Iranian-American journalist: I made false confession to help secure release from Iranian prison

MAZIAR BAHARI, who wrote for the US and international journal Newsweek, has revealed the details of his 117 days in solitary confinement inside a notorious Iranian jail.

Speaking on BBC radio (January 31 2012) he said he was offered a deal to ‘confess’ on television to the media manipulation of the the popular revolt against the regime. His interrogators told him this would help to have him released rather than face a long trial and “probable” execution.

He says he complied and gave an interview from his prison to Press TV, owned by the Iranian government, and two Farsi-language channels. Press TV has had its broadcast licence revoked in the UK, partly due to its misuse by the Iranian regime.

He was detained in Tehran on June 21, 2009 as part of a crackdown after the re-election of President Mahmoud Admadinejad. He was released Oct. 17 that same year.

Newsweek, via Associated Press
Updated Nov. 30, 2009

Maziar Bahari is a prominent journalist and documentarian. He holds both Canadian and Iranian citizenship and has written for Newsweek since 1998. He was detained in Tehran on June 21, 2009 Newsweek said, as part of a crackdown after the re-election of President Mahmoud Admadinejad. He was released Oct. 17. Iran’s state-run news media reported that his family posted bail of about $300,000.

Mr. Bahari was picked up at his mother’s home in Tehran by government security officials who seized videotapes and a laptop computer. He and several dozen other reporters remained jailed in Iran weeks after the post-election protests, according to nonprofit organizations that campaign for the freedom of reporters around the world. The groups say that Iran has imprisoned the most journalists of any nation in the Middle East.

Iran’s state news agencies reported that Mr. Bahari confessed to involvement in promoting what they called a “color revolution.” Mr. Bahari’s family and colleagues have rejected that confession, saying that it must have come under duress.

Mr. Bahari, 41, went to Canada in 1988 to study filmmaking. He has been under contract to Newsweek as its Iran correspondent for the past several years and continues to make documentary films, mostly about subjects in the Middle East.

ARTICLES ABOUT MAZIAR BAHARI

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Britain Revokes License of Iran Network Press TV
By RAVI SOMAIYA
The British media regulator said the network Press TV had failed to address concerns over its editorial independence and had not paid a fine.
January 21, 2012
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May 26, 2010
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Iran Sentences Newsweek Reporter in Absentia to 13 Years in Prison
By NAZILA FATHI
Maziar Behar was sentenced to an extended flogging and more than 13 years in prison for counter-revolutionary acts.
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Let My Colleagues Go
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An Iranian-Canadian newsman urges Ayatollah Khamanei to release journalists arrested last year.
February 10, 2010
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Iranian TV Sees Conspiracy in Neda Video
A new documentary made for Iranian television seeks to prove that the graphic, widely-seen amateur video of a female protester named Neda Agha-Soltan bleeding to death on a Tehran street last June was fake.
January 08, 2010
Iranian TV Sees Conspiracy in Neda Video
A new documentary made for Iranian television seeks to prove that the graphic, widely-seen amateur video of a female protester named Neda Agha-Soltan bleeding to death on a Tehran street last June was fake.
January 07, 2010
Ahmadinejad Equates Crackdown in Iran to Policing of G-20 Protests in Pittsburgh and London
ROBERT MACKEY
Less than one week after Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast an interview with a man who claimed that he had helped to rig Iran’s June presidential election, the channel’s main news anchor, Jon Snow, was suddenly invited to Iran to interview President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
December 24, 2009
Ahmadinejad Equates Crackdown in Iran to Policing of G-20 Protests in Pittsburgh and London
By ROBERT MACKEY
Less than one week after Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast an interview with a man who claimed that he had helped to rig Iran’s June presidential election, the channel’s main news anchor, Jon Snow, was suddenly invited to Iran to interview President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
December 23, 2009
Iranian Cleric’s Office Reportedly Attacked
By ROBERT MACKEY
According to an Iranian opposition Web site, members of the Basij militia, which supports Iran’s government, attacked the office of a senior reformist cleric in Iran’s holy city of Qum on Tuesday, one day after a funeral for another dissident cleric there turned into an opposition protest.
December 22, 2009
Jailed Journalist Returns to ‘The Daily Show’
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Maziar Bahari, a journalist who was freed from an Iranian prison in October, appeared on “The Daily Show” Monday night to discuss his 118 days in captivity.
December 01, 2009
Iranians in Exile
By ROGER COHEN
President Obama has been too weak on human rights abuses in Iran. He needs to express outrage.
November 27, 2009
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Iran Sentences Journalist to Jail Time
By NAZILA FATHI
Iran handed down a five-year jail term to Ahmad Zeidabadi, a prominent journalist and former student leader, an opposition Web site reported.
November 24, 2009
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In Iran, Fending Off Accusations of Ties to … New Jersey?
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
Interrogators seem fascinated by our neighbors across the Hudson River.
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More Iranian Injustice
The release of the journalist Maziar Bahari from an Iranian prison was welcome news, but it does not mean that Iran has been seized with humanitarian spirit.
October 24, 2009
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Iran Frees Reporter Held Since June
By NAZILA FATHI
Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian Newsweek journalist, had been arrested in postelection unrest and put on trial in August with about 100 other detainees.
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