UPI: A press freedom group Thursday condemned the showing on Iranian state-run TV videotapes of people saying they had protested at the request of foreign media.
United Press International
TEHRAN, June 25 (UPI) — A press freedom group Thursday condemned the showing on Iranian state-run TV videotapes of people saying they had protested at the request of foreign media.
Reporters Without Borders said in a statement the penitents made their confessions using the same language that opened nightly news for the last week: "Bismillah, al-rahman al-rahim. I admit that I demonstrated under the influence of the BBC, the radio Voice of America and other foreign media."
Reporters Without Borders said the confessions air hourly 24 hours a day to show Iranians the extent to which those disputing the June 12 presidential election allegedly were persuaded by Western countries to participate in an "orchestrated plot" against Iran, and confirm statements made by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader.
"These methods are aimed at denigrating foreign media, who are already facing huge obstacles to their work and whose journalists and contributors are exposed as a result to the threat of violence from supporters of the regime," the worldwide press freedom organization said.
The organization said at least 33 journalists and cyber-dissidents have been detained or arrested since the demonstrations began in protest of the election in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner.