Iranian prosecutor threatens to take action against protesting justice staff

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The Iranian attorney general is threatening to launch criminal charges against judicial staff who have protested the denial of a planned salary increase.

“Colleagues must put an end to certain actions which may pave the way for abuse by the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said in a statement by the media branch of justice Mizan Online.

Such “illegal actions … contradict the principles of Sharia and are liable to prosecution,” he adds.

Ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi, who took office in August, proposed a salary increase in the final weeks of his previous post as chief magistrate. But the new government he is leading has changed its mind, and judicial staff protested Saturday and Sunday in many Iranian cities against the decision.

“The question of the means of subsistence of the personnel is examined carefully by the head of the (judicial) authority and the government has also promised to prosecute it favorably”, adds the prosecutor.

Shargh, a newspaper representing the reformist point of view, yesterday posted a video of a protest by hundreds of men and women outside parliament in Tehran.

“If our problem is not solved, we will close justice!” they chanted.

Another reformist newspaper, Arman Melli, reported that court staff organized rallies “in most” of the cities to protest the cancellation of the wage increase plan.

The protesters held up placards with slogans declaring that “justice workers are unable to provide for themselves” and denouncing “the hypocrisy of government and parliament”.

Hit by severe sanctions imposed by the United States, Iran suffers from high inflation which has reduced the value of civil servants’ salaries.

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