TEHRAN, 6 Dec. (IPS) In a marked return to old demons, the Iranian Judiciary power which is directly controlled by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i is reverting to letters of repentance written by intellectuals coming out of prisons.
The press in the last days has published such letters of confessions from three Iranian reformist journalists presenting “sincere excuses” to the leader and the “noble people” of Iran because of their “betrayal” to the mighty and “merciful” regime of Islamic Republic.
Every time we reach an important election, we stand witness of same kind of crackdown on the dissidents
The Director of the notorious Evin prison has sent a five pages letter to the press, claiming it is written by Mr. Javad Qolam Tamimi, one of the ten journalists arrested few months ago for writing in personal weblogs or internet sites articles deemed critical to the ruling Iranian theocracy and its leaders.
In the letter, Mr. Tamimi accuses his pairs at the Association of Iranian Professional Journalists of being puppets of foreign powers and confesses that against receiving money, he had passed information to the military attaché of a foreign embassy in Tehran.
However, he did not identify the incriminated attaché nor he says what kind of information he had to be of interest for a military attaché?
Both the AIPJ and the Association for the Defence of Iranian Journalists had called for a rally on Sunday to protest the arrest of the journalists, but after warnings from the Judiciary and the fact that most of the detainees had been released, they decided to call off the meeting.
A former editor at the reformist daily “Mardomsalari” (Democracy), Mr. Tamimi also confesses to “criminal activities” against the security of the Islamic Republic and admits that under “encouragements and persuasions” of some “perverted” elements, he had “deviated” from the path of serving the people and nation.
“In any other country, I would be condemned to death or long term prison for what I did, but the attitude of the officials in the Islamic regime and in prison was so human that instead of punishing him, they just made him sorry and shameful”, he says, according to newspapers.
Three other journalists, Omid Me’marian, Shahram Rafi’zadeh and Roozbeh Mir-Ebrahimi, in letters to Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, an Iraqi dissident appointed as the Head of the Iranian Judiciary by Mr. Khameneh’i made identical confessions and presented similar repentances, saying they had been “brainwashed” by foreigners and “counter-revolutionaries” and demand pardon from the people and the leader.
Observers said though this is not the first time that the ruling conservatives proceeds to this kind of pressures and crackdown on journalists and intellectuals, but this time it coincides with the victory the Iranian diplomats scored at the International Atomic Energy Agency thanks to cooperation and understanding from the European Union in exchange for suspending activities related to enriching uranium.
“Every time we reach an important election, we stand witness of same kind of crackdown on the dissidents”, observed Mr. Hoseyn Bastani, a reformist journalist in Tehran, adding that the scenario is “copy conform” of an article wrote a month ago by Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, the leader-appointed Executive Editor of the radical daily “Keyhan”, entitled “The Spider’s Web”.
In the article, Mr. Shari’atmadari, who is a high-ranking intelligence officer specializing in the interrogation of intellectuals and scholars accused most of the arrested journalists plus a certain number of leading reformist personalities of collaborating with counter-revolutionaries and getting money from foreign intelligence services, mostly American and British.
Few people can resist the kind of tortures political prisoners suffer in Iranian jails
“What the released journalists admit in their letters is exactly what Mr. Shari’atmadari had alleged in his article”, Mr. Bastani told the Persian service of the BBC.
“I was brainwashed by elements seeking to destroy the image of the regime by relating with counter-revolutionaries and talking to foreign radio”, Mr. Me’marian said in his letter.
“I and people like me in the past years have been trapped by the ones who were merely concerned with their own political benefits and used us as puppets”, Mr. Mir-Ebrahimi confessed for his part in letter that experts said “has nothing” with the writing style of the journalist.
“I spread lies as I was influenced and encouraged by the ones who have for years been wounding the Islamic regime”, Mr. Rafizadeh said for his part.
“Few people can resist the kind of tortures political prisoners suffer in Iranian jails, particularly during the time they are held in solitary confinement, cut from the outside word and told, for instance, that his wife is put in prison with bandits and criminals or his daughter is being raped by smugglers and drug addicts”, a journalist who had experienced prisons in Islamic Republic told Iran Press Service.
“It is difficult to understand why the officials revert to such old methods of intimidation and fabricated confessions knowing well that no one give any credit to them?” he asked. ENDS DISSIDENTS CRACKDOWN 61204