This report is prepared by the US Department of State regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights in Iran. According to the report, demonstrations by opposition groups, university students, and others increased during the first few months of the year, inspired in part by events of the Arab Spring. The government responded harshly to protesters and critics, arresting, torturing, and prosecuting them for their dissent. As part of its crackdown, the government increased its oppression of media and the arts, arresting and imprisoning dozens of journalists, bloggers, poets, actors, filmmakers, and artists throughout the year. The government’s suppression and intimidation of voices of opposition continued at a rapid pace at year’s end.