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Monday, 21 February, 2000, 05:31 GMT
Reformist prisoner released on leave

Iranian reformist Abdullah Nouri, jailed by hard-liners for religious dissent, has been allowed to go home on leave.

The move comes as partial results from Friday's parliamentary elections show supporters of the reformist President, Mohammad Khatami, are likely to win a majority in parliament.


Mr Nouri arrived home on Sunday afternoon from the Evin prison in northern Tehran, a relative said.

"I am extremely pleased with the results of the elections," he told journalists outside his home.

"The result could change many things and even have an impact on my liberation."

In an interview later on Sunday with the Qatari television station Al-Jazeera, Mr Nouri called on the conservatives to learn from the elections.

"Perhaps the conservatives did not expect these results, but what happened reflects the pulse of society," he said.

"It would be better to try to adapt to this reality."

He said his temporary release was unrelated to the apparent reformist electoral triumph.

But it was the first time Mr Nouri had been allowed leave, which is different from bail or parole.

Leave is for a definite period, and is intended to allow a prisoner to visit his or her family.

Mr Nouri, a former interior minister, was jailed for five years last November on charges of spreading anti-Islamic propaganda.

His supporters say his sentence was a deliberate attempt to prevent him from running in Friday's parliamentary elections.

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Full coverage of Iran's landmark elections and the battle for reform


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See also:
19 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Iran reformists surge ahead
22 Feb 99 |  Middle East
Candidates barred from Iran election
18 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Analysis: All eyes on Iran
30 Jan 00 |  Middle East
Poll test for Iran reformists

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