NIn a statement, the community institution indicated that the restrictive measures announced today follow the statement by the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, on behalf of the EU, to mark the anniversary of the death of the young Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini on September 16 2022, at the hands of the Iranian “morals police”.
The list released today includes the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Unit (IRGC) at the Central Security Headquarters Imam Ali, and the police commanders of Mazandaran and Fars provinces.
The Council also decided to include Kachui prison and its director, Sanandaj, Zahedan and Isfahan prisons, as well as the Tasnim news agency and the Supreme Cyberspace Council, on the list, indicating that the sanctions now apply to a total of 227 individuals and 43 entities.
“They consist of freezing assets, a ban on traveling to the European Union and a ban on making funds or economic resources available to those listed. There is also a ban on the export to Iran of equipment that could be used for internal repression and equipment for monitoring telecommunications”, reads the Council’s note on the new package of sanctions, the 10th deliberated by Brussels.
In conclusion, the EU Council reiterates the European bloc’s support “for the fundamental aspiration of the people of Iran for a future in which their universal human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, protected and fulfilled”.
On September 13, 2022, Mahsa Amini, a 21-year-old Kurdish woman, was arrested and violently beaten in Tehran by the morality police, for violating the country’s strict female dress code – she was wearing the ‘hijab’ (Islamic veil), but not properly put on, leaving part of his hair visible – and he would die in a city hospital three days later, on September 16, triggering a wave of civil protests with international repercussions.
Today, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced that the Iranian authorities intensified their repression of the country’s civil society as the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death approached and argued that “all delegations of UN member states meeting with Iranian counterparts during the leaders’ week of the organization’s annual General Assembly in New York should raise the issue of the plight of activists and place it at the center of their commitments.”
“The Iranian authorities have increased the repression of peaceful dissent and expression through intimidation, arrests, harassment and trials of activists, artists, dissidents, lawyers, academics, students and families of those killed during the 2022 protests”, HRW highlighted in a statement .
“They also responded to the widespread challenge to the mandatory wearing of the ‘hijab’ by intensifying efforts to impose the dress code on women, using a range of tactics, including court subpoenas, new legislative initiatives and increasing pressure on private companies so that they impose rules regarding the use of the ‘hijab'”, continued the NGO.
According to HRW’s lead Iran researcher, Tara Sepehri Far, “Iranian authorities are trying to stifle dissent to prevent public reporting of the death in custody of Mahsa Jina Amini, who became the symbol of the government’s systematic oppression of women, injustice and impunity”.
“But the Iranian authorities are unable to make the growing frustration, the increasingly strong calls for fundamental change and the resistance and solidarity of Iranian society in the face of growing repression disappear”, maintained the HRW researcher.
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