It was, as it was surely intended to be, a grim spectacle.
Iranian state television showed the defendants – sitting in rows in a courtroom in Tehran, dressed in pyjama-like prison uniforms – as they confessed to taking part in a plot to undermine the Islamic Republic.
They included some of the country’s most prominent reformist intellectuals. Many looked tired and nervous in front of the cameras.
It was the latest of Iran’s mass trials. In all, more than 100 people stand accused of provoking unrest after the disputed presidential elections in June.