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Press TV confirms screening of torture "confessions"

The forced "confessions" of Ahwazi Arab political prisoners, who were subjected to months of torture, will be shown on 18 November, according to Press TV's schedule.

In a recent email, the production department, headed by Amir Tajik, had confirmed the "confessions" would be broadcast in November in a documentary entitled "Lost in Darkness".

Press TV aired a preview of the documentary in July. The one minute advertisement showed Ali Chebeishat (47), Sayed Yassin Mousavi (35) and Salman Chayan (32) admitting responsibility for attacking pipelines. Televised confessions are used by the Iranian regime to humiliate peaceful opponents and justify execution to the Iranian public and the wider world.

In a mockery of any standards of justice, Press TV filmed the "confessions" before the trial and is now planning to air them even though their appeals have yet to be determined by the Supreme Court. The confirmation of broadcast also undermines Press TV's widely disbelieved claims of political independence from the Iranian regime and suggests the English language channel, now banned throughout Europe, is tied closely to the dreaded Ministry of Intelligence.

All three men are members of the Youth of Shush Cultural Institute. Chebeishat, a well-known poet from the village of Khalaf Kaab Imsallam near Shush, was subjected to barbaric physical and psychological torture, which led to him sustaining broken ribs by his interrogators. Some of the torture was carried out in front of his sons. In July, Chebeishat, Mousawi and Chayan staged a hunger strike in protest against their torture and ill-treatment while being held at an intelligence service detention facility in Ahwaz.

Chebeishat and Mousavi were condemned to death in September by judge Seyed Mohammad Bagher Moussavi at Branch 2 of Ahwaz Revolutionary Court, while Chayan was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in exile in Yazd. The judge is currently the subject of European Council sanctions for his role in human rights atrocities against Ahwazi Arabs.

The European Council has also imposed sanctions on head of IRIB World Service and Press TV Muhammad Sarafraz and Press TV newsroom director Hamid Reza Emadi, who were found responsible "for producing and broadcasting the forced confessions of detainees, including jour­nalists, political activists, persons belonging to Kurdish and Arab minorities and violating internationally recognised rights to a fair trial and due process." Sanctions entail asset freezes and travel bans.

Trailer for Press TV's documentary "Lost in Darkness"