Iran decrees mass pardon in honor of revolution's 40th anniversary, report says

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 11, 2019

The leak coincided with Tehran marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic's founding last week. At least four of the journalists were executed.

A Committee for the Observation and Use of Iranian Justice Data was formed and headed by human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.

The file contains some 1.7 million records of judicial procedures, and although people's professions are not listed, RSF said researchers spent months to compile and verify the names of 860 journalists or citizen-journalists who were arrested or imprisoned.

"After months of detailed research work on the file's entries, RSF is in a position to say that at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists were arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases executed by the Iranian regime between 1979 and 2009, the period on which RSF focused its research", he explained.

RSF said journalists have been detained on "spurious charges" such as "collaborating with an enemy foreign state", "activity against domestic security", "antigovernment propaganda", and "spying".

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The files also revealed that 61,900 political prisoners have been held by Iran since the 1980s. Other charges included "insulting what is sacred and Islam" and "insulting the supreme leader". At least 520 of them were aged between 15 and 18 at the time of their arrest, the watchdog said.

"Unveiling this missile production city deep underground is an answer to the idle talk made by the Westerners, who assume they can restrict us and dissuade us from (pursuing) our long-term goals by means of threats and sanctions", Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC's chief commander, said during the unveiling ceremony.

It said the files added to evidence of a massacre in 1988 in which around 4,000 political prisoners were executed on the orders of Khomeini between July and September.

Deloire said his organization would refer the file to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights in the hope further steps could be taken to hold Iran to account.

"The very existence of this file and its millions of entries show not only the scale of the Iranian regime's mendacity for years when claiming that its jails were holding no political prisoners or journalists, but also the relentless machinations it used for 40 years to persecute men and women for their opinions or their reporting", he said.

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