Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Jahanbegloo’s ‘Confessions’ are Ready for TV

Maryam Dastgeer, Rooz Online:
It is reported that Ramin Jahanbegloo’s ‘confessions about his so called role in the velvet revolution of Iran are going to be soon broadcast on national television in Iran. Earlier, the High Cultural Revolution Council had announced similar accusations about Jahanbegloo's connection with the velvet revolution. Keyhan and Resalat newspapers too had announced that a film on such confessions was forthcoming. READ MORE

While international groups have expressed their serious concern about the health, physical and psychological conditions of this Iranian thinker, the publication of the news about his imminent TV confessions has raised that concern many-fold. Confessions usually take place after a prison remains is subjected to psychological pressure by being isolated from the outside world, followed by threats and intimidations so that the prisoner comes to believe that he has no other choice than to accept the wishes of his captors.

Most people who have made such confessions before the cameras have later said that what they said was under duress and that their confessions lacked any credibility, which indicates the pressures that they had been subjected to in the past.

The public of course is not new to this tactic and therefore does not believe what it hears, recognizing that prisoners are under pressure to perform as the officials desired.

Pressuring Jahanbegloo to make confessions about participating in a velvet revolution came after Iran announced that it would allocate funds to counter the $75 million that the US Department of State had provided for working with pro-democracy people in Iran.

Normally, these television confessions are designed in such a way that the prisoner lists a number of names so as to incriminate other political and social activists so that the intelligence agencies can then silence and exert pressure on other groups.