A decision to show clemency to 81 of the people detained in the unrest that followed last year’s presidential election in Iran has once again shone the spotlight on the country’s judicial and penal systems.
On June 2, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved a recommendation by the head of the judiciary. Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, to release some of the 81 under amnesty and reduce the sentences of the rest.
None of those eligible has been named, but most had been convicted by Iran’s Revolutionary Court system, which is separate from the civil judiciary and are tasked with dealing with threats to the the Islamic regime and the constitutional order. As such, they led the way in trying people detained in the wave of arrests that followed protests sparked by last summer’s presidential election.