Hundreds of protesters remain in jail as Iran announces release of detainees

At least 300 people remain in jail facing charges.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iranian authorities have released hundreds of protesters who were arrested during anti-government demonstrations that erupted across the country late last month, Iran’s interior minister said on Tuesday.

Human right organizations and the international community widely condemned Tehran’s crackdown on protesters, calling on authorities to free people who were arrested for participating in the country-wide demonstrations.

According to Reuters, at least 300 people remain in jail facing charges. During the protests, 22 to 25 people were killed, and judicial officials claim to have arrested 1,000 people while others have said some 4,000 protesters were detained across the country.

“Less than 300 people who committed a crime during the recent unrest remained in jail and their cases in under judicial process,” Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Rahmani Fazli said that only nine associated with the protests remain in prison in Tehran.

A number of civilians also died while in custody after being subjected to excessive torture in Iranian prisons. The latest figure stood at six deaths while in jail, according to sources within the government.

The December demonstrations started as protests against soaring food prices before quickly turning political as widespread corruption, as well as Iran’s costly interventions in Syria and Iraq, further incited public anger.

It is feared that some detainees might face the death penalty, with the head of the judiciary, Sadeq Larijani asking the courts to punish those who damaged public properties and “followed the enemies’ orders.”

Pro-government demonstrators and some Iranian officials accused the United States, Israel, and Britain of instigating the anti-government protests.