Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Iran's judiciary plans amnesty for jailed students

Yahoo News:


Tue Nov 15, 7:07 AM ET

Iran's judiciary said on Tuesday it would ask Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to pardon 18 pro-reform students arrested during protests in previous years.

Scores of student activists were arrested in pro-democracy protests in the past six years but only some have been kept in jail for more than a few months.

Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi announced plans to release jailed students earlier this year and asked the government to provide a list of those behind bars.

Justice Minister Jamal Karimirad told a news conference 18 names had so far been provided. "The head of the judiciary is going to ask the Supreme Leader to pardon them under a special amnesty case."

Karimirad did not say if the list included high-profile students such as Ahamad Batebi, who was arrested in 1999 after being photographed holding up a blood-stained shirt of a friend during a student protest.

Batebi was given a death sentence for endangering national security, but that was reduced to 10 years in prison on appeal.


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