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Iran's Basij Force Issues Report On Alleged Rights Abuses In U.S.

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Iran's paramilitary Basij force has published a report about the human rights situation in the United States. The report has been issued in Persian, English, and Arabic.

Young members of the Basij militia display their truncheons as they sit streetside and eat ice cream in an undated photo from Iran.

The Basij force, which has been accused of brutality and involvement in state repression against opposition activists in Iran, says the United States is "one of the main violators of human rights."

"As soon as we all hear the phrase 'human rights,' the painful memories of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Bagram prisons remind us of the human rights violations committed by the U.S. government," the report says.

Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi speaking at the event
(photo by Ehsan Naderipour, Islamic Republic News Agency)

The paper goes on to say: "However, these violations are not limited to the violent incidents after 9/11. The United States, which has presented itself as the sole protector of humanity and for that claim threatens and even attacks other countries, is violating human rights inside its own borders in terms of torture of prisoners, police brutality, and racial discrimination."

The report has several sections that include the situation of detainees, the violation of online privacy, and death sentences.

Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi hands the report to senior lawmaker Alaedin Borujerdi

The hard-line Fars news agency, which is said to have ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), says Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi; the head of the judiciary's human rights commission, Mohammad Javad Larijani; and senior lawmaker Alaedin Borujerdi were among officials present at the unveiling of the of the report, which took place at Tehran University.

The event was held at Tehran University

The report appears to be a tit-for-tat move for criticism of the human rights situation in Iran by the United States. It comes amid criticism by hard-liners in the Islamic republic of a nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the United States. Hard-liners have in recent months gone to great lengths to demonstrate that despite talks over the nuclear issue, the United States remains Iran's enemy.

Iranian officials often reject criticism of the human rights abuses in the country by rights groups and other countries as interference in Iran's internal affairs.

Copyright (c) 2014 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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