Iran is adopting a new tactic

After long televised coerced “confessions” by dissidents, the Iranian regime is increasingly forcing individuals to post dictated statements on social media.

Last week, a video of a woman unveiling herself at an official event in Tehran went viral on social media. On Wednesday, the same woman posted a video apologizing for her “imprudent” behavior.

Zeynab Kazempour, an engineer, took off her headscarf during the annual meeting of the Tehran Construction Engineering Organization (union) after her application to run for the board was rejected, presumably on the grounds that she did not comply with the mandatory hijab rules .

In the video, Kazempour makes a brief statement on stage in front of a full hall – with her headscarf around her neck instead of her head – that she has been excluded from the union elections. She then throws the headscarf on the floor while storming out, cheering and applauding so many of her male and female colleagues on stage and in the audience.

“I reacted immediately, without premeditation… I’m sorry [my reaction] and apologize to the public,” she says in the video.

“Releasing these types of videos has long been a priority,” tweeted Dadban, a team of volunteers who provide legal advice to activists and protest victims, adding that security agencies are now forcing dissidents to make coerced statements in front of their own cameras instead of making them the cameras of the security forces for television.

Iranian state television has broadcast the so-called “confessions” or coerced statements of dissidents, activists, individuals accused of terrorism, economic sabotage, blasphemy, and even family members of victims of state violence since the early days of the Islamic Revolution prosecution or execution of to justify individuals and discredit opposition groups.

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In October, state television broadcast testimonies most likely obtained under duress from dissident rapper Toomaj Salehi.

Screenshot of Kazempour’s “apology statement” on social media

Many Iranians also believe that another popular artist, Shervin Hajipour, whose song “Baraye Azadi” (For Freedom) has become an anthem for Iranian protesters, has been under pressure since his arrest in September and his release in October, “dictating.” “ to post. Content on Instagram.

Shervin, whose song won this year’s Grammy Award for “Best Song for Social Change,” a new category, said in a post on Instagram after his release from prison that he was sorry his song was being used by dissident political groups outside of Iran become. After winning the award, he also said in a post that he regretted that his award was presented in absentia by US First Lady Jill Biden.

The once quite effective televised “confessions” have largely lost their hold in Iranian society, where many dismiss them as mere propaganda. As a countermeasure, many are now even refusing to share or like social media posts they believe were dictated to the author by security forces or extracted under duress in prison, even blocking those who post such videos on their accounts spread.

“Such [coerced] Confessions may have worked in the early days of the revolution, but fortunately they have lost their value [desired] Effect now by repeated use for all sorts of things. These have even made the incompetent security organs the butt of jokes,” tweeted Maziar (Mazarar) Ebrahimi, a businessman who was tortured to “confess” that he had spied for Israel and was involved in the 2012 killing of Iranian nuclear scientists the airing of coerced statements by anti-hijab activist Sepideh Rashno in August.

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