Grand Ayatollah Montazeri issued a statement today regarding recent trials, condemning forced confessions and other human rights abuses:
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With complete surprise and regret, our dear and suffering people are witnessing the broadcasting of unlawful and immoral interviews by their captive love ones; those who have been detained for more than 40 days and some of them have become martyrs.
These confessions, which have unfortunately been common in the Islamic Republic for years and have been taken in illegal prisons under abnormal conditions by threatening and deceiving the prisoner, cutting off his relationship with realities of the society, and by imposing physical and psychological pressures, are completely against the law and religion and are considered to be “major sins…” The overseers and executor of these must be tried and punished…One the other hand, no pious court can try and sentence someone based on these confessions and interviews. […]
In addition, breaking experienced figures that were influential in the revolution and establishing the regime for illusive and cowardly excuses is another “major sin,” the consequence of which will eventually befalls on the perpetrators. People ask what kind of a regime is this where its former high ranking authorities in the government and parliament, who had an effective role in creating the regime, are being charged with treason?
Again, I advise the decision-makers and those involved…to compensate people for violations of their rights, regain their confidence and do something so satisfy the people; instead of further committing atrocities after they have imprisoned hundreds of protesting people…
Why do they do things that make people compare their courts with courts of Stalin and Saddam and other dictators? Why rulers who claim Shi’ism and adherence to Imam Ali act contrary to the commands of that Prophet regarding taking confessions in prison with the use of threats and force?
It is certain that getting and broadcasting these interviews and forced confessions, not only will this not solve any of this country’s major problems, it will also increase mistrust and anger among the people, deepen the current crisis of the Islamic Republic, and weaken its position in the world more than before. According to the Constitution, the country belongs to all people and they have the right to express their views by peaceful assembly and even via radio and television. Why does radio and television only belongs to the rulers? And why people’s peaceful gatherings, is followed by clubs, detention, and torture and so-called trials?
In the end, with a sorrowful heart I express my sympathy to mourning families who lost their youth in the events following the elections…and ask for immediate release of all prisoners of recent events and punishment of those responsible…