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Iran: Leading reformist Abtahi on trial

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Human Rights, Politics, Protest

abtahi2Mohmmad Ali Abtahi [1], a leading blogger and former reformist vice president, was among dozens to protest the 12th June presidential election's result. A trial of the protestors [2] is now underway in a Tehran court.

In the court Abtahi, who appeared wearing prisoner's pyjamas, looked weak and seemed to have lost weight. Abtahi, who had been jailed for several weeks and had no contact with the outside world, said [3] in the court, “I say to all my friends and all friends who hear us, that the issue of fraud in Iran was a lie and was brought up to create riots so Iran becomes like Afghanistan and Iraq and suffers damage and hardship… and if this happened, there would be no name and trace of the revolution left.”

Abtahi has been accused of taking part in a “velvet coup” against regime.

Several bloggers reacted to Abtahi's so-called confession and his physical presence. Several have published photos of him before and after the arrest. (ABOVE: L, before arrest; R, in today's trial).

Kaveh Ahangar says [4] [fa] that we could see evidence of torture and threats behind each word coming out of Abtahi's mouth. The blogger adds that on seeing Abtahi on TV, he became emotional and cried.

Alfba writes [5] [fa]: “Dear Abtahi, we know you were under pressure and you family suffered a lot. You should know what you confess, we still love you. We support you.”

Forever696 tweeted [6] with irony that if we believe in Ahmadinejad's 24 million votes, we will believe in these trials.

Saharlar writes [7] [fa] “today it's Abtahi, whose turn will be tommorow? The blogger asks readers not to be discouraged and not to take these kinds of “shows” seriously.”