Those Who Said No

Nima Sarvestani

Sweden / Germany 2014, 90min.

In the summer of 1988, staff at Iran’s Gohardasht prison could only communicate by tapping Morse code on each other’s walls. This way they spread the news about a so-called death committee which started mass assassinations of the political prisoners following investigations into their «devotion». Almost a quarter of a century later, many of the survivors are finally able to speak out – in safety and with clarity – about the barbaric treatment suffered under the dominating regime during this dark period of Iranian history.

Not too-dissimilar to these were the opening words of the Iran-tribunal, a trial which took place in The Hague from 25-17 October 2012, and is portrayed in the Swedish-produced documentary Those Who Said No. On trial, the Iranian authorities (although absent in court), accused of violating human rights and crimes against humanity in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution, as the theoretical 1980s government tightened its grip on the Iranian population.

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