Severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, of association and of peaceful assembly continued. The media and the judiciary, as well as political and religious institutions, remained under state control. Prisoners of conscience were tortured and otherwise ill-treated, and subjected to unfair trials. Physical attacks against human rights defenders continued, and prominent activists were subjected to daily surveillance and harassment. Peaceful dissidents and government critics were arrested and convicted on national security charges. Demonstrations were repressed, with participants and organizers arrested and tortured. The death penalty was retained.
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