28 Aug 2009 18:42
On the sidelines of the fourth 'velvet-coup' trials
ILNA | August 25, 2009
Though for the previous court sessions detainees were not subject to surveillance and interceptor equipment, for the fourth session, their personal belongings were inspected.
At 8:30 a.m., the defendants were brought to court one-by-one.
Mostafa Tajzadeh, who had been arrested one day after the June 12 election, was present in court. He took off his neck brace before the court went into session.
Before the court session got under way, one of the court officials told the defendants that they could use lavatories if they wished. This prompted the majority of the defendants to rise, leading the official
to admonish them to sit down and make the trip to the restroom one at a time.
The court session started at 9 a.m. Judge Salavati prohibited defendants from naming figures whose names were not in the case file.
Saeed Leilaz, Ali Tajernia and Mostafa Tajzadeh were seated close to one another and occasionally exchanged words.
Saeed Hajjarian was brought to court with a 70-minute delay and his defense statements were read out by Saeed Shariati. Hajjarian left court at 11:50.
After the court session, Safaii-Farahani, Ramezanzadeh, Saeed Shariati, Hedayat Aqayi and Kian Tajbaksh were allowed to speak to reporters.
The families of the detained political activists and reformist figures, who had gathered in front of the court to see their loved ones, waved and smiled at them when they were led out.
Montajabnia: Absentees have right to defense in court
No-Andish | August 27, 2009
Rasoul Montajabnia, the deputy head of the Etemad-e Melli party, said naming absent figures in court brings absentees the religious and legal right to use the same platform to defend themselves.
Analyzing the post-election trials, Montajabnia said confessions extracted in detention and in court lack religious and legal credibility.
"Those figures who have served the revolution and the Islamic Republic and have held positions such as lawmaker and minister must not be discredited and they should be differentiated from the other detainees."
"What was initially read out to the defendants was completely different. The lawyers, prosecutors and defendants should not have made reference to those [figures] who were absent in court and made accusations against them," said Montajabnia. But having done so, he added, gave those mentioned the legal and religious right to defend themselves using the same platform.
The New Yorker | The Iran Show
The indictments prepared by the public prosecutor are almost surreally obtuse. Before the election, one indictment claims, Western governments, foundations, and individuals joined forces with corrupt Iranians in an attempt to overthrow the Islamic Republic and institute a regime compliant with American designs. The nefarious plotters engaged in "exposing cases of violations of human rights," training reporters in "gathering information," and "presenting full information on the 2009 electoral candidates." Apparently, the Iranian citizen is meant to consider it self-evident that the country's national interest depends on concealing human-rights abuses, censoring the news, and obfuscating the electoral process.
Abtahi Blogs From Evin
Ahmad Sadri | August 26, 2009
Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a prominent Reformist politician and former vice president currently imprisoned in Iran, re-started his famous blog Webnevesht from Evin prison today.
Abtahi thanks his "good friend" the interrogator for allowing him this semblance of normalcy. No one familiar with Iranian means of coersion will be shocked at his message: there was no cheating in the elections. He was also allowed to boldly state that he and his colleagues were the "fall guys" as the government could not afford to arrest the "real leaders" (opposition figureheads Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi).
Mohmmad Ghouchani, the editor of Karroubi's pro-Reform daily Etemad-e-Melli, is reported to have said something a bit more acerbic but similar in content in a recent interview.
Abtahi intends to continue these blog posts from what appears to be a halfway-house status in prison. It is not clear if writing the blog is a reward for good behavior or a condition for his release.