Majid Akhoondi

Majid Akhoondi
مجید آخوندی
Unknown
Male
Unkown
No
Alive
14 Jan 2021
image/svg+xml ExpediencyDiscernmentCouncil SupremeLeader'sOffice GuardianCouncil Judiciary ExecutivePower Parliament Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran General Staff ofArmed Forces Army IRGC Police(NAJA) Assembly of Expertsfor Leadership Supreme NationalSecurity Council Supreme Councilfor Cyberspace Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution IRIB
  • Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB (2005 - 2014)
    • Human Rights Violation: Broadcasting “show trials” (2009) read more
      Institution
      Deputy of the Political Affairs
      Location
      (National)
      Rights Violated
      Right to a fair trial, Right to freedom from torture, Right to privacy
      Description

      As the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB, Majid Akhoondi oversees all news programmes and political talk shows broadcast by the IRIB, and personally determines the content and approach of these programmes.

      Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the forced confessions of hundreds of Iranian prisoners, including journalists, civil and human rights activists, and political dissidents. According to an investigation by Justice for Iran, the IRIB TV channels broadcast the forced confessions of at least 355 individuals between 2009-2019. Most of these forced confessions were broadcast during the time when Akhoondi was the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB. These forced confessions were obtained under severe physical and mental torture and were used as evidence to sentence the confessors to harsh sentences including the death penalty. In many cases, the IRIB employees were directly involved in obtaining these forced confessions.

      Among the forced confessions broadcast during Akhoondi’s tenure as Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB, is the 2009 post-election show trials of journalists and protesters in which the defendants were forced to read from a pre-scripted text confessing to their ties with the foreign states and their intention to overthrow the government through a “Colour Revolution”.

      Sources

      “Orwellian state: the Islamic republic of Iran state media as a weapon of mass suppression”, Justice for Iran, 1 June 2020

      https://justice4iran.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ORWELLIAN-STATE-ISLAMIC-REPUBLIC-OF-IRAN%E2%80%99S-STATE-MEDIA-AS-A-WEAPON-OF-MASS-SUPPRESSION-English-1.pdf 

      Iran’s Revolutionary Court Show Trials, BBC, 16 October 2016

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/magazine-34550376

      - Back up link

      Iran defies condemnation, expands opposition trial, Associated Press, 17 August 2009,

      https://www.deseret.com/2009/8/17/20335137/iran-defies-condemnation-expands-opposition-trial

      - Back up link

      Legal Developments
      In a joint letter to the European Union Council on 30 January 2020, 13 international and Iranian human rights organisations have requested the sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcast (IRIB), and seven officials responsible for the broadcast of forced confessions extracted from political prisoners on the 20:30 news bulletin, including Majid Akhoondi. In this letter the signatories state: "We, the undersigned of this joint letter, remain gravely concerned about the ongoing and systematic use of televised confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment in Iran."
    • Human Rights Violation: Broadcasting the forced confessions of labor activists (19 January 2019) read more
      Institution
      Deputy of the Political Affairs
      Location
      (National)
      Rights Violated
      Right to a fair trial, Right to freedom from torture, Right to privacy
      Description

      As the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB, Majid Akhoondi oversees all news programmes and political talk shows broadcast by the IRIB, and personally determines the content and approach of these programmes.

      Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the forced confessions of hundreds of Iranian prisoners, including journalists, civil and human rights activists, and political dissidents. According to an investigation by Justice for Iran, the IRIB TV channels broadcast the forced confessions of at least 355 individuals between 2009-2019. Most of these forced confessions were broadcast during the time when Akhoondi was the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB. These forced confessions were obtained under severe physical and mental torture and were used as evidence to sentence the confessors to harsh sentences including the death penalty. In many cases, the IRIB employees were directly involved in obtaining these forced confessions.

      Among others, Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the forced confessions of labour activists Ismail Bakhshi, Sepideh Gholian, and Ali Nejati, a member of the board of directors of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Workers Union, in a film entitled "Burnt Plot," in which these activists falsely confessed to their relations with the "Marxist and subversive groups outside Iran".,

      Ismail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian both revealed that the confessions were taken under severe physical and mental torture.

      On Wednesday 25 January, 2019, Gholian revealed on her twitter account about the role of an IRIB employee, Ameneh Sadat Zabihpour, in her interrogation:  "Ameneh Sadat Zabihpour was in the interrogation room to prepare a text for us to read in front of the camera after hours of physical and mental torture”.

      Sources

      “Orwellian state: the Islamic republic of Iran state media as a weapon of mass suppression”, Justice for Iran, 1 June 2020

      https://justice4iran.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ORWELLIAN-STATE-ISLAMIC-REPUBLIC-OF-IRAN%E2%80%99S-STATE-MEDIA-AS-A-WEAPON-OF-MASS-SUPPRESSION-English-1.pdf 

      Video "Burnt Plot", IRIB News Agency, 20 December, 2016

      https://www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/2332969/%D8%B7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%AE%D8%AA%D9%87-

      Ismail Bakhshi, representative of Hafta Tappeh workers: I was tortured so much that I could not move for three days, BBC Persian, 4 January 2019

      https://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-46760519

      - Back up link

      Sepideh Gholian: I was forced to confess under pressure and torture, Deutsche Welle, 10 July 2019

      https://www.dw.com/fa-ir/iran/a-49981391

      - Back up link

      Legal Developments
      In a joint letter to the European Union Council on 30 January 2020, 13 international and Iranian human rights organisations have requested the sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcast (IRIB), and seven officials responsible for the broadcast of forced confessions extracted from political prisoners on the 20:30 news bulletin, including Majid Akhoondi. In this letter the signatories state: "We, the undersigned of this joint letter, remain gravely concerned about the ongoing and systematic use of televised confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment in Iran."
    • Human Rights Violation: Broadcasting the forced confessions of detainees accused of assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists ( 5 August 2012) read more
      Institution
      Deputy of the Political Affairs
      Location
      (National)
      Rights Violated
      Right to a fair trial, Right to freedom from torture, Right to privacy
      Description

      As the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB, Majid Akhoondi oversees all news programmes and political talk shows broadcast by the IRIB, and personally determines the content and approach of these programmes.

      Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the forced confessions of hundreds of Iranian prisoners, including journalists, civil and human rights activists, and political dissidents. According to an investigation by Justice for Iran, the IRIB TV channels broadcast the forced confessions of at least 355 individuals between 2009-2019. Most of these forced confessions were broadcast during the time when Akhoondi was the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB. These forced confessions were obtained under severe physical and mental torture and were used as evidence to sentence the confessors to harsh sentences including the death penalty. In many cases, the IRIB employees were directly involved in obtaining these forced confessions.

      Among others, Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the false confessions of 13 individuals charged with the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012.

      On 5 August 2012, IRIB’s Channel 1 broadcast a programme titled “Terror Club,” in which 13 prisoners, eight men and five women, confessed to their involvement in the assassination of the nuclear scientists. The prisoners also confessed that they had been recruited by the CIA and the Mossad, and some of them admitted that they had received “special training” by Israeli agents for carrying out the assassinations.  Among them was 24-year old Majid Jamali Fashi, who was eventually convicted and sentenced to death, and hanged on 15 May 2012.

      On 3 August 2019, BBC Persian published a shocking report on the details of the case and how the prisoners were severely tortured and forced to falsely confess. One of the victims, Maziar Ebrahimi, told the BBC that Iranian MOI Agents had tortured him and 11 others to confess on TV that they had assassinated one of the nuclear scientists in collaboration with Israeli secret agents. The Iranian authorities eventually had to officially admit that the whole case was indeed a fabricated scenario simply to ease the political pressure on the Iranian intelligence services

      Sources

      “Orwellian state: the Islamic republic of Iran state media as a weapon of mass suppression”, Justice for Iran, 1 June 2020

      https://justice4iran.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ORWELLIAN-STATE-ISLAMIC-REPUBLIC-OF-IRAN%E2%80%99S-STATE-MEDIA-AS-A-WEAPON-OF-MASS-SUPPRESSION-English-1.pdf

      Full video of Terror Club, Aparat, 2013

      https://www.aparat.com/v/hDK9J/%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%AF_%DA%A9%D9%84%D9%88%D9%BE_%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1

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      Independent, Iran Hangs 'Mossad Spy' Majid Jamali Fashi for Killing Scientist, 16 May 2012,

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-hangs-mossad-spy-majid-jamali-fashi-killing-scientist-7754332.html

      - Back up link

      BBC Persian, Release of Nuclear Scientists Assassination Suspects: Miracle or Innocence, 5 August 2019,

      https://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-49221220

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      Iran confirms false confessions in "nuclear scientists' assassination" case; Rouhani government's silence on the execution of Jamali Fashi, VOA, August 19, 2017

      https://ir.voanews.com/persiannewsiran/iran-terror-ebrahimi-nuclear

      - Back up link

      Legal Developments
      In a joint letter to the European Union Council on 30 January 2020, 13 international and Iranian human rights organisations have requested the sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcast (IRIB), and seven officials responsible for the broadcast of forced confessions extracted from political prisoners on the 20:30 news bulletin, including Majid Akhoondi. In this letter the signatories state: "We, the undersigned of this joint letter, remain gravely concerned about the ongoing and systematic use of televised confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment in Iran."
  • Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB (2016 - present)
    • Human Rights Violation: Broadcasting forced confessions of Fatemeh Davand and detainees of nationwide protests (20 November 2019) read more
      Location
      (National)
      Rights Violated
      Right to a fair trial, Right to freedom from torture, Right to privacy
      Description

      As the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB, Majid Akhoondi oversees all news programmes and political talk shows broadcast by the IRIB, and personally determines the content and approach of these programmes.

      Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the forced confessions of hundreds of Iranian prisoners, including journalists, civil and human rights activists, and political dissidents. According to an investigation by Justice for Iran, the IRIB TV channels broadcast the forced confessions of at least 355 individuals between 2009-2019. Most of these forced confessions were broadcast during the time when Akhoondi was the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB. These forced confessions were obtained under severe physical and mental torture and were used as evidence to sentence the confessors to harsh sentences including the death penalty. In many cases, the IRIB employees were directly involved in obtaining these forced confessions.

      Akhoondi was involved in broadcasting forced confessions of numerous detainees of nationwide protests in Iran including Fatemeh Davand, a protester who was detained during the November 2019 nationwide protests. Akhoondi is also responsible for violating Davand’s right to a fair trial by broadcasting Davand’s forced confessions as part of a defamatory program on 20 November, 2017 with the aim of making accusations including links to political organisations abroad prior to Davand’s trial.

      Fatemeh Davand, 42, married and the mother of three children, was arrested by Islamic Republic security forces during the November 2019 Bukan protests against rising gas prices. A video of Davand during the protests went viral, in which she was standing on the roof of a car surrounded by the protesters and giving speeches. Davand was sentenced to five years in prison in May 2018.

      Sources

      “Orwellian state: the Islamic republic of Iran state media as a weapon of mass suppression”, Justice for Iran, 1 June 2020

      https://justice4iran.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ORWELLIAN-STATE-ISLAMIC-REPUBLIC-OF-IRAN%E2%80%99S-STATE-MEDIA-AS-A-WEAPON-OF-MASS-SUPPRESSION-English-1.pdf

      Video of Fatemeh Davand Forced Confessions, Aparat, November 2019

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW9waRXknQM&ab_channel=%D8%B3%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%82%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%B6%D8%A7Salighereza%D8%AA%D9%84%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%B2%DB%8C%D9%88%D9%86%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AA%DB%8CTV

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      Fatemeh Davand, one of the detainees of the November 2019 protests on hunger strike, Iranwire, November 12, 2020

      https://iranwire.com/fa/news/west-azerbaijan/43064

      - Back up link

      Legal Developments
      In a joint letter to the European Union Council on 30 January 2020, 13 international and Iranian human rights organisations have requested the sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcast (IRIB), and seven officials responsible for the broadcast of forced confessions extracted from political prisoners on the 20:30 news bulletin, including Majid Akhoondi. In this letter the signatories state: "We, the undersigned of this joint letter, remain gravely concerned about the ongoing and systematic use of televised confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment in Iran."
    • Human Rights Violation: Broadcasting the forced confessions of Ahmadreza Jalali (17 December 2017) read more
      Location
      (National)
      Rights Violated
      Right to a fair trial, Right to freedom from torture, Right to privacy
      Description

      As the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB, Majid Akhoondi oversees all news programmes and political talk shows broadcast by the IRIB, and personally determines the content and approach of these programmes.

      Akhoondi is responsible for broadcasting the forced confessions of hundreds of Iranian prisoners, including journalists, civil and human rights activists, and political dissidents. According to an investigation by Justice for Iran, the IRIB TV channels broadcast the forced confessions of at least 355 individuals between 2009-2019. Most of these forced confessions were broadcast during the time when Akhoondi was the Deputy of the Political Affairs of the IRIB. These forced confessions were obtained under severe physical and mental torture, and were used as evidence to sentence the confessors to harsh sentences, including the death penalty. In many cases, the IRIB employees were directly involved in obtaining these forced confessions.

      Majid Akhoondi was responsible for broadcasting the confessions of Ahmad Reza Jalali, a researcher and university professor and resident of Sweden who was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in October 2017.

      On 17 December, 2017, the IRIB News Channel broadcast a film produced by the Deputy of Counterintelligence of the Ministry of Intelligence, in which it was claimed that Ahmad Reza Jalali was a Mossad spy. The film contained fragmented parts of Ahmad Reza Jalali's forced confessions. According to Vida Mehrannia, Mr. Jalali's wife, the program was aired after Mr. Jalali wrote a letter from prison that was released publicly. In that letter he stated that he would be punished for refusing to accept espionage for the Islamic Republic.

      After the video was broadcast, Jalali explained in a letter from prison, that interrogators had told him that if he refused to confess in front of the camera, his two young children would be arrested and abused.

      Sources

      “Orwellian state: the Islamic republic of Iran state media as a weapon of mass suppression”, Justice for Iran, 1 June 2020

      https://justice4iran.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ORWELLIAN-STATE-ISLAMIC-REPUBLIC-OF-IRAN%E2%80%99S-STATE-MEDIA-AS-A-WEAPON-OF-MASS-SUPPRESSION-English-1.pdf

      Ahmad Reza Jalali: My young children were threatened with harassment, Deutsche Welle, February 7, 2017

      https://www.dw.com/fa-ir/%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B6%D8%A7-%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C-%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AE%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A2%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF/a-42480249

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      Swedish Resident Facing Death Penalty: I Was Imprisoned for Refusing to Spy For Iran's Intelligence Ministry, Centre for Human Rights in Iran, 25 Oct 2017

      https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2017/10/swedish-resident-facing-death-penalty-i-was-imprisoned-for-refusing-to-spy-for-irans-intelligence-ministry/

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      Forced Confession of Academic on Death Row in Iran Has No Legitimacy, Centre for Human Rights in Iran, 18 Dec 2017

      https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2017/12/forced-confession-of-academic-on-death-row-in-iran-has-no-legitimacy/

      - Back up link

      Legal Developments
      In a joint letter to the European Union Council on 30 January 2020, 13 international and Iranian human rights organisations have requested the sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcast (IRIB), and seven officials responsible for the broadcast of forced confessions extracted from political prisoners on the 20:30 news bulletin, including Majid Akhoondi. In this letter the signatories state: "We, the undersigned of this joint letter, remain gravely concerned about the ongoing and systematic use of televised confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment in Iran."
  • Head of IRIB Election HQ (2016 - present)
These violations may only be part of the human rights violations that this person has been involved in. The investigation into this person's human rights record is ongoing.