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British Government Defends Decision to Let Former Detainees Profit From Stories


Britain's defense ministry has defended its decision to allow the sailors and marines freed by Iran last week to sell their stories - a reversal of usual policy.

On Sunday, the ministry said that huge public interest made the circumstances exceptional.

Members of the opposition Conservative Party immediately challenged the decision. Many families of British troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have also said they find the decision distasteful.

The two officers among the 15 service members detained in Iran for 13 days have said they have chosen not to profit from stories of their captivity, but others in the group have reportedly made lucrative deals with British media.

Several of the the former captives have said they were mistreated during their detention.

However, a video released Monday, by Iran shows the sailors and marines relaxing and socializing during their captivity.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.