Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will pardon 10,000 more prisoners including political detainees in an apparent bid to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
The move comes a day after a health ministry official revealed that the countries’ death toll has jumped by 149 to 1,284 in 24 hours while the total number of infected people increased to 18,407.
Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said: ‘With 149 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus reaches 1,284. Unfortunately, we had 1,046 new cases of infection since yesterday.’
On Tuesday, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Iran had temporarily freed about 85,000 people from jail, including political prisoners, in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Two days later, State TV quoted the judiciary spokesman as saying that another 10,000 prisoners would be granted amnesty under a decree by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to mark the Iranian new year on Friday.
“Those who will be pardoned will not return to jail … almost half of those security-related prisoners will be pardoned as well,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told state TV on Wednesday.
“A large number of prisoners who have been temporarily freed do not need to return to jail after the leader’s pardon,” Esmaili said.
“The unprecedented point is that the pardon also includes the security-related prisoners with less than five-year jail sentences,” Esmaili said.