Trade union activist Sepideh Gholian said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that she filed legal action against a reporter for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) network who taped a coerced confession of her that involved physical and psychological torture.
Radio Farda reported on Gholian’s tweets that involved the forced deactivation of her Twitter account after she leveled accusations against IRIB reporter Ameneh Sadat Zabihpour.
There are concerns that Gholian may have been re-arrested.

Saudi-owned news website Al Arabiya reported that Gholian said that “after hours of physical and psychological torture,” Zabihpour delivered her and her and labor rights activists with a pre-written text for them to read on TV as their “confessions.”

Radio Farda said the Iranian regime-sponsored documentary called “Failed Planning” was aired by the state broadcaster in January. In the film, Gholian “confessed” to shooting videos and photographs at protests in January 2018 and sending them to journalists outside Iran.
According to Radio Farda, “The Islamic Republic often resorts to broadcasting forced confessions of dissidents, activists and even social media celebrities considered as threats to the establishment.”

An Iranian revolutionary court sentenced Gholian to over 19 years in prison for “collusion and action against national security,” “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” and “contributing to an online magazine,” wrote Radio Farda.

Labor unrest has swept across Iran over the years because of corruption, unpaid wages and overall stagnation. Gholian was arrested in November 2018 for her coverage of a trade union protest launched by the Workers Union of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Industrial Company.
Radio Farda said that the 24-year-old labor and rights activist Gholian was “released on bail along with five other political prisoners on October 26 after going on dry-hunger strike to protest ‘unbearable’ conditions at the notorious Qarchak prison where she was held.”
IRIB is a regime-controlled organization whose head is directly appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. IRIB employs thousands of workers and has publicized antisemitic and Holocaust denial material over the years.

In 2018, more than 50 Iranian dissidents urged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to re-impose sanctions on IRIB. The dissidents wrote the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting has played, and continues to play, a central role in the human rights abuses perpetrated in Iran. Consequently, we respectfully request that the Temporary Sanctions Relief (the ‘Waiver’) issued by the U.S. government with respect to sanctions imposed against IRIB pursuant to the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) be revoked or allowed to expire.”

The US government technically sanctioned IRIB but the Trump administration continues to waive sanctions for an undetermined reason.

The US Treasury Department sanctioned IRIB in 2013 because of its role in “state-media transmissions to trample dissent.”

During protests against Iran’s regime in late 2017, IRIB asked its viewers to send information about the identities of the demonstrators. Kasra Naji, a senior BBC Persian journalist, wrote on Twitter about IRIB’s Zabihpour: “Iranian state TV reporter doubles as interrogator and enforcer of forced confession in front of camera. She has been responsible for so-called documentaries for state TV against many dual nationals – like Nazanin Zaghari – of being spies and manufacturing evidence etc.”

Source » jpost