Iran hangs 2 for allegedly aiming to topple state

January 29, 2010 04:34

on Thursday executed two men accused of involvement in an armed anti-government group, as the public prosecutor announced that new death sentences have been issued against opposition activists involved in protests over June's disputed presidential election.

The announcements marked an escalation by the courts enforcing the clerical leadership's heavy, monthslong crackdown aimed at crushing the opposition challenge. The prosecutor also said a new group of protesters and others would soon be brought to trial.

The two men, who were hanged before dawn Thursday, had been arrested before the election and did not appear to be connected to the postelection protests.

But they were put before the same mass trial as opposition leaders and activists arrested amid the crackdown, and state media Thursday depicted the two as part of the protest movement, a sign of how the government has used the unrest as an opportunity to pursue other enemies.

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