Bloggers React to Abtahi Photos, Show Trials

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Hamid Tehrani at Global Voices shows us powerful images of leading reformist and blogger Mohammad Ali Abtahi before his arrest (left photo) and how he looks at last weekend’s trial (right photo), proof for many that he has been forced to confess. Hamid translates Iranian blogger Alfba’s reaction to the radical change in Abtahi’s appearance:

Dear Abtahi, we know you were under pressure and you family suffered a lot. You should know what you confess, we still love you. We support you.

Juan Cole provides further analysis of the trials and reaction, writing:

The trial of 100 leading protesters against the announced outcome of the June 12 presidential elections commenced on Saturday, complete with pitiful coerced recantations. Amazingly, former president Mohammad Khatami’s web site openly denounced the trial as just that, a show trial. Khatami’s problem was always that he was insufficiently willing to stand up to the hard liners, and that he is being so blunt and confrontational suggests to me that he has reached the end of his patience. He is likely furious about the regime torturing his own associates, such as his former vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi, into a confession.

But the Twitterverse may have summed it up best (my paraphrase of translation):

These trials are about as believable as Ahmadinejad’s 24 million votes.

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