TEHRAN -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Saturday pardoned or commuted the sentences of a large group of Iranian prisoners, marking two important Islamic festivities.
Ayatollah Khamenei agreed to pardon or reduce the sentences of 2,825 prisoners on the occasion of Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) and Eid al-Ghadir, which fell on July 21 and July 29, respectively, in Iran this year.
The Leader’s decision came in response to a letter from Iran’s Judiciary Chief Gholamhussein Mohseni-Ejei regarding prisoners eligible for mitigating circumstances, including those found guilty in courts of common pleas and Islamic Revolution tribunals, the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces and the State Discretionary Punishment Organization.
The official amnesty request was approved in line with the implementation of the 11th paragraph of the Constitution’s Article 110, which grants the Leader the right to pardon or reduce the sentences of convicts upon a recommendation from the head of the Judiciary.
Muslims traditionally celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of the most important religious festivities, with the sacrifice of animals such as sheep, rams, goats and cattle.
The act commemorates Prophet Abraham’s submission to divine order to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Just before sacrificing his son, God provided Prophet Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead, after he successfully passed the divine test.
Eid al-Ghadir, held on the 18th of the Muslim month of Dhu Al-Hijjah, is amongst the most significant feasts of Shia Muslims. On this occasion, almost 1400 years ago, Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon Him) appointed Imam Ali (AS) as his successor.
The Leader grants clemency to prisoners several times each year on occasions of religious or national holidays after it is proposed by the head of the judiciary authority.
In June, Ayatollah Khamenei made the same decision for more than 5,000 prisoners to mark the birth of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam.