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National Council of Resistance of Iran screens video of public hanging in Iran

ImageMedia CoverageLONDON (AP) _ An Iranian opposition group screened a gruesome video Wednesday showing two men being hanged before crowds in Iran, saying the executions were punishment for adultery.

LONDON (AP) _ An Iranian opposition group screened a gruesome video Wednesday showing two men being hanged before crowds in Iran, saying the executions were punishment for adultery.

With hundreds gathered to watch, nooses hanging from lowered cranes were placed around the men’s heads. The arm of each crane was then straightened, killing the men and leaving their bodies dangling.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran said the video footage was shot in August 2004 in the Iranian town of Khoramabad by an opponent of the government. It was smuggled out of the country several days ago, the group said. The footage was screened in central London Wednesday.

Omid Daavati, shown being hanged in the video, pleaded with his uniformed executioners to remove a white blindfold from his eyes. His hands were tied behind his back and his feet bound together.

"I want to see the people," he said, according to a translation provided by the council. "I have no fear. This has been my destiny."

Also shown was the hanging of a man identified as Ali Ilvanian. The council said the two were hanged on the same day indifferent parts of Khoramabad. The group said another man, Safar Khashiani, was executed in the city on the same day, but it did not have footage of that execution.

Amnesty International reported that Iranexecuted 159 people in 2004, which it said was the second-highest number of executions in any country. China had the most.

Convicts are hanged in public in Iran only ifa court deems that their offenses deeply affected public sentiment. Iranian courts are controlled by hard-liners.

"This is only the tip of the iceberg of human rights abuses in Iran," said Hossein Abedini, a member of the council’s foreign affairs committee. "The situation has badly deteriorated" in recent years, he said.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran ispart of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, which is designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.