Report on Human Rights Practices - 2005

(State Department) In 2005 the Iranian government's already poor record on human rights and democracy worsened. In the June presidential elections, slightly more than a thousand registered candidates - including all the female candidates - were arbitrarily thrown out of contention by the country's guardian council. The newly elected hard-line president denied the Holocaust occurred and called for the elimination of Israel. The ruling clerics and the president oversaw deterioration in prison conditions for the hundreds of political prisoners, further restrictions on press freedom, and a continuing rollback of social and political freedoms. Serious abuses such as summary executions, severe violations of religious freedom, discrimination based on ethnicity and religion, disappearances, extremist vigilantism, and use of torture and other degrading treatment continued. The Iranian government continued to ignore the desire of the Iranian people for responsible, accountable government, continuing its dangerous policies of pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, providing support to terrorist organizations, and advocating - including in several public speeches by the new president - the destruction of a UN member state. Iran's deprivation of basic rights to its own people, its interference in Iraq, its support for Hizballah, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations, and its refusal to engage constructively on these issues, have further isolated it from the world community. Similarly, the government of Syria refused international calls to respect the fundamental freedoms of its people and end its interference in the affairs of its neighbors. Syria continued to provide support for Hizballah, Hamas, and other Palestinian rejectionist groups and did not cooperate fully with the UN International Independent Investigative Commission on the assassination in Beirut of former Lebanese Prime Minister al-Hariri. The Chief Investigator's reports concluded that evidence pointed to involvement by Syrian authorities and made it clear that Syrian officials, while purporting to cooperate, deliberately misled the investigators.

2006-03-09 00:00:00

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