A Major Gaffe Reveals the True Nature of The Show Trial of the Iranian Baha'is

The Bahá'í Affairs Committee of the Human Rights Activists in Iran

The trial for the former Bahá'í leaders of Iran was finally held in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court on Tuesday January 12, 2010, after a 1.5-year detention period and postponing of three previous trial dates. This trial was held behind closed doors and the immediate families were not allowed to be present. Even the lawyers representing the defendants had to work their way into the courtroom after significant persistence. The lawyers were able to finally meet their clients in person for the first time on the day of the trial. Despite being held behind closed doors, there were camera crews present in the courtroom, although it was not immediately apparent with what agency they were associated or who had granted them permission to record the proceedings.

{josquote}In one of its paragraphs, the text notes that the defendants had “confessed that they had held meetings at the homes of ambassadors from Western countries.”{/josquote}

The most prominent feature of the trial was its true nature as a show trial. This was most apparent in the inadvertent release on January 11, 2010, of a report of this trial a day before its actual date. The report was apparently pre-written and sent to news outlets for publication on Tuesday afternoon, after the session’s adjournment. However, despite well-rehearsed “instructions” regarding the timing of the publication, a major semi-official news source entitled “Young Journalists” published the report at 17:50 on Monday, January 11, on its front page, and, within two hours, another website entitled fararu.com published the same article and referenced the original publication. The original article was available for viewing on the front page of “Young Journalists” website but was promptly removed at 09:05 on January 12, presumably once the gaffe was discovered. The site did not, however, realize that their article had been cross-posted and referenced on fararu.com. The original URL for the Young Journalists website is now a broken link.

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