Detained activist recounts “torture” and “coerced confessions” in Iranian prison

Sep 11, 2010

Detained Iranian political activists, Abdollah Momeni has written a letter addressed to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to describe the torture he was subjected to before he participated in the “coerced confessions and the show trials” of last summer.


 The International Campaign for Human Rights published Momeni’s letter expressing grave concern over the safety of this political activist in prison and holding Ayatollah Khamenei and Ayatollah Larijani, head of Iran’s judiciary, responsible for his life.

 Abdollah Momeni, spokesman for the student organization, Danesh Amoukhtegan, was arrested on June 20, 2009 after the controversial presidential elections that returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power amidst charges of vote fraud, and he is currently serving out a four year sentence at Evin Prison.


Momeni appeared in the infamous trials of last summer during which a number of prominent reform figures renounced their allegations of vote fraud and made self-incriminating confessions against themselves. The opposition maintains that these confessions were coerced and a result of fierce torture.


Abdollah Momeni writes that the motivation in writing this letter is the statements of Ayatollah Khamenei in his latest sermon in which he gave his stamp of approval to the “confessions of the accused in front of the camera and millions of viewers.”


Momeni claims that in writing the letter he intends to list the “illegal and irreligious tortures” that led to the confessions in order to question the credibility of the confessions that arise from them.


In his letter Momeni describes being subjected to “severe beatings and suffocations by interrogators until he became unconscious; his head being held in a toilet bowl; solitary confinement for 86 days in a 1.6×2.2 meter (4.8×6.6 ft) cell; repeatedly being threatened with imminent execution; being forced by his interrogators to practice false confessions before his trial; and the complete lack of independence of his Judge, Abol-Ghassem Salavati, and other judicial authorities prosecuting him,” International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports.


He adds that he was not allowed to enlist the services of a lawyer and insists that he did not believe in the text he was forced to read out in the trial last summer.


Momeni writes: “I still stand by my beliefs prior to being arrested, and as I have explained I do not consider the statements I read out in court under pressure as mine. Our crime has been and still is that we believe reform and democracy are the most appropriate path for improving the conditions of the country.”


Hadi Ghaemi, spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said: “This letter provides Ayatollah Khamenei the opportunity to correct his remarks regarding coerced confessions and to support the rule of law and justice by addressing these grave violations. Otherwise he has confirmed his green light to security and intelligence agents to continue committing these horrendous crimes.”.


Source: Zamaneh