15 June 2018 :

15 June 2018 - Seventy Iranian lawmakers have signed a bill to apply for collective pardons for political crimes and political prisoners who were served with harsh sentences. "Collective pardons are within the authority of lawmakers. As lawmakers can define a crime, they also can provide pardons for some crimes," Mohammad Javad Fathi, member of the legal and judiciary committee of the Iranian parliament, told ISNA news agency. The bill covers all politically-related sentences and aims to reduce use of the death penalty. The bill comes amid expectations that Ramin Hossein Panahi may be executed shortly. He was arrested in June 2017 on charges of being a member of the Kurdish opposition party Komala. Prosecutors said he had received military training and was carrying a gun and a grenade at the time of his arrest. The punishment for those who fight against the Islamic Republic is the death penalty. Panahi’s lawyer denied the prosecutor’s version of events, insisting his client had been unarmed when he was arrested. The bill also addresses dual nationals. "Iranians living abroad can return to Iran without any prosecution if they have not been sued by any person," Fathi explained. Iran has arrested several Iranians with dual nationalities. Around 6 million Iranians live outside the country, mostly in Europe and the US. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman, is serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly planning the "soft toppling" of Iran's government. In May, Tehran’s Revolutionary Court announced that she was facing new security-related charges. "I think as lawmakers we have to show this green light to about 6 to 7 million Iranians abroad because there are many experts among them,” Fathi stated, noting the country is in need of this human capital. The bill is likely to be discussed in parliament next week. If it is passed by the legislature, it will still have to be approved by the Guardian Council of the Constitution, a conservative council of the Islamic Republic, in order to become law. (Source:, 15/06/2018)


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