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Iran: Rights Record Poor Despite Progress In A Few Areas

Washington, 26 February 1999 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department says Iran's human-rights record remained poor in 1998.

In its annual report on human-rights practices around the world, the State Department said that -- despite progress in a few areas -- serious human-rights problems remain in Iran.

The majority of U.S. human-rights reports are prepared by State Department experts at embassies and consulates. However, the U.S. noted that -- since it does not have diplomatic ties with Iran -- the report had to rely on non-official sources and United Nations rapporteurs.

The U.S. said Iran remains dominated by the Shi'a Muslim clergy and that citizens have very little chance to change their government.

The report said that abuses included extra-judicial killings and summary executions, disappearances, widespread use of torture and other degrading treatment, harsh prison conditions and arbitrary arrest and detention. There was also lack of due process, unfair trials, infringement on privacy, and restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion and movement.