Iran Human RightsFour Iranian webloggers protest of being forced to confess

Four Iranian webloggers protest of being forced to confess

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AFP: Four Iranian webloggers arrested during a crackdown last year have written to the judiciary head to complain of having been subjected to “physical and moral pressure” that forced them to confess, the official news agency IRNA said Monday. “During our detention, (we were) subjected to physical and moral pressure and all of our confessions were false and have no legal value,” wrote Mahbubeh Abbas-Golizadeh, Fereshteh Ghazi, Massud Ghoreyshi and Hanif Mazruwi. AFP

TEHRAN – Four Iranian webloggers arrested during a crackdown last year have written to the judiciary head to complain of having been subjected to “physical and moral pressure” that forced them to confess, the official news agency IRNA said Monday.

“During our detention, (we were) subjected to physical and moral pressure and all of our confessions were false and have no legal value,” wrote Mahbubeh Abbas-Golizadeh, Fereshteh Ghazi, Massud Ghoreyshi and Hanif Mazruwi.

They appealed to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, to intervene because the “confessions of several of those accused were extracted by force.”

A group of around 20 Internet writers and technicians working for pro-reform websites were arrested in a crackdown that began in September last year on possible charges of “propogating against the regime”, “insulting religious values” and “disturbing public order”.

They were released by the end of the year, but four of them — not those who wrote the letter — are still facing charges. Some of those detained made detailed confessions to the judiciary before publicly retracting them once released.

Nobel laureate and human right lawyer Shirin Ebadi has also spoken out against the confessions.

Since 2000, Iran’s hardline-controlled judiciary has shut down scores of mostly pro-reform newspapers and other publications in a crackdown that has also seen dozens of journalists arrested.

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