The Latest Atrocity
The guise of democracy has slid further from Iran as soviet-style show trials began and hundreds of protesters and reformists were sadly paraded in front of the state controlled media. This is just the icing on a botched election that exposed Iran's false claim to democracy. The reformist movement led by former president Rafsanjani began organizing in the streets in protest of what appeared to be massive election fraud by the current president Ahmadinejad. Because the president controls the police and the army he simply had to give the word and the protesters were thrown in jail. Now those protesters are on trial en masse and the Iranian government is hoping to make an example out of those who dare speak out against its rule. These trials cannot possibly proceed without the faintest reminder of the Soviet Union's show trials in the 50's 60's and 70's in their brutish and cruel nature.
Where the Iranian government sees a triumph of state power over an insurgency the rest of the world sees only Joseph Stalin and his secret police. The west is not fooled by this act of clear abuse of power. How can Iran call itself a democracy when it does not allow its citizens to exercise the right criticize the government? How can Iran say that its electoral process is even remotely democratic when the fundamental ideals of democracy are swept under the rug or thrown in a tight prison cell to rot with Iran's reputations? Even worse, is that Iran has denied many of its citizens the right to liberty, property, and on occasion life simply because they do not conform the to the ways of the government.
Exhibited in these show trials were the eerily similar confessions from each of the hundreds of defendants. According to Roger Hardy a BBC Middle East analyst, "...they confessed to taking part in a plot to undermine the Islamic Republic." Isn't it strange that suddenly these outspoken, fiery reformists suddenly submit to the will of the regime they were criticizing? Hardy continues,
"The regime is sending a clear message. On trial are not merely prominent individuals but the reform movement itself. Prosecutors have called for two of the main reformist parties - the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Islamic Revolution Mujahidin Organisation - to be outlawed."
The government is not satisfied with merely silencing individual protesters, they will not rest until the entire reform movement is crushed and with it any chance of genuine democracy.