Jewish Journal

Making sense of Iran’s sham post-election trials

by Karmel Melamed

August 23, 2009 | 9:40 pm

Forced to wear humiliating pajamas in public, Iranian student protesters await their fate while sitting on trial in Iran for "crimes against the state".

Day in and day out, it surprises me how news media commentators and political analysts in the U.S. and Europe have failed to recognize that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamaeni has been slowly consolidating his power in Iran in the aftermath of the recent June elections in Iran. It’s interesting how very few analysts have noticed that Khamenei and his cohorts have used the outbreak of violence in the streets of Iran by student protesters as an excuse to violently clamp down on the protesters who oppose his reign of power, put on sham trials against the protesters and also purge the government of their political opponents.

Just as China’s Chairman Mao purged, murdered and imprisoned members of his own Communist party during his notorious “Cultural Revolution” in the 1960’s in order to consolidate his power, so too is Iran’s Khamenei trying to similarly eliminate those who could challenge is post as the supreme dictator in Iran today. Thus we are seeing Khamenei, with the help of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and other semi-government thugs, having murdered, arrested and imprisoned the protesters on the streets of Iran who have called for Khamenei’s removal and for a new democracy in Iran. What’s interesting is that the Revolutionary Guard, who are different from the country’s military forces and only loyal to Khamenei have been paid off to carry out the dictator’s dirty work.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei

Again within the last few weeks the mainstream media in the U.S. and Europe have failed to cover the sham show trials that the current Iranian regime has been putting on to prosecute student protesters who had been peacefully demonstrating against the government’s lack of democratic elections. The sham trials are yet another example of how Khamenei and other hardliners in Iran are punishing anyone who has challenged their authority or posses a potential threat to their grip of power in Iran. Hundreds of protesters and individuals labeled as “enemies of the state”, who were arrested during the post-election upheaval or afterwards have been paraded into Iran’s Islamic courts wearing pajama-like prisoners garb and charged with treason against the government. Those charged have had little if no access to defense counsels, no ability to fairly refute the charges brought against them and have already been condemned as guilty by the Iranian state-run media outlets. Interestingly two young Iranian Jews; 19-year old Yaghoghil Shaoulian and 17-year old Saman Kohan are also among those facing charges of treason against the state as they were arrested for rioting during the protests. These young Jews and others charged with “crimes against the state” face a potential punishment of death by hanging!

There is no doubt that these individuals tried in Iran will never have a fair trial, but where are the international human rights groups protesting these sham trials? Where are the European governments speaking out against human rights violations in Iran as a result of these sham trials? Why isn’t President Obama or members of his administration speaking out against these sham trials more vocally? We are hearing and seeing no reaction from the international community and the West because Europe and even the U.S. do not want to upset the already rough waters of commerce that are going on with Iran. It seems as if the international community is perfectly alright with allowing a rogue state like Iran to sacrifice the lives of hundreds if not thousands of innocent individuals wanting greater freedoms. What’s even more frightening is that the Obama Administration, despite the violent crack downs on protesters and sham trials in Iran, is still moving forward to “openly” negotiate with Iran government on the nuclear issue! Mr. Obama called for change in the U.S. and change for freedom around the world since he began his candidacy for President of the United States. Yet now that the people of Iran have answered that call by raising their voices and demanding greater freedom in Iran, Mr. Obama seems to have turned a deaf ear to their calls for help in gaining freedom. Is this the example of how America today demonstrates that it is the beacon of freedom and human rights in the world? I certainly hope not.

With guards sitting on either side of them, Iranian political opponents sit in court as they hear the charges brought against them.
An Iranian British embassy employee being tried for opposing the results of the Iranian election tries to make his case to the Islamic court in Iran.
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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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