Iranian authorities torture protesters for forced confessions
Waves of detained protesters arrested during recent demonstrations have been quickly marked for execution, with many subjected to tortured confessions. Iranian authorities have then used these confessions to charge prisoners with unrelated crimes in order to justify hanging sentences.
Mohammad Ghobadlou, 22, was scheduled to be executed on Monday, January 9, after being accused of murdering a special anti-riot unit and injuring five others in a hit-and-run incident. Ghobadlou was arrested during the recent protests and detained at Gohardasht prison, where he was denied the right to counsel and was falsely charged with a crime he did not commit based on a tortured confession.
On the evening of January 9, his mother took a stand outside the prison to fight for her son’s innocence. According to her statement, there was evidence that the special anti-riot unit had been killed elsewhere, but the authorities blamed her son so that they could execute him.
Footage shows the mother of #MohammadGhobadlou speaking out against the regime's plot to murder her son. Mr. Ghobadlou is a political prisoner who has been arrested during #IranRevoIution. pic.twitter.com/yQ4HcV3rqE
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 12, 2023
“On their official security forces website, it said that he was killed in Robat Karim district,” she said, referring to the special anti-riot unit. “According to the NAJA website, people were kicking him and he died. Everyone knows this; they purposefully placed his death in my son’s case in order to hang him.”
In another case, despite intense pressure from Iranian authorities, a protester arrested in November 2022 refused to give a forced confession. The man was then subjected to a highly charged interrogation by regime media reporters and an officer, both of whom were clearly biased by the narrative fed to them by regime officials. Despite the barrage of accusatory statements, the protester maintained his innocence and desperately tried to give his version of events.
Footage from the state-run Fars news agency shows how security forces and so-called journalists put pressure on an arrested protester to give forced confession and sign his own death sentence in front of the cameras.#IranRevoIution #HumanRightsViolation pic.twitter.com/mwDut4hS2U
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 10, 2023
While the international community has been quick to condemn the regime verbally for its actions regarding forced confessions from prisoners, this is insufficient to protect the people being executed. Real action must be taken now to protect the Iranian people and their right to protest the brutal totalitarian regime’s rule as they fight for freedom.