DUBAI - Iranian civil society activists have been subjected to a "campaign of repression" in the last three years, with many killed, detained or forced to flee abroad, the US-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Friday.

Iran's government has cracked down on political opposition members, rights activists, journalists, and lawyers ever since the mass protests that followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declared presidential election victory over reformist Mirhossein Mousavi, the rights group said.

"The post-2009 crackdown has profoundly affected civil society in Iran," Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, said in a statement accompanying the report, "Why They Left: Stories of Iranian Activists in Exile".

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