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Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran

Can this sentence be deemed anything other than treason?[593]

The last two sections of the indictment charge individuals with particular crimes. The next to the last section charges several individuals with working for American agents, posting articles and interviews on the internet, “creating anxiety in the public mind,” “communication with foreign media and channels and dissemination of information and pictures designed to further incite the agitators.”[594]

Among the pictures and videos there are many scenes of distraught faces from inside the country, suggesting to viewers that the agitators are the people of Iran who have come to the streets in protest of the elections.[595]

Mohammad Rassouli participated in several protests after the elections and captured videos and uploaded them unto the Internet. These videos were then broadcast by international media organizations including the BBC.[596] He is quoted in the indictment as confessing that he participated so that he could send videos of the protests to foreign media such as the BBC.[597] 

A photographer, Majid Saeedi, allegedly confessed to taking “illegal pictures of the unlawful protests” and sending them to foreign news media.[598] Another piece of evidence presented against Saeedi is his contract with Getty Images, a stock photo agency that agreed to pay him for his images.[599] Maziar Bahari’s forced confession is also cited:

Maziar Bahari, another of the suspects, says in his confessions: “In the ensuing unrest following the elections, I wrote two articles for Newsweek in which I defended the agitators and protestors and attacked the Islamic system. For my activities with Newsweek, I received $200 per day. In addition, after I sent a film showing attacks on Basij bases on Mohammad Ali Jenah Street, the U.K.’s channel 4 agreed to pay me 2100 pounds for the two minute film reel.[600]

The last section of the indictment charges individuals with violent actions, participating in riots, disseminating CDs and posters, and sending pictures to the foreign media—also based on their confessions.[601] Individuals are charged with attending protests and encouraging others to participate:

Mr. Iman Sohrabpour, “son of Kavus,” participated in illegal gatherings, sought to give away CDs of protest, and caused agitation among the people

Another suspect, Mr. Said Sepanlou, “son of Abolfazl,” who has a criminal record, participated in the protests and distributed CDs and flyers.

In addition, Mr. Hamid Reza Bakhtiari, “son of Ali,” participated in illegal gatherings and held the placards inciting others to participate in the protests too.[602]

Other examples include Emad Bahavar, identified in the indictment as a member of the Freedom Movement, who is accused of creating campaign commercials for the Mousavi and Karroubi campaigns. Another defendant, Mohammad Darmanaki Farahani, is accused of a litany of offenses including offending the leaders of the system, directing the chanting of slogans, and inciting public opinion.[603] Farahani was grouped with a number of defendants who demonstrated and attempted to document their experience.

Mr. Mahdi Moqimi, “son of Mohammad Hossein,” participated in the protests and attempted to film the disruption. … Mr. Shahour Saba, son of Mohsen,” participated in the protests and began to take pictures of the unrest. … Mr. Mohammad Soleimanpour, “son of Nosratollah,” participated and invited others to the protests. He then began to take pictures with certain goals in mind.[604]

Following the reading of the indictment, well-known figures including Abtahi and Mohammad Atrianfar,[605] confessed that no fraud had taken place during the election and that foreign governments were fomenting a “velvet coup” in Iran.[606]

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