December 4, 2019 / 7:09 AM / 10 days ago

Iran's Rouhani calls for release of innocent, unarmed protesters

DUBAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on Wednesday for the release of any unarmed and innocent people who were detained during protests against gasoline price hikes, after two weeks of violent clashes.

“Religious and Islamic clemency should be shown and those innocent people who protested against petrol price hikes and were not armed ... should be released,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

The unrest, which began on Nov. 15 after the government abruptly raised fuel prices by as much as 300%, rapidly spread to more than 100 cities and towns and turned political with young and working-class protesters demanding clerical leaders step down. Protests were snuffed out last week by a security crackdown. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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