Amnesty International says Iran’s crackdown on its opposition has surged in the week leading up to the parliamentary elections.

In a report published today, Tuesday February 28, the rights group indicates that the “wave of arrests has targeted a range of groups, including lawyers, students, journalists, political activists and their relatives, religious and ethnic minorities, filmmakers, and people with international connections, particularly to media.”

According to Amnesty International, the situation has become exacerbated as the Islamic Republic approaches the March 2 parliamentary elections.

Amnesty International especially refers to the clampdown on electronic media and “the harassment, arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders.”

The rights group goes on to urge that the international community not to be distracted from Iran’s human rights situation by the country’s headline-grabbing nuclear disputes.

It also calls on the UN Human Rights Council to extend the mandate of Ahmad Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on Iran.