Iran prosecutor threatens action against protesting justice staff

Iran’s prosecutor general threatens to launch criminal proceedings against judiciary personnel who have protested against the denial of a planned pay rise.

“The colleagues must put an end to some actions that can open the way to abuse by enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” says Mohammad Jafar Montazeri in a statement by the judiciary’s media arm Mizan Online.

Such “illegal actions… contradict sharia principles and are liable to legal action,” he adds.

Ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi, who assumed his post in August, had proposed a salary hike in the last weeks of his previous job as judicial chief. But the new government he leads changed its mind and judicial personnel protested on Saturday and Sunday in many Iranian cities against the decision.

“The question of personnel livelihoods is being considered carefully by the head of the (judicial) authority and the government has likewise promised to pursue it favorably,” the prosecutor adds.

Shargh, a newspaper representing the reformist viewpoint, yesterday published a video of a protest by hundreds of men and women in front of parliament in Tehran.

“If our problem is not resolved, we will shut down the justice system!” they chanted.

Another reformist paper, Arman Melli, reported that judicial personnel organized rallies “in most” cities to protest against the reversal of the plan to raise salaries.

The demonstrators held up signs with slogans declaring that “justice workers are unable to support themselves” and decrying the “hypocrisy of the government and parliament.”

Hit by severe sanctions imposed by the US, Iran suffers high inflation that has curtailed the value of civil servants’ pay.

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