SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 8 February 2023, Wednesday |

Iran frees hundreds after World Cup win over Wales

Iran has released more than 700 prisoners after the national team’s World Cup football victory over Wales, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said Monday.

It announced that “709 detainees were freed from different prisons in the country” following the 2-0 victory on Friday.

Among those are “some arrested during the recent events,” Mizan Online said, making indirect reference to demonstrations which have shaken Iran for more than two months.

It gave no further detail.

The ongoing protests were triggered by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest by morality police for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress rules for women.

Other Iranian media separately reported that prominent Iranian actor Hengameh Ghaziani had been released on bail after her arrest for having supported the protests.

Two of the most prominent figures detained over the demonstrations—former international footballer Voria Ghafouri and dissident Hossein Ronaghi — were also let out on bail, reports said.

State news agency IRNA reported on Monday that former state television host Mahmoud Shahriari, 63, had been released after two months in prison for “encouraging riots”.

Iran on Friday scored twice deep into stoppage time to stun Wales and breathe new life into its World Cup campaign ahead of a politically charged showdown Tuesday against the United States.

Iran lost its first World Cup match to England, 6-2.

Iran’s judiciary says more than 2,000 people have been charged since the start of the protests.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk last week said around 14,000 people have been arrested.

    Source:
  • AFP