Iran releases more than 400 anti-government protesters

More than 400 Iranian anti-government protesters detained during recent protests over the past week, according to state-run media reports on Sunday.

Iranian students clash with riot police during an anti-government protest around the University of Tehran on December 30. As many as 3,700 people were arrested during the protests and the Iranian governmeent said Sunday that 440 have been released. Photo by STR/EPA-EFE
Iranian students clash with riot police during an anti-government protest around the University of Tehran on December 30. As many as 3,700 people were arrested during the protests and the Iranian governmeent said Sunday that 440 have been released. Photo by STR/EPA-EFE

Tehran’s Public and Revolution courts prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced the release in a statement.

“After investigations, in addition to the 140 detainees who had been arrested during the riots and were freed in the past week, another 300 detainees were also freed, some on bail this week,” Dolatabadi said, referring those had been detained in Tehran, the FARS News Agency reported.

Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i said 55 protesters remain detained.

However, an Iranian lawmaker said last week that as many as 3,700 people were arrested during protests that began in late December over food prices and other economic problems.

Official government numbers put the total of protesters who were arrested at 1,000.

According to CNN, National Police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi said last Sunday that the majority of arrested protesters released on bail, but that “the leaders of the disturbances are being held by the judiciary.”

At least 21 people were killed and hundreds more injured during the protests.

One protester, a 22-year-old university student named Sina Ghanbaru, died in custody.

By Ray Downs