Editor’s Note: Iran has a long and sad history of creating show-trials for the public consumption, though it appears that even the most gullible Iranians are no longer buying these show-trials and seeing through the sham and charade created by unscrupulous authorities. Roozonline has reported on the latest session of one of such show-trials and that reports appears below for the benefit of our readers.
The fourth trial session of political activists and journalists opposed to the June 12 disputed presidential election was held yesterday at branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Instead of defending themselves, the detainee activists were forced to testify against themselves and their colleagues while also expressing satisfaction with the treatment they had received from interrogators and prison guards.
And as in the three previous trials, only reporters from pro-government media outlets were allowed to cover the proceedings, which were presided over by Judge Salavati and held in absence of local and foreign reporters. Fars news agency published the entire text of the indictment only a few minutes after it was read by the prosecutor. Meanwhile, families of the detained political activists were not allowed to attend the so-called public trial session.
Saeed Hajjarian, Behzad Nabavi, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Saeed Laylaz, Ahmad Zeidabadi, Mohsen Safaei-Farahani, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Saeed Shariati, Keyan Tajbakhsh, Ali Tajernia, Sadegh Norouzi, Shahab Tabatabaei, Hedayat Aghaei, Masoud Bastani, Hamzeh Ghalebi, Mohammad Ghouchani and Mohammad Reza Jalaeipour were the defendants in yesterday’s trial session.
Saeed Hajjarian and Saeed Shariati Resign from Mosharekat Party
Yesterday, a text allegedly authored by Saeed Hajjarian, the prominent architect of the reform movement who has a speech disability caused by a young Basiji assasin’s bullet that struck his head in 2000, was read by Saeed Shariati, a member of the Mosharekat [Participation] Party. According to the text, which was read after the prosecutor’s representative called for maximum punishment, Hajjarian, one of the founders of the Mosharekat Party, “resigned” from the party and “apologized” to the people.
Among the charges raised yesterday against Saeed Hajjarian by the prosecutor’s representative were acting against national security, fraud and cheating in elections, conspiracy with foreign elements, undermining of legal government, cooperating with anti-revolutionary Farsi and English networks, insulting the supreme leader and other officials. Additionally, participating in illegal gatherings, causing disruption, publishing fraudulent letters, libel and slander against officials, negotiating with John Caine, “the most influential British political theorist of Eastern European disintegration,” and communicating with a member of the Soros Foundation were among this senior Mosharekat Party figure’s charges. The prosecutor’s representative also revealed yesterday that Hajjarian’s charges emanated from his research and reporting on the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Sarallah Brigade.
In the text allegedly authored by Hajjarian, he accused himself of “providing faulty analyses” and, apologizing to the Iranian people, noted that he investigated the essential causes underlying his analyses in the past ten or fifteen years, the result of which is discussed in his confession letter.
In the text allegedly authored by Hajjarian, he first discussed his background in political theory, and then criticized Max Weber’s theories and dismissed them as irrelevant to Iran’s present condition.
Hajjarian then criticized higher education officials for not preventing students from accessing and studying foreign academic textbooks, concluding that the teaching of liberal arts theories in Iranian universities was one of the causes of recent disturbances and destruction of public property.
Other Defendants’ Confessions
Another Mosharekat Party member who has been detained since the election, Saeed Shariati, also resigned from Mosharekat Party. Noting that he was treated kindly, he apologized to ayatollah Khamenei for hurting and insulting him and expressed his shame and guilt.
Hedayatollah Aghaei, a member of the Kargozaran Sazandegi [Servants of Construction] Party also said at yesterday’s sessions, “I declare that no one can cause separation between us and the regime because we belong to this regime.”
Another post-election detainee and head of the website “Jomhouriyat,” Hamzeh Karami, claimed that Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, the son of the head of the Assembly of Experts, did not agree with the electoral process. Karami claimed that under Mehdi Hashemi’s pressure the website “Jomhouriyat” turned into an “extremist and deconstructive” website.
According to Karami, Jomhouriyat website’s personnel printed pamphlets for Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s campaign headquarters undermining and questioning the ninth administration’s performance and integrity and distributed them to the public. Karami quoted Jasbi, head of the Azad University system (and a supporter of Hashemi Rafsanjani), as having said, “We must do everything so that someone other than Ahmadinejad becomes the president.”
Claiming that he had no direct responsibilities at the Jomhouriyat website – which was in essence run by Mehdi Hashemi – Karami said that he regarded the printing of “pamphlets” against Ahmadinejad to be unfair and was opposed to this.
Hamzeh Karami then accused Mehdi Hashemi of intending to release confidential documents during the election.
Jomhouriyat Website’s Office at Azad University
Masoud Bastani, a journalist detained after the election, also accused Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani of running the website Jomhouriyat and claimed that the website’s office was at Azad University: “The website’s office was located in one of Azad University’s offices, and our payments were on Azad University checks.” He claimed that the website serves as the psychological warfare headquarters against the regime’s officials and said that the website sought to portray the ninth administration as inept by publishing false reports.
Noting that he cooperated with the website RoozOnline, Radio Farda, Radio Chekavak and the weekly Shahreban, Bastani said that these media outlets sought to attack the administration’s four-year record, as well as the Guardian Council, police, Basij and IRGC, in addition to sowing seeds of doubt about the election results and the viability of the administration’s policies.
As the trial dragged on, Shahabeddin Tabatabaei, a member of Mosharekat Party’s central committee and the head of its youth branch, expressed regret for having agreed to an interview with the BBC about the post-election protests.
Another post-election detainee was Kian Tajbakhsh who claimed that “the Hashemi Rafsanjani government began the plan of cultural transformation.”
According to the prosecutor’s claims, Tajbakhsh was charged with acting against national security through “membership in CIA agent Gary Sick’s online network,” espionage, cooperating with anti-Islamic republic foreign agents, consulting with the Soros Foundation, which pursues the soft overthrow of the Iranian government, propaganda against the regime, disrupting public order by participating in chaos, disorderly conduct and creating terror and fear in society.
Commenting on his soft overthrow activities, this defendant said, “Another instance of this is Mr. Mohammad Atrianfar’s (a figure close to Hashemi Rafsanjani) trip to New York City on the Soros Foundation’s invitation, and his meeting with the person of Soros, who is the considered to be the main contact between foreign and domestic agents.”
Calls for Dissolution of Mosharekat Party and Mojahedin Enghelab Organization
At yesterday’s court session, the prosecutor’s representative accused the Mojahedin Enghelab Organization and Mosharekat Party of involvement in the velvet coup against the Islamic Republic and attacked their positions as being in line with those of the Islamic Republic’s enemies.
According to the indictment, Mosharekat Party is portrayed as being subservient to the United States, propagating conspiratorial thoughts, cooperating with foreign and suspicious elements, engaging in abnormal activities, violating the principles of Islam, and engaging in treacherous acts against the Iranian people and Islamic Republic regime.
The prosecutor’s representative then called for the dissolution of the reformist Mosharekat Party and Mojahedin Enghelab Organization.
Court Proceedings Are Wrong
At the end of the fourth trial session, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, a member of the Mosharekat Party and former president Khatami’s spokesperson, made unexpected statements violating the sham trial organizers’ wishes in a surprising manner. He said, “I think that the court proceedings are following a wrong route and trend. I believe that the ninth administration’s policies and executive methods have been wrong, and if the tenth administration continues that trend I will continue to oppose it, but will continue to remain loyal to the Islamic Republic.”
Responding to a question about his prison experience, he said, “They told us not to say anything, but I was in solitary confinement and this is the seventy-fourth day of my incarceration in solitary conferment.”
Noting that he was arrested on the street and without any warrants, he said, “I disagree with the general indictment that was read during the first session by the deputy prosecutor. I disagree with the indictment that wants to pit one political faction against the regime.”
[Posted at Roozonline]