [JURIST report] that Iran will soon execute nine people for their roles in the post-election protests. The nine protesters were charged with the capital crime of moharebeh, which means waging war against God. Two others were executed [JURIST report] for the same crime in January.

 

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