Revolution in Iran

Thoughts on and about the Iranian Revolution

Mohammad Ali Abtahi’s confession

Posted by iranrevolution on August 2, 2009

This short post is not going to touch the unethical methods that this regime is deploying on daily basis. This short post is not going to deplore parading of political prisoners on national TV in mock confessions. This short post is not even going to touch the hilarity of this bogus trial. It is only going to look at the clumsy editing of Mohammad Ali Abtahi’s so called confessions and touch its hilarious last part.

Abtahi a bit thinner

Abtahi a bit thinner

Throughout the interview, there is a sense that he is reading off a piece of paper. He is often looking down at his right hand side. This is visible at 0.14 to 0.17, at 2.03 just before a quick cut, at 3.38 and 3.46. After precisely five minutes, the clip that has up until then been shot by a single camera begins to be edited from multiple cameras and there is no more reading off a piece of paper for poor Mr. Abtahi.

Then we have two cases where the editing is very clumsy indeed.

First case: There is no sound between 1.12 to 1.14 just when he is mentioning someone’s name that the regime obviously doesn’t want mentioned.

Second case: There is a cut at 2.13; one can see his head changes its position. What is cut out is impossible to know.

Another possible cut is off camera. At 3.14 we are seeing a group of photographers and at that time Mr Abtahi starts a new sentence. Listeners can sense that the sound between the two sentences is incoherent. It seems that something that he has said is cut out.

Now let’s move on to the hilarious part. At 5.56 there is a question by presumably the judge obviously intended for the TV viewers as the judge says, and I am paraphrasing here, that anyone listening to what you are saying would think it is because of your time in jail. At this time one knows that Abtahi in his answer is going to say that it has nothing to do with the jail (and he losing about 18k during his time in custody). And right enough, he goes to great lengths to testify that the jail, apart from the fact that it is a jail, has been great and that he had not felt any problem in the jail.

It is one of those truly sad moments when you see this broken man for whom I have always had great respect – liking his sense of humour – is willing to say just about anything after seven weeks of solitary confinement and shedding 18 kilos in jail. Yes, no problem at all in Iranian jails, everything is fine and dandy.

Update: I cannot help but adding this clip made by Ebrahim Nabavi called The Confession [of Mohammad Ali Abtahi]. It is more or less spot on what Abtahi did confess to. However Nabavi made this clip three weeks prior to the actual confessions. Yes, we have seen these kind of confessions before. We are not surprised.

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5 Responses to “Mohammad Ali Abtahi’s confession”

  1. [...] be forced to make false confessions under physical and / or psychological torture. This prediction recently came true. But before it did, famous Iranian comedian and satirist Ebrahim Nabavi posted a video on YouTube [...]

  2. beetle said

    The confession is clearly genuine. Yes he has a paper next to him, perhaps he made a few notes like anyone would but its clear he’s not reading from it, just consulting it. Confession is in open court in front of cameras from several TV stations, he is clearly free to say what he wants, and he does.

    But disappointingly nothing new is really revealed in his confession. I was hoping for specific details, perhaps its still to come.

    • iranrevolution said

      I only like to point out that there was NO foreign journalists and NO opposition journalists, not a single one, present there. That is why they can get away with the clumsy editing.

    • Farshad said

      i think beetle is not Iranian, so i would like to draw his/her attention to some points:
      1. when you say several TV stations, you mean the local ones (governmental and none governmental) and also the international ones. for your information in Iran we do not have any none governmental TV station. also after the election, we have no foreign journalists in iran. so clearly there were only our governmental TV stations. or you tell me what you mean when you say several TV stations?
      2. what you saw was a kind of drama or act. they have practiced all these days before coming to the court room. so what i can tell you is that they have been broken on first days after the have been arrested. you tell me how he could lose 18 kg, on a good prison conditions, their golf court was not in a good condition i assume!!!!
      3. just imagine this situation: you have been arrested, then they take your wife to the same room you have to answer the questions, and start asking her in front of you. tell me how you feel?

      i have watched one of such things in Youtube. the person who asked question from a woman, made her confess that she had oral sex with another man. and the after that he said, very kindly and gently: ok, i am finished now it is time for your lashthropy, for today i think 30 is good enough. you should see the film and see how she was screaming, and the man gently was asking her not to be a bad girl!!!!

      when you break, you break. those people there were totally broken. the fact is that in iran you are free to say what you have been told.

  3. iran said

    The serial of trial still goes on. Main accused are: Electricity company, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, BBC, CNN, all Iranian newspapers, All foreign newspapers, all Ahmadi Nejad rivals in the election and their supporters, all foreign government except Russian, all foreign universities, all Iranian university students who didn’t support Ahmadi Nejad.

    It happens when big liars are free outside. Today, Mr. Katosian, Fundamentalist MP in Iran asked the head of polices force in Iran to take responsibility about Kahreezak prison while the latter knows the disease as the main cause of death among protesters in custody.

    We don’t forget who is the biggest of all liars.

    http://bit.ly/bKuG8

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