By: Mir M.Hosseini
(Wikipedia) – After announcement of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the presidential elections held on June, 12 2009 and allegations of fraud, protests erupted around Iran which followed a crackdown on dissidents.
- 2009 Iran poll protests trial:
On August 1, 2009, 110 people were put on trial, including prominent reformists, journalists and writers. Among them were former Vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, former Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and Industry Minister Behzad Nabavi, reformist lawmaker Ali Tajernia, Shahaboddin Tabatabayi, journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi, and others. Other people put on trial include French Embassy employee: Nazak Afshar, nine British Embassy employees, including Hossein Rassam, Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari, and French academic Clotilde Reiss. On August 16, 25 more defendants were added to the trial.
The charges included rioting, vandalism and acting against national security, disturbing public order, having ties with counter-revolutionary groups according to official sources.
In a press conference shown on state television several of the defendants - Abtahi, Kian Tajbakhsh, and Maziar Bahari - made confessions and withdrew charges against the election results they had made earlier.
Critics of the prosecution and the confessions by the accused, say the confessions, have been forced under duress from people being held in an undisclosed location without access to a lawyer, family, or friends, in violation of the human rights treaties to which Iran is supposedly a signatory.
Prosecutors have warned against questioning the legitimacy of the trial, threatening to prosecute doubters. The prosecutor read an indictment on August 8, 2009, that accused United States and Britain of stoking the unrest in an attempt to create a "soft overthrow" of the Iranian government.
The prosecution was led by Saeed Mortazavi, the Prosecutor General of Tehran, who allegedly had a role in the death of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, and the shutting down of 60 pro-reform newspapers. The sentences for the charges ranged from a short imprisonment to capital punishment.
Five people received death sentences for their parts in the protest. Mohammad Ali Abtahi was sentenced to six years. Two of presidential candidates: Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were put under house arrest without a trial.