Release of political prisoners
While many of the interviewees spoke in broad terms about the need for political and civil reforms, as mentioned above, the issue of the release of political prisoners—including an end to the house arrests of the opposition Green Movement leaders—was frequently cited as an urgent priority.
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Rouhani had campaigned for the presidency in 2013 on a platform that included releasing political prisoners, and thus expectations on this issue were set by the incoming administration itself.
We still have some 2009 prisoners in jails. Many of these individuals’ sentences will be completed, and they will be released over the coming months, and only a few will be left in prison. If the government can, it should explicitly ask for the release of the remaining prisoners. [Also], there is a clear and important issue, which is the issue of the house arrest of Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Karroubi, and Ms. Rahnavard.
–Ahmad Shirzad, Physics Professor and Former Member of Parliament
In gatherings and assemblies on different occasions, or on the streets and through developments in the universities, we observe that wherever people find a chance to express their opinions, they emphasize their political demands, and at the center of them is the issue of lifting the house arrest [of the former presidential candidates].
–Issa Saharkhiz, Journalist and Former Political Prisoner