June 17 – United Nations human rights experts expressed serious concerns this week about the Iranian government’s violent crackdown on civil society activists in the country.
The press release noted with alarm that the regime had arbitrarily arrested members of workers’ unions and teachers, for protesting against low salaries and poor working conditions.
The UN called on officials using excessive force to be held accountable through robust and independent investigations. At least 80 teachers were arrested or summoned by officials in May and the homes of several trade unionists and teachers were raided.
Anti-government demonstrations held by merchants in Iran intensified, as rallies were held across several cities and towns, including the capital, Tehran.
Demonstrators called for higher pensions and a reduction in inflation which has crippled the country’s economy.
Iran’s current economic crisis has been blamed on government corruption and mismanagement, and the imposition of sanctions across a range of sectors.
And Tehran arrested an individual who officials said had links to two French citizens accused of espionage currently held in Iran.
The French citizens — Cecile Kohler and Chuck Paris — were accused of meeting with protesting teachers and taking part in an anti-government demonstration. The individuals, who are members of a teachers’ union in France, have also been accused of organizing protests to create unrest in Iran.
The person — who has not been identified by government officials — was also accused of inciting protests in the country and was arrested in West Azerbaijan.