See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Iran: Leading reformist Abtahi on trial

abtahi2Mohmmad Ali Abtahi, a leading blogger and former reformist vice president, was among dozens to protest the 12th June presidential election's result. A trial of the protestors is now underway in a Tehran court.

In the court Abtahi, who appeared wearing prisoner's pyjamas, looked weak and seemed to have lost weight. Abtahi, who had been jailed for several weeks and had no contact with the outside world, said in the court, “I say to all my friends and all friends who hear us, that the issue of fraud in Iran was a lie and was brought up to create riots so Iran becomes like Afghanistan and Iraq and suffers damage and hardship… and if this happened, there would be no name and trace of the revolution left.”

Abtahi has been accused of taking part in a “velvet coup” against regime.

Several bloggers reacted to Abtahi's so-called confession and his physical presence. Several have published photos of him before and after the arrest. (ABOVE: L, before arrest; R, in today's trial).

Kaveh Ahangar says [fa] that we could see evidence of torture and threats behind each word coming out of Abtahi's mouth. The blogger adds that on seeing Abtahi on TV, he became emotional and cried.

Alfba writes [fa]: “Dear Abtahi, we know you were under pressure and you family suffered a lot. You should know what you confess, we still love you. We support you.”

Forever696 tweeted with irony that if we believe in Ahmadinejad's 24 million votes, we will believe in these trials.

Saharlar writes [fa] “today it's Abtahi, whose turn will be tommorow? The blogger asks readers not to be discouraged and not to take these kinds of “shows” seriously.”

  • Pingback: Iran: Leading reformist Abtahi on trial » Eslah Talaban

  • Dr” Sadegh

    I am not sure why we should not take Abtahi words serious as suggetsed by his other fellow bloggers.

    I cannot take your words (that are only words coming from a keypad and a laptop) serious too.

    I think this is negative that we want to conceal the truth by asking people to take the things not serious. Or perhaps the bloggers are scared that people take the things serious and their plans are now absolete.

    • Sophie Amrain

      Sadegh,
      are you so naive or so cynical? The truth can be clerly seen in the statement of Abtahi. It make no sense for him (what courage was required to stick to the government line on the elections??) and shows the overboarding obedience which any normal person finds disgusting, but which dictators all over the world seem to appreciate very much. Also, he looks like a broken man.

  • Stef Terblanche

    The pictures seem to say it all. Here is man who quite obviously seems to have been subjected to severe ill-treatment to obtain a “confession”. Every informed, thinking and caring person has seen this sort of thing many times before in many parts of the world. I also find it so sad that in so many parts of the world – as here in Iran also – ruthless people exploit and abuse religion, the basic spiritual sustenance of ordinary people who have little more in their lives, to pursue their own selfish, power-hungry interests and in so doing “justify” them becoming murderers and thugs. Strength to the people of Iran, and I hope you will succeed in getting rid of this murderous tyrant who is a threat, not only to his own people, but to the entire peace-loving world.

  • Pingback: Blogs CadillacTight » Show Trial of Reformists in Iran

  • Clegg Pattersmith

    Islamic rule has been exposed:it is as ruthless, self-righteous and tyrannical as as any rule by religious “leaders,” Men (it’s always men, no?) who claim to talk to and for God become convinced that they can do wrong. Overthrow priestly rule, as the West did or you will never be free.

  • http://www.democracystreet.blogspot.com Simon Baddeley

    Iason Athanasiades was recently released from prison in Iran and produced a list of books he would like to have read in jail.

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/middle-east/090715/jailbirds-summer-reading-list?page=0,1

    One of them is the book ‘Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Iran’ by Ervand Abrahamian, 1999. This is the definitive book on torture both in the Islamic Republic and under the Shah.

    ‘The book lays out in fascinating detail and with extensive documentation how torture in Iran differs from elsewhere: victims are brutalised until something other than information is obtained — a public confession and ideological recantation. For the victim whose honor, reputation and self-respect are destroyed, the act is a form of suicide.’

    ‘Recent examples of confessions include: Iranian-Canadian sociologist Ramin Jahanbegloo’s interview to a state-run news agency following his release; Haaleh Esfandiari’s televised confession in a hotel room presented in documentary format on state-run television; and Roxana Saberi’s signed confession in prison.’

  • Pingback: An Islamic Republic that nobody recognises | Antony Loewenstein

  • Pingback: Internet & Democracy Blog » Bloggers React to Abtahi Photos, Show Trials

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Iran: Free Abtahi Campaign

  • Pingback: Iran: Protestors’ trial – 2nd hearing « Tea and Politics

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site