Iran's top judge orders harsh sentences for 'main elements of riots' as protests persist -ISNA  

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Iran's judiciary chief said on Thursday he had ordered judges to issue tough sentences for the "main elements of riots", sparked after the death of a young woman in custody last month, the Iranian semi-official Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.

"I have instructed our judges to avoid showing unnecessary sympathy to main elements of these riots and issue tough sentences for them while separating the less guilty people," ISNA quoted Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei as saying.

Protests ignited by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran's morality police on Sept. 16 have turned into one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson

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