ACCESSION NUMBER:266603 FILE ID:TXT201 DATE:02/09/93 TITLE:IRAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES (02/09/93) TEXT:*93020901.TXT IRAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES (VOA Editorial) (360) (Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America February 9, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.) "Iran continues to be a major abuser of human rights, and there was no evidence of significant improvement in 1992." That's the conclusion of the 1.S. State Department's recently released Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. According to the report, the Iranian government's "hold on power continues to be reinforced through arrests, summary trials and executions, and other forms of intimidation implemented by an extensive internal security system. Political arrests are made by the Revolutionary Guards and by security forces operating under the Ministry of Intelligence and Security." The U.N. Special Representative on Human Rights has cited Iranian media reports of people executed for political reasons, and the Tehran regime has repeatedly indicated in public statements that it equates active political opposition with terrorism. Other abuses by Iran's government include repression of freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association; arbitrary detention, denial of the right to fair trial, and widespread torture; and religious persecution -- in particular of Iran's Baha'i community. Designated a "misguided sect" by Iranian officials, Baha'is face arbitrary arrest and detention and are prohibited from practicing or teaching their faith. In March 1992, Bahman Samandari, a prominent member of the Baha'i community, was summarily executed. The Iranian regime also continues to carry out political assassinations of its opponents residing abroad. The French government's investigation into the August 1991 murder of former Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar and his assistant has resulted in warrants being issued for the arrest of two Iranian regime officials. The Tehran regime has also refused to retract its heinous call for the murder of British author Salman Rushdie. Secretary of State Warren Christopher recently noted that a fundamental concern of U.S. foreign policy is "new and old human rights challenges, including protecting ethnic minorities as well as political dissidents." The United States calls on Iran to cease its repression of Iranian dissidents and minority groups and to respect the human rights of all the people of Iran. NNNN .