A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary says people convicted of taking part in the 2009 election protests cannot be “forgiven” and the sentences they have received are already the least they deserve.
Conservative MP Ali Motahari had said in Parliament today that the judiciary should review the “severe sentences” handed to people following the 2009 protests.
The Islamic Republic establishment refers to the 2009 election protests as “sedition” and, despite recent efforts by more moderate elements in the government to release reformist figures who were given heavy sentences in the aftermath of the protests and to end the house arrest of MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two presidential candidates who challenged the election outcome, the regime’s hardliners have been digging in their heels and refusing to soften their stance against the reformists.
Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohseni Ejei made reference to the political prisoners convicted for taking part in the 2009 protests, saying their “sins were much too great” and adding: “They sullied the reputation and dignity of the Islamic Republic, They burned people’s belongings. They attacked Basij bases. They accused the regime and the people of lies and failed to honour people’s votes.”
“This is something that cannot be forgotten,” Ejei stressed: “It cannot be overlooked and diminished.”
The 2009 election ended with widespread street protests, with people demanding to know what had happened to their votes when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner. MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi alleged that the vote count was rigged and they called for a recount; however, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei refused to heed their call and backed the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Months of street protests were violently suppressed by government forces, many reformist figures were imprisoned and handed heavy sentences and, finally, Mousavi and Karroubi together with their wives were put under house arrest, where three of them still remain.
Ali Motahari has called for a review of all of these sentences, adding that the judiciary should be free from all outside influences.