The Iranian President has called for demonstrators arrested for protesting against his election in June to be freed from jail, as long as they are not facing serious charges. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s gesture is seen as an attempt to calm continuing tensions in Iran.
It came after the Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the closure of a detention centre, and the release of its 140 opposition prisoners. Spokesman for Iran’s Parliamentary Committee for Prisons, Kazem Jalili said: “The 140 will be released over the next couple fo days. According to our information, around 200 will be left in prison, and there are documents showing that some of those were involved in the recent unrest in Tehran.” Ahmadinejad wants the protestors freed before a major religious celebration on August the 7th. But at the same time he refused an opposition request for a day of mourning to remember those who were killed demonstrating against the election they believed was rigged. Official figures say 20 people died. Opponents say it was more.