Monday, 17 August 2009

IMHRO Condemns TV Show Trial of British Embassy Woker in Tehran

Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)



The Iranian government staged a show trial in the style of the Stalin era. Hundreds of people, including British and French embassy workers, were shown on Iranian State TV, confessing that they had worked for the West. They were accused of contacting ethnic and religious minorities in Iran.

The faces of many of those shown on State TV were pale. There was deep worry and uncertainty in their eyes. They were denied a lawyer, and brought straight from security service detention to the court. They were reportedly tortured, kept awake for many nights and days in solitary confinement, and subjected to various drugs and the procedure known as “white torture”.

“This is a show court. This shows what is happening inside Iran. This is a small window to what has been happening in minority areas for many years, and we need to see the bigger picture. This is wake up call for the International Community”, Reza Washahi, a researcher on minorities told IMHRO.

IMHRO is very concern about such show trials and condemns them. We call for this to stop and for the release all the prisoners. We ask the international community to take a stand for these Human Rights abuses in Iran.


Show trials and confessions on state TV are not new in Iran. Since 1979, many political and cultural activists, as well as ordinary people like butchers, tailors, or shoe makers, have appeared on TV state and made to confess to working as spies for foreigners or being members of the opposition. Many were later executed or simply disappeared after few years, without any trace of them.

Some, who managed to escape, later told their horrifying account of how they were forced by Iranian Security Service and Revolutionary guards, under pressure and torture, to accuse people they had never met, sign papers, and name their innocent friends and families.

Torture by Iranian Security Service includes water boarding, burning of the body by using iron and torch, flogging the feet, hanging upside down, raping men and women, and leaving their prison doors open for murder criminals in the prison to “sort them out”.

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