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Iran Supreme Leader Orders Pardons For 81 Opposition Supporters

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pardoned or commuted the sentences of 81 people convicted for their alleged activities during the postelection unrest, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports, citing local media and Khamenei's website.

The names of those to be released were not available.

ILNA news agency cited a letter from Khamenei to the head of the judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, in which the supreme leader reportedly says the pardons were granted on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad's daughter's birthday.

Recent months have seen a number of particularly harsh sentences, including executions, handed down against protesters and opposition supporters, who are regarded as "seditionists" by many hard-liners.

Iranian and international rights activists say thousands of arrests have accompanied the crackdown against critics of the June 2009 presidential election, hundreds of whom reportedly remain in custody.

compiled from Radio Farda reports