Thursday, February 02, 2012

Dokouhaki and Rasouli under pressure to make false confessions

Iranian journalists, Parastoo Dokouhaki and Marzieh Rasouli, detained and held by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, are under immense, unlawful pressure to make false confessions in line with a premeditated scenario, which would place them in a network of espionage supposedly related to the Persian service of the BBC.

Verified reports indicate that the two have so far refused to cooperate, and have thus been left in solitary cells without interrogation even -- a measure, experts say, designed to mentally break the detainee into submission.

The Islamic Republic brands the BBC as 'enemy mouthpiece' and a 'spy media'. Iranian officials have announced on several occasions, particularly after the disputed elections in 2009, that they consider anyone working for the BBC Persian service to be 'acting against national security'.

Neither Dokouhaki or Rasouli have ever worked for the broadcaster in any capacity. They are being forced, however, to confess otherwise.

This latest report further supports the idea that the two -- along with others detained recently, such as Saham Bourghani -- are arrested as part of a campaign to cut-off the free flow of information in the run up to the Parliamentary elections on 2 March.

Parastoo Dokouhaki was arrested at her family home on 15 January. Two days later, Marzieh Rasouli was arrested in similar fashion. Both were taken to the so-called AA ward of the Evin prison, a ward controlled by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and out of bounds even to the official Iranian Prisons Organisation.

Into the third week of their detention, no official explanation has been offered as to why Dokouhaki and Rasouli has been arrested. Families have not been allowed to see their daughters, or the judge in charge of their case.

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