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Amnesty International, along with the U.S. and British governments, have condemned the executions in Iran of two men who were sentenced to death in trials after June's disputed Iranian presidential election.

Iranian reports said the men were hanged on charges of being "enemies of God," members an armed group that backs the restoration of an Iranian monarchy, and trying to topple the Islamic government.

Amnesty International said the men were "unfairly" convicted and killed, with their alleged confessions apparently made under duress. It said the executions show the Iranian regime will do anything to "stamp out the peaceful protests" since the disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley also condemned the hangings, saying, "We think this is another sign of the increasingly ruthless repression and attempts at intimidation that we see the Iranian government trying to send signals to its people. We think they’re the wrong signals because Iranian citizens have the same right that all citizens have to demonstrate peacefully, to participate in the political process."

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the executions undermine Iran's claims that it is committed to justice, human rights, and democratic values.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
A man found guilty of attacking and injuring a television news cameraman in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh received a suspended sentence of three years in jail today, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Marat Mavlyanov was found guilty of "robbery and beating" in an attack on Bahadyr Kenjebaev of the Osh-TV news station in March. Mavlyanov left the courtroom a free man.

Kenjebaev was hospitalized after the beating with a severe head injury, including a concussion and numerous bruises and other injuries.

Kenjebaev's colleagues say the attack was connected to his professional activities. One coworker said they consider the investigation of the incident and the trial "shallow and insufficient."

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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