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Iran frees 440 people detained in anti-govt protests

Iran has freed 440 people arrested in Tehran during anti-government protests, a judiciary official said. “More than 440 people who were arrested in the Tehran riots have been released,” Iranian prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said, as cited by Mehr on Sunday. The demonstrations in more than 80 cities, which began over economic hardships in late December, resulted in 25 deaths, according to Reuters. Judicial officials have announced more than 1,000 arrests around the country, while lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi said last week that at least 3,700 people had been detained. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ali Motahari was quoted by IRNA as saying on Sunday that “one detainee in Tehran and two in other provinces” had died in jail, based on reports. The judiciary has confirmed two deaths in custody, citing the cause of death as suicide.