Iran releases a number of political prisoners
While most political prisoners will spend Iranian New Year behind bars, Iranian authorities have released a number of political prisoners in advance of Norooz, the Iranian New Year celebrations.
Kaleme reports that Yadollah Eslami, a former Iranian lawmaker, was released after more than a month in custody. He was reportedly arrested after the Society of Former Lawmakers, which he heads, announced its support for an opposition rally on February 14.
The released prisoners also include Ali Karroubi, son of Mehdi Karroubi, the opposition leader who has been under house arrest along with his wife since he and his colleague MirHosein Mousavi called for that rally in support of the recent Arab uprisings.
Ali Karroubi was arrested at midnight on February 21 along with his wife, Nafiseh Panahi, who was released hours later. Ali Karroubi was also arrested during last year’s protests against the presidential elections.
Emrooz website also reports that Bagher Oskouyi, an aide to Mehdi Karroubi and the head of the youth branch of the National Trust Party, was also released on bail yesterday after 31 days in solitary confinement.
RHANA website is reporting the release of Mina Rezai-Farrokh, an election protester. She was reportedly arrested at her home in February and held in solitary confinement for more than 12 days at Evin Prison. She was sentenced to a year in prison, which was reduced to 105 days after appeal.
While prisoners in Iran are customarily granted a furlough to spend Norooz holidays with their families, many recent political prisoners have been denied that privilege this year.