In Iran, five army officers who served under the exiled Shah of Iran went on trial on Tuesday (18 December) for the killings of a large number of civilians.
SV People outside Ervin prison in Teheran with armed guards checking vehicles (2 shots)
SV Civilians waiting outside prison (3 shots)
MV PAN Photographs of victims of Savak torturers and portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini
CU Accused Savak agent speaking in his own defence
CU Two accused agents (2 shots)
CU Photograph of young man being held by relative
CU Woman relative of one of the dead
CU Accused speaking PULL OUT TO SV other accused listening
CU Prosecutor, member of Revolutionary Council
CU Accused speaking PAN TO Another making notes
SV Members of public seated
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Background: In Iran, five army officers who served under the exiled Shah of Iran went on trial on Tuesday (18 December) for the killings of a large number of civilians. They are charged with giving the orders to fire into a massive anti-Shah demonstration the took place at the height of the Iranian revolution in late january, 1979. At that time, the army and police forces were still trying to control daily, and growing, demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people calling for the return of the Ayatollah Ryhollah Khomeini from France.
SYNOPSIS: The accused army officers are being held in Teheran's notorious Ervin Prison, once the centre for Savak, the Shah's secret police network. Relatives and friends of people once held there gathered outside the prison -- some to hear news of the hearings, and some to seek information about relatives they say were tortured to death during the reign of the Shah.
Some of the walls in the prison are still decorated with pictures of alleged Savak victims.
Accused Savak agents are also being held in the prison. But they have been aiding their accusers by divulging alleged links between the organisation they once worked for, and various international intelligence agencies.
They report that Savak police had links with both the British and United States intelligence services. The imprisoned agents spoke of Iranian students in Britain being watched by British contacts, who reported anti-Shah activity to the secret police.
These men are questioned by a revolutionary council, which includes a representative from the clergy. But the accused continue to co-operate in spelling out alleged details of the links between Savak and various intelligence agencies -- information the present government passes on to western newsmen.