Iranian authorities have embarked on a “severe clampdown” on journalists and human rights advocates, the United Nations human rights office said Tuesday, October 2, drawing attention to a broadened pattern of arrests and actions against critical voices, The New York Times reported. A spokesman for Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, expressed concern about a nine-year jail term that Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights lawyer, began serving on Saturday. “The case against him is widely believed to be linked to his work as a human rights defender,” the spokesman, Rupert Colville, said. Colville also cited a number of threats to freedom of expression that took place last month. “The ongoing arrest and detention of media professionals and intimidation of media organizations is deeply worrying, especially given we are now entering the run-up to the June 2013 presidential elections” in Iran, Colville said.