Reporters Without Borders is deeply concerned about the travesty of a trial that began today in Tehran, in which the defendants are accused of organising or participating in the demonstrations that followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed victory in the 12 June presidential election. At least two journalists are among those accused of organising the demonstrations. They face sentences ranging from five years in prison to the death penalty.
“The rights of the defendants are yet again being violated, with just a few defence lawyers being allowed into the courtroom,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The revolutionary court conducting the trial is respecting neither Iranian nor international standards. This is not due process; it is the continuation of the interrogations in another form. We urge the United Nations to react and to insist that the UN Human Rights Commission be allowed to talk to the defendants.”
Reporters Without Borders has been told that blogger Mohamad Ali Abtahi (www.webneveshteha.com), who was arrested on 16 June, and Mohamad Atryanfar, the editor of the newspapers Hamshary, Shargh and Shahrvand Emrouz, who was arrested on 15 June, are charged with being among the “organisers” of the June demonstrations in Tehran.