If you can, spare a thought for former Iranian vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who I had the pleasure of meeting in November 2007 here in Oakland, as seen above.
BEIRUT (AP) — The wife of a prominent pro-reform Iranian politician said Monday her husband was forced into confessing he helped fuel post-election riots as part of a plot to topple the government and said he appeared drugged days before the trial.
The contention by Fahimeh Mousavinejad came as opposition groups claimed the government’s prosecution of about 100 activists for leading protests of the disputed election results was a propaganda show.
Mousavingejad’s husband, former Vice President Mohammad Abtahi, looked gaunt and disheveled when he confessed in a televised broadcast during the opening session of the mass trial on Saturday.
Mousavinejad said she was under pressure from authorities not to talk about her husband’s trial — or, if she spoke, only to support his confessions. Still, she denounced his testimony as coerced and said he appeared drugged when she saw him two days before the trial.
”No one anywhere in the world would believe the confessions of someone whose lawyer hasn’t seen him even for one moment, or someone who has been in solitary confinement for 45 days,” Mousavinejad, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The broadcast confessions, plus a warning Sunday that opposition figures who criticize the trial will be prosecuted, were seen as an effort to intimidate the reformist movement led by Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims to be the rightful winner of the election. The claim that the confessions were staged also undermined the credibility of the trials.