Televised confessions in Iran have many raising their eyebrows after a series of high-profile reformists have been placed in front of a camera and confessed to more or less the same crimes, phrased in very similar ways. Rumor has it, these were made under duress and may have been scripted. Some of these critics have gone and created a website called Watch me Confess, and they are asking anyone and everyone to submit their own videotaped confession:
We are inviting them to watch the rest of us confess too. Just sit behind your webcam and take a few minutes to confess anything you like. Alternatively, just write your confessions in text. You can either be silly and confess to the sort of things that the Iranian government is forcing people to confess to under torture (such as: You are a CIA agent and was funded by the UK to start a velvet revolution in Iran by using the BBC and CNN, Twiiter, Facebook, and Google Translate, etc.) or you can be serious and tell them what you really think.
In True/Slant, foreign correspondent Marc Herman seems to have a favorite confession:
It’s hard to say what really sells the confession, but her odd vocal cadence, pulsating camera zooms, heavily-accented English, the fact that she’s Israeli, and no small amount of acting chops suggest a cross between political zealotry and an intense desire to be a reality TV star. She’s the Meryl Streep of forced confession videos, and as far as the performance suggests, barking mad:
In another confession, an odd faced character explains how prison is the easiest way to lose weight, thanks to the delicate ministrations and “VIP” service, all in exchange for telling the truth:
This next confession is by the self-proclaimed mastermind of all the revolution. His catty remarks make it seem there is something fishy about this confession:
And here is the confession that started it all where the Iranian comedian Ebrahim Nabavi posted a video of himself playing former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who was sentenced along with 100 other defendants and was allegedly coerced into confessing. The video is in Farsi, an English translation can be found here.
You can read more about this ongoing story in these previous articles:
Leading Reformist Abtahi on Trial and Twitter and Facebook in Trial. The image of the Iranian flag used on this post was taken by Skender.