Barron’s: Iran must end the “forced confessions” of prisoners broadcast on state-owned television, two rights groups said Thursday, arguing it amounted to torture and the perpetrators should risk legal consequences abroad.
The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights and its member organisation Justice for Iran (JFI), a London-based judicial accountability group, said their analysis showed that between 2009 and 2019, Iranian state media broadcast forced confessions from least 355 individuals.
It had also broadcast defamatory content against at least 505 individuals, they added, destroying their credibility as a legitimate news organisation.
“The use of forced confessions broadcast by state-owned media has been systematically used by the Iranian authorities to repress dissent for decades,” said FIDH Secretary-General Adilur Rahman Khan.
“It’s time for the international community to press Iran to end this practice, which is the source of many grave human rights violations,” he added.
Their report said that forced confessions have been “systematically broadcast” by Iranian state-owned media “to instill fear and repress dissent”.
“Victims revealed that not only were they subjected to torture and ill-treatment to force them to confess — often to false statements — in front of the camera, but that furthermore, the broadcasting of these confessions caused enormous pain and suffering,” the two organisations said.
The report alleged that methods to force the confessions included “physical torture” such as flogging, hanging by the hands and electrocution.