Iran airs new video on UK sailors

It says footage of them playing games and laughing in captivity refutes abuse claims.

    Lieutenant Felix Carman said the captives were only allowed to socialise for propaganda's sake [AP]
    The video clips, which were briefly aired on Iran's state-run Arabic satellite channel Al-Alam, showed several of the sailors and marines dressed in track suits playing chess and table tennis, laughing and chatting.
     
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    Other short clips showed them watching football on television and eating at a long dining table that had vases filled with flowers on it.
     
    The newscaster said the video proved "the sailors had complete liberty during their detention, which contradicts what the sailors declared after they arrived in Britain".
     
    The crew reported having been under constant psychological pressure and being threatened with seven years in prison if they did not say they intruded into Iranian waters.
     
    Media stunt
     
    Lieutenant Felix Carman, one of the crew members captured on March 23, said they were rarely allowed to socialise and when they were, it was for the benefit of the Iranian media.
     
    "We were kept in isolation until the last few nights, when we were allowed to get together for a few hours, in the full glare of the Iranian media," Carman said at a news conference on Friday.
     
    "But that was very much a setup, very much a stunt for Iranian propaganda."
     
    In the video broadcast on Sunday, Carman could be seen wearing a business suit and smiling at the camera.
     
    Iran has dismissed the sailors' news conference as propaganda.
     
    Two days before their release, Tehran had pledged not to show more videos of the captured crew.
     
    The 15 were captured in the Gulf on March 23 and freed last week by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who called their release a gift to Britain.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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