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
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.