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Ex-Pres Criticizes Iranian Show Trials

From a still uncritical Agence France-Pressee:

Iran hardliners accuse opposition of ‘treason’

by Jay Deshmukh

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian hardliners accused opposition leaders of treason on Sunday as defeated presidential challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi said the authorities used "medieval torture" to force confessions from protesters on trial over the election unrest.

Former president Mohammad Khatami also said Saturday’s mass trial of 100 protesters and prominent reformists was against the constitution, putting him at loggerheads with hardliners in an escalating feud between rival factions.

The powerful hardline wing took aim at both opposition leaders, accusing them of trying to lead a "velvet revolution" after the June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and lodging a judicial complaint against Mousavi…

But Mousavi remained defiant and said confessions at Saturday’s trial were extracted by torture.

"The scenes that we saw were a clumsy preparation for the launch of the 10th government," Mousavi said on his website about the trial, held just days before Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in on Wednesday.

"They expect a court, which itself is fraudulent, to prove that there was no fraud committed in the election," said Mousavi, a former post-revolution premier who lost to Ahmadinejad.

"What are they trying to convince people of… (by) relying on confessions which obviously bore the hallmarks of medieval-era torture?"

His comments came after some reformists, including a prominent Khatami aide, made a dramatic climbdown at the trial, saying Ahmadinejad’s victory was clean and that they had been pushed into demonstrating against the results.

Khatami also denounced the trial..

"What was done yesterday is against the constitution, regular laws and rights of the citizens," Khatami’s office quoted him as telling a group of political activists and lawmakers.

Khatami, who served two terms as president before being succeeded by Ahmadinejad in 2005, said the court had relied on "confessions taken under certain circumstances which are not valid."

The Tehran court dismissed the opposition attacks, saying that securing a "confession is one way of proving a crime and no legal expert has ever cast doubt on that." …

Another defeated candidate, former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezai, called for security forces who cracked down on protesters and "trampled on the law" to be brought to justice.

The rival declarations underscore the scale of the political infighting in Iran, which has also seen Ahmadinejad come under fire even from own hardline supporters.

Conservative cleric Hojatoleslam Abolhassan Navab, a senior member of the Association of Military Clergy, said Iran was being radicalised by the feuding.

"Some people from both sides are taking the country towards radicalisation. It seems that nobody wants to restore calm in the country," he was quoted as saying by ISNA.

Even Iran’s Press TV has published this:

Ex-military chief questions Iran trial motives

Sun, 02 Aug 2009

One day after Iran opened a mass trial of more than 100 opposition figures, defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei questions the fairness of the move, calling for a trial of the security forces who broke the law

In reaction to the trial, Secretary of the Expediency Council Rezaei adopted a critical stance over the handling of the cases of the post-vote detainees and questioned the true motive behind the timing of the court session.

"Recent events which brought severe damage upon the nation and the Islamic Republic were caused by two groups; one group were rioters and the second group comprised of self-driven individuals and security forces who violated the law," Rezaei said in a letter to Iran’s Judiciary Chief, Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, on Sunday…

Rezaei called on the country’s judiciary chief to put to trial "the security forces who attacked Tehran University’s dormitory and classes in Isfahan University", "those responsible for battering the prisoners including Mohsen Ruholamini", and "those responsible for assaulting peaceful protestors in the street".

Rezaei, who was the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps for sixteen years, called for the second trial as police chief Ismail Ahmadi-Moqaddam acknowledged in July that some law enforcement officers went to “extremes” during the post-election protests.

"Some of our officers went to extremes during these events and caused damage while pursuing protestors," Brig. Gen. Ahmadi-Moqaddam conceded, vowing to ‘deal firmly’ with the officers who had broken the rules.

Reformists were quick to condemn the trial as a sham staged by supporters of the incumbent president…

There really does seem to be some divisions in the ranks.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 2nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Ex-Pres Criticizes Iranian Show Trials”

  1. GL0120 says:

    I’m sure that no one would expect TCO (peace be upon him) to criticize the peace and justice love Iranian government.
    Hell, he’s taking notes, waiting to have the same type of trials here.

  2. canary says:

    Ahmadinejad sure likes too see men in pajama’s.

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