“If you were being threatened with a needle of hallucinogenic drugs [hovering] above your arm, you would also confess to whatever they wanted you to confess.”
So said Iranian environmentalist Niloufar Bayani in early February before Iran’s Revolutionary Court, rejecting spurious charges of “corruption on earth” — a nebulous, all-inclusive allegation that Tehran often deploys to justify prosecuting regime opponents. Coerced confessions are a hallmark of Iran’s judicial system, but Tehran’s latest miscarriage of justice is unusually self-defeating.
Tzvi Kahn is a senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy. Follow him on Twitter @TzviKahn.