They’ve been described as show trials, but that hasn’t stopped yet another “confession” in Iran. This time it’s French national Clothilde Reiss, a young teacher who was charged by Iranian authorities for spying and helping the West to overthrow the government. And she’s not alone, the number of “false confessions” in Iran since the protests earlier this year is on the rise.
The Justice Project website has some more examples of when people have falsely confessed. Sean Hodgson spent 27 years in a British prison for a crime he didn’t commit. In Japan 99% of those accused of breaking the law are found guilty, as there as few safeguards to protect the innocent. And here are some reasons why people might confess a crime they haven’t committed: protecting a loved one, low intelligence, tangible gains , illness to name a few – but are anything of these worth sacrificing your own principles?
“Coercian” was the reason given by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner for the number of confessions coming out of Iran. “These ‘confessions’ were probably elicited under pressure. ”
So should you ever take responsibility for something you haven’t done? And why do innocent people confess?