By Ervand Abrahamian
According to human rights firms, Iran has been on the vanguard of nations utilizing systematic actual torture lately, particularly for political prisoners. Is the government's target to make sure social self-discipline? to procure info? Neither appear most likely, simply because torture is stored mystery and sufferers are brutalized until eventually whatever except info is acquired: a public confession and ideological recantation. For the sufferer, whose honor, recognition, and self-respect are destroyed, the act is a kind of suicide.
In Iran a subject's "voluntary confession" reaches a tremendous viewers through tv. The accessibility of tv and use of videotape have made such confessions a major propaganda instrument, says Abrahamian, and since torture is hidden from the general public, the victim's confession seems to be self-motivated, expanding its worth to the authorities.
Abrahamian compares Iran's public recantations to campaigns in Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, and the spiritual inquisitions of early smooth Europe, bringing up the eerie resemblance in layout, language, and imagery. Designed to win the hearts and minds of the loads, such public confessions—now greater by means of technology—continue as a method to legitimize these in energy and to demonize "the enemy."
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Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian