The “documentary” produced by Iranian authorities and containing coerced footage of the detainees aired on Wednesday and Thursday with the title “In the Name of Democracy.” Out of respect for the dignity of Kian, Haleh, and others forced to appear in this footage, we will not be posting video clips from the program, although those who wish to watch it may find excerpts on YouTube and elsewhere online.
The propaganda film purports to show a connection between the activities of Kian, Haleh, and former Canadian-Iranian detainee Ramin Jahanbagloo (who was released last year after four months in Evin Prison and forced to film a false “confession), and supposed U.S. efforts to undermine governments in various countries including Iran. Kian and Haleh both appear in everyday clothing and residential settings in an attempt to deceive viewers about their imprisonment. Neither confesses to the charges against them–their statements involve explanations of the kind of work they were doing in Iran and abroad, such as organizing conferences. These statements are then spliced together with footage of revolutions and political activity in other countries, while two commentators make false, laughable connections between Kian’s and Haleh’s work and these events. Both Kian and Haleh appear to be speaking under coercion and following some sort of script imposed by their interrogators–Kian refers to notes in his lap, and the footage of Haleh appears to be spliced together from a long “interview” in which she repeats terminology similar to that in the Intelligence Ministry’s statements about the detainees. There is no credibility whatsoever to the Iranian government’s claims that the program would amount to a “confession” or “proof” that Kian and Haleh are guilty of the trumped-up charges made against them.