AFP - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the country's judiciary chief on Tuesday to free within about 10 days any detained election protesters who are not facing serious charges.
"A considerable time has passed since their arrests. We want to accelerate the examination of the accused and we order that the maximum Islamic compassion be shown towards the compatriots who took this path unconsciously," Ahmadinejad said in a letter to Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi.
"We want their families to be happy by their release. They should be home for the occasion of the birth anniversary of Imam Mahdi which falls on August 7."
It was Ahmadinejad's first comments about the protesters who opposed his disputed election victory last month that his rivals branded a fraud.
He said those arrested were "provoked by some people and some political groups who were backed by the propoganda made by our enemies."
Ahmadinejad's re-election on June 12 triggered massive protests in Tehran and according to Iranian officials about 30 people were killed, scores wounded and hundreds arrested in the unrest.