November 27, 2000
Deny satisfaction to the Black Menace
The prerequisite for gaining admission into the Iranian political
folklore, more often than not, has called for fortitude to bear physical
and/or psychological pain ["Dictators
create heroes"]. Pain inflicted at the hands of the henchmen of
various regimes struggling to elongate their master's despotic rule.
At the same time the public's penchant to disregard a former hero's
exploits at the first sign of capitulation in the form of written and
lately, televised "confession" has not been lost to the very
A case in point is the recent defiance of the investigative journalist,
Akbar Ganji, in the kangaroo court right after receiving a severe beating
by four goons versus the apologetic defense presented by the satirist,
Ebrahim Nabavi. The former is being praised and the latter frowned upon.
Although it is true that Nabavi's self-incriminating defense is in
essence an stinging indictment of the very pillars of the regime, akin
to the "dear interrogator" letter of National Martyr, Saidi
Sirjani -- however, it is also true that his and his 23 year old colleague,
the famed political commentator, Ghouchani's tactical retreat is branded
in the public's eye as boreedan.
That is precisely what all the torturing meted out is designed to achieve.
As the targeted market, we are meant to buy the product, the confession
and the consequent loss of face, which in turn is a clear dire warning
to all potential foes of the fragility of the public's backing.
By acquiescing to the regime's intentions, like it or not, we all
do participate in the act of torture, albeit unwittingly.
The metamorphosing properties of Evin Prison, and countless other
dungeons in Iran are known to all, yet we act as though an scripted "confession"
is an affront to our national chastity.
Isn't it the high time we collectively deny satisfaction to the Black
Menace by not mentioning a word of "confessions"? And regard
anyone who becomes a ward of the Islamic Republic as a compatriot in captivity
of a foreign potentate befitting all the support regardless of what he/she
is compelled to say during the incarceration?