A protest rally in Tehran’s bazaar (June 2022)

A protest rally in Tehran’s bazaar

UN Experts Express Concerns Over Iran’s Violent Crackdown On Civil Society

6/15/2022

A group of UN human rights experts have expressed serious concerns about the violent crackdown against civil society in Iran, especially against members of workers’ unions and teachers.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, they urged those responsible for using excessive force to be held to account through comprehensive and independent investigations. 

“We are alarmed at the recent escalation of allegedly arbitrary arrests of teachers, labor rights defenders and union leaders, lawyers, human rights defenders and other civil society actors,” they said. 

In their statement, they said until May 24 over 80 teachers were arrested or summoned by security forces or the judiciary, and the houses of several trade unionists and teachers were raided, none of whom were given access to a lawyer. 

The authorities issued statements claiming that the arrests were due to “infiltration of foreign-affiliated elements into the ranks of teachers and workers” which threatened security of the country, they said.

“The space for civil society and independent associations to carry out their legitimate work and activities is becoming impossibly narrow,” they said, adding that “The crackdown comes in the context of an extremely dire economic situation, which the authorities themselves have acknowledged.”

“We call on the authorities to address the underlying causes of the protests, and to ensure that everyone can exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

Anti-government protests and strikes by merchants continued in Iran for the fourth consecutive day in the capital Tehran and many other cities and towns on Wednesday.

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