Le point de bascule de l’Ayatollah

SOUTHAMPTON, ANGLETERRE – Dès la descente de la foule dans des rues de Téhéran, l’on pouvait, selon le scénario habituel, entamer le compte à rebours : si la foule manifeste aujourd’hui, des menaces de représailles au nom de la « sécurité nationale » seront proférées demain, les médias verrouillés et des journalistes emprisonnés le surlendemain. D’ici au quatrième jour une police secrète infligera de sanglantes représailles aux manifestants et le cinquième jour, les personnages clés de l’opposition seront arrêtés. Et c'est effectivement sans accuser de retard que l’Iran a connu chacune de ces étapes en l’espace d’une semaine.

Les dix mêmes étapes se sont produites en Thaïlande en 2006 (en dix jours) et en sept jours au Myanmar l’année suivante. Les aspirant-dictateurs connaissent désormais si bien ce scénario que moins d’une semaine leur suffit pour mettre cadenasser un pays.

Plus personne ne peut affecter la surprise. Nous devrions reconnaître l’existence de ce scénario très éprouvé établissant ou renforçant une dictature – tout comme l’existence d’une stratégie pour contre-attaquer. Lorsqu’un aspirant-dictateur – en dépit de l’endroit, du moment et de son étiquette – souhaite verrouiller une société ou réprimer un mouvement démocratique, il prend dix mesures classiques : il invoque une menace, crée des prisons secrètes, développe une force paramilitaire, établit un système de surveillance, emprisonne des citoyens de manière arbitraire, infiltre des groupes de citoyens, vise des personnages clés, s’en prend aux journalistes, qualifie les critiques de « trahison » et renverse l’état de droit.

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