Iran’s top leader grants mass jail pardon on Islamic holiday

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pardoned thousands of prisoners including 32 activists and others being held on “security” charges.

Thursday’s report by judiciary website said the 32 prisoners are mainly journalists and university students, without providing further details.

The pardon of more than 35,00 prisoners followed the Islamic holiday marking the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. The mass pardons did not extend to those convicted on for armed opposition to the state.

The report says the pardon was requested by the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, an influential cleric among Iran’s conservatives.

In February, Khamenei pardoned more than 50,000 people, the largest number ever covered in a single pardon, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that toppled the country’s pro-West monarchy.

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