Iran frees 440 people arrested during anti-government protests

Iranian authorities released 440 people arrested during anti-government protests some time ago. Meanwhile, several arrests were reportedly killed in custody.

A massive protest that began to protest against the difficult economic conditions of Iran, broke out in late December 2017. The protests spread to more than 80 cities and left 25 dead. The protest movement, which initially focused on price increases and alleged government corruption, shifted to the political dimension with a retreat call for Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

As reported by Reuters Tuesday (16/1/2018) , a number of Iranian justice officials have announced that more than 1,000 arrests were made in a number of areas. Iranian lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi said last week that at least 3,700 people were arrested.

Several people were reportedly killed in custody. Human rights activists have called for an independent inquiry into the incident.

Iran's Deputy Speaker Ali Motahari was quoted as saying by the IRNA declared 'one in Tehran and two prisoners in another province' . Iran's judicial authorities confirmed the existence of two deaths in custody, but it was said they committed suicide.

"More than 440 people previously arrested in the Tehran riots have been released," Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was quoted as saying by Mehr . Dolatabadi says most of the arrests come from low-income families, ranging in age from 18-35 years.

The United States (US) Authority has imposed economic sanctions on 14 individuals and entities, related to the practice of human rights abuses in Iran and support for the program Iranian weapons. The United States backed anti-government protests in Iran and continued to criticize President Hassan Rouhani's government.

One of the sanctions imposed was the head of Iran's judicial authority, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, who is Khamenei's close ally. In a statement earlier this week, as quoted by the ISNA news agency Larijani called the imposition of sanctions against him as head of the judicial authority really outrageous. He insisted Iran would not remain silent to such treatment from the United States.

Khamenei in his statement on Jan. 2, declared Iran's enemies have used various means to deliver a blow to the country. No further mention of who the enemy is Khamenei. But it is known all this time Iran is always hostile to the US and Saudi Arabia.

(nvc / rna)

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