Iran Proposes Limited Amnesty for Arrested Protesters

Protesters burn fires in the street in Tehran

Iran has proposed to offer limited amnesty to a number of people jailed during protests than have rocked the country for months.

Thousands have been detained in the country during unrest that erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini whilst in the custody of the country’s notorious morality police. Original outrage over the death has grown into a larger movement calling for major societal reform and regime change.

Protests had so far been met with violent repression by authorities, but the proposed amnesty suggests leaders in Tehran may be prepared to adopt a more reconciliatory stance.

The amnesty will not apply to individuals believed to have collaborated with foreign agents or to those accused of setting fire to government structures. Those “affiliated with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic” will also be excluded, a catch-all phrase that signals the authorities may only be interested in releasing adolescents with minor political motivations, who may be depicted as being influenced online by emotion or foreign propaganda.

The administration has not yet provided a clear number of individuals arrested who are still incarcerated or who are likely to qualify for amnesty. According to some sources, tens of thousands might be eligible for amnesty.

According to human rights organizations, as many as 20,000 individuals have been arrested, four people have been executed, and another 100 remain at risk of execution based on the charges brought against them.