Iran state news channel aired more than 355 forced confessions in past decade: Report

Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaking via a video conference with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on May 10, 2020. (AFP)

Iran’s state broadcaster, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), aired more than 860 forced confessions and defamatory content between 2009 and 2019, a report said on Thursday.

IRIB broadcast the forced confessions of at least 355 individuals and defamatory content against at least 505 others, according to a report released Thursday by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the London-based rights group Justice for Iran (JFI).

The report highlighted the extracting and broadcasting of forced confessions, a highly common practice in the Islamic Republic.

Iran has systematically used forced confessions to “instil fear and repress dissent,” according to the report.

Iranian and foreign staff members of Press TV news channel work at the newsroom in Tehran, 20 June 2007. (File photo: AFP)

Iranian and foreign staff members of Press TV news channel work at the newsroom in Tehran, 20 June 2007. (File photo: AFP)

“The use of forced confessions broadcast by state-owned media has been systematically used by the Iranian authorities to repress dissent for decades,” FIDH Secretary-General Adilur Rahman Khan said, adding: “It’s time for the international community to press Iran to end this practice, which is the source of many grave human rights violations.”

The report concluded that IRIB, in collaboration with Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and the intelligence arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has become a “means of mass suppression.”

JFI co-director Mohammad Nayyeri called on the European Union to suspend IRIB and its activities in Europe until Iran stops extracting and airing forced confessions.

“Iran has long escaped responsibility for coercing forced confessions. While Iran’s state-run television is constantly airing programs that are the product of torture and intimidation, IRIB reporters freely travel and operate in Europe without any consequences,” Nayyeri said.

“The European Union should suspend the entry of IRIB-affiliated officials and reporters into Europe as well as their operations until Iran pledges to abandon such archaic practices,” he said.

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Last Update: Thursday, 25 June 2020 KSA 21:20 - GMT 18:20
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