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US Report: Iran's Human Rights Record 'Degenerated' in 2009

An Iranian opposition protester (l) runs from a member of the security forces with a baton during clashes in Tehran on 27 Dec. 2009.

The United States says Iran's record on human rights is bad and getting worse.

The State Department's '2009 Human Rights Report' said Tehran's human rights record was poor and, in the words of the report, "degenerated during the year, especially after disputed presidential elections in June.'

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran to protest the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The report criticized Iran for violently suppressing those demonstrations.

It said Iranian security forces were responsible for the deaths of at least 37 people and that security forces also participated in other politically motivated violence, including torture, beatings and rape.

Some human rights groups have said as many as 200 people died in a crackdown on protesters.

The report also accused Iran of intensifying pressure against women's rights reformers, students, and ethnic and religious minorities.

The State Department report noted additional concerns, including human trafficking and child labor.

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