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Sarmayeh Iran’s deputy interior minister, Ali Reza Afshar, announced that the president has demanded laws that would toughen prison conditions for “professional criminals, hooligans and thugs.”  The deputy interior minister claimed that people have “welcomed” the armed forces “project to collect hooligans and thugs,” which “should continue and professional criminals must always feel unsafe.”
Some lawyers have questioned the meaning of “hooligans and thugs,” saying that this term has not been defined.  According to Sarmayeh, “the meaning of hooligans and thugs is still unclear because two years ago, in the name of a social security project, professional criminals were targeted but some of the people arrested during recent unrest have also been called hooligans and thugs…”
Farideh Gheyrat, a lawyer, said that “the term hooligans and thugs does not exist in law.”  She adds that “for three years we have been pointing out that such a term does not exist in law but the fact that a political activist is called a hooligan and is then severely punished, is a new topic which requires its own new laws.”
Saleh Nikbakht, the spokesman for the Association for the Defense of the Rights of Prisoners, also said that “according to the Constitution, preventing and fighting crime is the responsibility of the judicial branch…and given that trial and punishment is also the responsibility of the judicial branch, the executive branch cannot intervene in this matter and the President can only submit his viewpoint as a suggestion to the judiciary.”

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